The online casino industry has become a big business in recent years. The North American market is exciting to international betting and gambling companies.
A recent relaxation in social attitudes towards gambling means that states and provinces in the US and Canada are much more open to online casino gambling than in the past.
While different jurisdictions have different laws and frameworks, millions of people now have access to safer, regulated online gambling sites.
With an explosion in companies offering online casino games (igaming), governments have two possible approaches.
They can either adopt the permissive route and accept that people will play at online gambling sites, or they can try to ban them from doing so. But, as has been witnessed throughout the world in previous centuries, prohibition does not stop people from gambling; it simply drives them underground.
In the case of online gambling, it forces them to offshore, unregulated sites.
Canadian provincial governments have taken the decision to safeguard their citizens by encouraging iGamers to play at regulated sites.
By taking this approach, players can find recommended real money online platforms at review sites like CasinosCanada, and the provincial governments can earn income through raised revenues.
However, not only are governments and casino owners making a pretty penny out of online gambling, but a new breed of professionals is also cleaning up. Casino live streaming has become massive on sites like Twitch and YouTube, and streamers are winning more than just an occasional jackpot here and there.
Hours spent watching people playing and winning at online casinos more than doubled between 2019 and 2021. Slots are the main attraction but poker, blackjack, and roulette are also prevalent spectator games.
While popularity is on the rise, so too is the ability of top streamers to earn and win millions of dollars from playing online. Twitch announced last year that it would crack down on gambling streaming on the platform.
It specifically banned stake.com. rollbit.com. duelbits.com an roobet.com. As a result, live streamers switched to non-referenced sites and continued with their casino streams. In addition, Twitch announced,
“Streaming from websites focused on fantasy sports, sports betting or poker is currently allowed”.
Watching and wagering on eSports like CS:GO has been a big streaming business for a while, but the iGaming side is relatively recent. So who are the big-name players who attract millions of viewers for their online casino prowess?
Trainwreckstv is reported to have earned an eyewatering $360 million from streaming gambling content. As well as playing online slots, he has also turned his hand to merchandise sales and earns an estimated $2 million a year from his YouTube and Twitch channels.
With over 2 million followers on Twitch, he is an online phenomenon. Viewers pay monthly subscriptions to watch him play on the slots
The man behind the brand is Tyler Faraz Niknam. Originally from America, he moved to Canada in 2021 and streams hours of gambling content a day. He shot to fame by playing Among Us and won the Code Red Among Us Tournament in 2020.
He bagged $5,000 in prize money, but it is gambling that has proved to be the most lucrative activity for him. In October 2022, he said sponsors had paid him to create his streams and igaming content and paid him $360 million to do so.
He is a controversial character as he shares his thoughts without holding back, which has led to him being taken off the air on occasion. His biggest win on the slots is $13,950,000
Roshtein is another Twitch streamer with a huge channel. He has over one million followers. His style is welcome and open, and he is a big personality on Twitch. This top-rate casino Twitch streamer sports a trademark black hat and dresses in dark outfits.
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, he has racked up some serious wins playing online slots. His biggest win is $8,867,600. He likes to play Wanted Dead or A Wild, Chilli Heats, and Gates of Olympus.
Canadian Félix Lengyel is better known by his Twitch name XqC. Originally an Overwatch professional, he is now a variety streamer and will play whatever games his viewers want him to play.
His online casino streams attract large audience numbers. It is not unusual for him to have audience figures of around 100,000 for his igaming streams. XqC is a master of the slots and likes to play Joker Troupe, Razor Shark, Pheonix Reborn, and Double Rainbow.
Unafraid to bet big, he has been known to stake $50,000 on a single spin. He is known as one of Twitch’s funniest streamers. But, while he might make his audience laugh, he has also made himself a rich man. XqC’s biggest win to date is $2,476,960.
Daniel Negreanu’s specialism is poker. His YouTube channel is all about sharing his strategies which have helped him earn over $42,000 in poker tournaments. He offers Poker Tips, Hand Breakdowns, Live Streams, and Poker Vlogs.
His viewers enjoy watching him in tournaments, high-stakes cash games, and every kind of poker content imaginable. He has over three-quarters of a million subscribers.
Will iGaming streams continue in the wake of the Twitch ban?
Twitch’s ban does not target gambling as an industry. Instead, the focus was on unlicensed, unregulated, and dubious content. Twitch has too much money to earn for them to bring in total prohibition (and as history repeatedly shows us, prohibition does not work).
As Trainwreckstv revealed, sponsorship deals earn players big money. Twitch makes its money by taking a cut of the streamer’s income through the monetization of their channel. This can be between 30 and 50% of the income.
Twitch earns 30% of the first $100k a streamer makes. After that, the split is 50/50. This is a new policy introduced in 2024. The new upper-income split impacts 10% of the platform’s content creators. Therefore, blocking gambling-related content, affiliate deals, and advertising would not benefit Twitch’s bottom line.