Kick Gambling Streams to See New Restrictions

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Kick, the live streaming platform co-owned by the crypto-gambling platform Stake, is changing the way it promotes gambling streams.

The update, revealed by Kick CEO Eddie Craven last week and rolled out on Monday, aims to reduce the exposure of viewers to live streams of online casino sessions. Such streams have a been a controversial, but also popular, aspect of the platform since its inception.

Over the past year, rival platform Twitch has banned some of its most popular streaming personalities that had made millions live-streaming online casino gaming.

It then specifically excluded remaining streamers from visiting, among other operators.

That was a move that many speculate prompted Stake to start investing in Kick.  

However, now the streaming platform upstart is facing criticism over gambling, as many of Twitch’s biggest nongambling streamers move to the platform and increase its user base.

Reducing Exposure

Craven announced the update on his Twitter page, stating that the platform will be removing “unnecessary” exposure to gambling streams.

“We’ll also be adding the ability to toggle off all gambling-related streams, amongst other certain categories viewers wish to not be exposed to. Viewer experience is equally as important to us as creators,” he wrote.

Gambling streams have been one of the biggest draws for Kick since it opened. Streamers like Adin Ross and TrainWrecksTV were some of the first big names to move to Kick, and both of them are well-known for gambling hundreds of thousands of dollars in streaming sessions.

Through his partnership with Stake, superstar rapper Drake has even been known to stream some of his gambling sessions on the site.

However, in recent months, Kick has pivoted to deals with less controversial streamers like xQc and Amouranth. The former recently claimed to the media that Kick had given him a $100 million contract.

One-Click Gambling Block

In addition to reducing exposure to gambling streams, the update also introduces measures to combat view count manipulation and chat bot issues.

“We’re rolling out some extra view count protection on Kick. This should help combat view count manipulation. It will also help solve some issues surrounding follow/chat bots,” Craven said.

“Rest assured the community is still growing and we’re staying committed to ensuring we maintain a fair landscape for creators.”

The update was rolled out this Monday. That means Kick users can now simply tick one box from the main settings menu to completely block gambling streams from appearing in their feed.

The also-controversial “hot tub” or “bikini” streams can also now be blocked by Kick users.

Long-Term Questions

While these changes are a step in the right direction, Kick still faces significant challenges on its mission to capture the top spot in the live streaming market.

The platform’s close ties to Stake have been a point of contention for some, and its more relaxed approach to content moderation compared to Twitch has also been scrutinized.

Its long-term sustainability has also been questioned, mainly because of its 5% to 95% revenue split policy with content creators. That’s even though that money has helped draw some big stars away from rival Twitch.

Kick is an environment that has effectively been built around gambling streams from the start, and is owned by an occasionally controversial cryptocurrency casino operator.

How effective these latest updates will be at changing the public and celebrity streamer’s perception remains to be seen.

Kick’s finances are not made public. But Craven claimed the company made a profit in Q1 2023. Meanwhile, Twitch made $2.8 billion in revenue in 2022.

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