Twitch streamers to go on strike over Sliker’s scam controversy
Twitch creators Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo, and Devin Nash have threatened to go on a strike during the week of Christmas as a protest against the platform’s lenient policies on gambling streams. The streamers announced the move after Abraham “Sliker” Mohammed confessed last Saturday that he had scammed fans and content creators to fuel his gambling addiction.
In a joint stream, Mizkif proposed that the community band together to push the Amazon-owned streaming site to take stricter measures against gambling streams and gambling sponsorships. Later, Pokimane’s call for help on Twitter garnered support from over 300,000 people who are against gambling on the streaming platform.
Twitch has since responded by banning some gambling websites on the platform. In an announcement, Twitch said it would no longer allow the “streaming of gambling sites that include slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the U.S. or other jurisdictions that provide sufficient consumer protections”. Some of these sites include Stake.com, Rollbit.com, Duelbits.com, and Roobet.com, with more potentially to be announced.
Following the ban, Pokimane tweeted, “We did it y’all. Public pressure, tweets, raising awareness, it all matters.” That said, the ban might still be far from adequate as sports betting, fantasy sports, and poker are all still allowed on the platform.
“Twitch isn’t doing anything about it because gambling is too big an industry and generates revenue. it’s also capturing the pro sports scene aggressively as well,” streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker wrote.
Meanwhile, Felix “xQc” Lengyel and Ludwig “Ludwig” Ahgren have gone out of their way to pay back those scammed by Sliker. Other streamers, however, opposed the anti-gambling initiative by Twitch. Slots streamer Tyler Faraz “Trainwreck” Niknam said on Twitter that those who blamed gambling were “the real problem”.
It was reported that the total amount of funds Sliker garnered through his scams was over $200,000. Longtime Twitch creators, including Luke “lukeafk” Hansen, JustaMinx, Alexandra Botez, and Rishabh “Lacari” Lacari, reportedly had lent Sliker thousands of dollars.
CS:GO is notorious for its in-game item marketplace, where a rare digital skin can be worth thousands of dollars. However, the function of these rare skins has shifted to “poker chips” for betting by third-party sites. It was predicted that the entire scene was worth billions of dollars. Sliker started here, at CS:GO skins marketplace, but later found himself betting with real money.
Sliker said that he was heavily addicted to gambling. Via a video published this week, the U.K. streamer admitted that he had reached out to fans and fellow content creators for money, promising he would pay them back.
Sliker, however, ended up not paying what was due. Leaked chat screenshots showed that Sliker said he needed the money to either pay his bills or help his mother since he was running low on cash and had not received any money from Twitch.
“I deserve punishment. Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I don’t know what to say to the people I borrowed from…this is the epitome of gambling. I want to say don’t touch it,” he said.