When it comes to video gaming, especially on the competitive side, Twitch is one of the best things that ever happened to the industry.
Streaming services have grown into something a lot bigger. Twitch streamers were getting scraps in the past compared to the sums they make now. How did that happen? Well, it’s simple – through marketing ads. Many of these ads come from game developers, but most recently, the biggest deals for Twitch streamers have come through gambling.
The math behind it is simple. Advertise slot games, play them on streams for a while, make money. Nothing wrong about it, right? Well, there’s been a heated debate in the community between streamers and fans alike if the former should even accept that kind of a deal.
Some see no shame in it; others would downright refuse slot streams. One way or another, the gambling industry has found a new ad channel, one that was untapped for a long time.
Gambling on Twitch streams isn’t anything new. Reports about the implications of these deals and their impact on the younger audience date back to 2018. Since then, slot streaming has become commonplace, especially considering the money some studios have invested.
This is truly one of the most lucrative ways to make money while streaming. Big streamers have joined the list too, defending their position with the notion that it’s just a marketing thing.
The rise of slot streams occurred during the pandemic. The same period saw the rise of cryptocurrencies. They are tied more closely than you think. Crypto casinos are on the rise and many of them pay money to top streamers so they play their games. We’re not talking just a few hundred bucks. We’re talking millions. You may have noticed the Ethereum and Bitcoin price trackers on slot streams – that’s how close the two are.
One of the leading casinos behind this phenomenon is Stake. In recent months, the casino has had to defend its position fiercely. Many have questioned where the casino gets that money to pay streamers millions when the answer is quite obvious – through games.
Casino gambling on the web is a choice. You can either do it or not. As any reputable company, Stake is just monetizing its platform through ads. It does it with big money, but that’s how marketing works.
The average rates are around $20,000 per hour. We’ve seen mentions of up to $35,000. This money comes on top of all the revenue Twitch streamers earn naturally, and many have criticized them for it. Many believe that they make more than enough money to earn more via gambling platforms. Even streamers have called out their colleagues, saying that taking that money is like having blood on your hands.
What many don’t consider is that the world’s top streamers right now are young and still untrained. They don’t know a lot about ethics or morality or even decency. Even those who don’t can’t resist the sight of millions on their account. While we can debate the morality of these choices, there’s nothing wrong about Stake or any other platform offering those deals to top streamers.
The popularity of some Twitch streams makes them very attractive to casinos. The job of a PR team is to find new marketing and revenue sources. Gambling is a billion-dollar business, so spending a few million Euro is nothing compared to the value of exposure.
What do streamers like to watch the most? Well, slots are always the top earner, but live dealer game streams are growing big as well. Some even play roulette. Of course, all those streams come with a warning of underage gambling so that younger fans stay away. Not that anyone checks on them, but still.
The fact remains that gaming platforms do nothing wrong in offering money to streamers who agree to promote their services. Twitch streams are just as legit an option as partnering with Drake or any other artist.
The most popular slot streamer so far is Trainwreck, also called Nikham. His real name is Tyler Faraz Nikham and his streams are available on his channel, trainwreckstv. He’s one of the oldest streamers on the platform, and he started with games like WoW, PUBG, and Fortnite. Trainwreck tried his luck with podcasts in 2020, then made his first slots stream in April 2021.
Since then, Trainwreck has streamed over 2,700 hours of slots. His streams always have a big red sign that warns viewers not to gamble. He has clearly earned millions off these streams, but he isn’t afraid of spending it.
And while he’s no stranger to a life of luxury, Nikham has also donated over $10 million to the community. Some of that money went in a mental health awareness program. If he wasn’t getting money from gambling sponsorship, he may not have donated that much.
If there’s one Twitch member who can be called a rockstar in slots streams, it’s definitely Roshtein. A controversial figure for a variety of reasons, Roshtein has scored some pretty wild wins during his streams. At one point, he hit a $16 million slot win. There’s been a lot of debate if the money he spends on is his own or the platform’s, but it’s clear that casinos such as Stake are very interested in his streams.
While Nikham has been mostly transparent about the numbers, Roshtein has not disclosed his earnings. Nikham even went after him on a few occasions, pointing out that he needs to admit whether he’s gambling with his money or a platform’s. We’ll see if the number ever gets revealed, but until then, Roshtein will continue raking in profit.
It’s the way the market works. Streamers see the opportunity and they take it. Their streams are properly marked with warnings about the danger of gambling the younger audience should adhere to. It’s a dog eat dog market, and as far as online casinos stay relevant, Twitch slot streams will stay strong too.
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