Massive Twitch Hack Exposes How Much Gambling Streamers Got Paid

  • Hackers leaked 125GB of data, including Twitch’s source code
  • The company does not believe that account login information was compromised
  • Experts have advised users to change their passwords
  • Twitch has paid some gambling streamers millions of dollars
  • Twitch banned gambling promo codes and links in August
Twitch logo on an iPad sitting on top of cash
Hackers released 125GB of Twitch data, including direct payments made to streamers. [Image:]

Payments were the least of it

The largest data hack in Twitch history – and potentially one of the most devastating corporate hacks, period – has revealed the earnings of streamers, including those who focus on online casino games and poker. Of the hundreds of thousands of accounts that received income from Twitch, 81 made over $1m from August 2019 until now.

Jeff Bezos paid $970 million for this, we’re giving it away FOR FREE.”

An anonymous hacker posted a torrent link on 4chan to a 125GB data dump Wednesday morning. The data includes virtually anything a hacker could hope to get their hands on, including all of Twitch’s source code, Twitch clients, creator payout reports, an unreleased Steam competitor called Vapor, and more.

“Jeff Bezos paid $970 million for this, we’re giving it away FOR FREE,” the 4chan poster wrote (Amazon bought Twitch in 2014).

Twitch later confirmed that the leak did, in fact, happen, saying: “Our teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this.”

Late Wednesday night, Twitch updated a blog post, saying that “some data was exposed to the internet due to an error in a Twitch server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party.” The company added that it does not believe that account login information was compromised and that it does not store credit card numbers. That said, experts have advised everyone with a Twitch account to change their passwords and turn on two-factor authentication.

Doesn’t count donations or sponsorships

According to EGR Intel and confirmed by publicly-posted data, Jens “TheRealKnossi” Knossalla was the highest-earning gambling streamer from August 2019 to October 2021, getting paid almost $2.2m by Twitch. This number does not count viewer donation or sponsorship numbers, only money directly from Twitch itself.

Adin Ross, who has 5 million followers and streams himself playing online casino games, made over $1.8m in that time period. Tyler Faraz Niknam, who streams himself playing live internet casino games and slots at $1,000 a spin, made almost $1.6m on his Trainwreckstv channel.

The top-paid poker player was PokerStars Ambassador Lex Veldhuis, clocking in at $294,000. He actually can’t play right now because PokerStars withdrew from his home Dutch market to be in compliance with national laws. Stars will likely return to the Netherlands, but in the meantime, Veldhuis recently tweeted that he may have figured out some options to allow him to get back on the virtual tables.

Other popular poker streamers that can be found in the Twitch data leak are Irish PokerStars pro Fintan Hand ($89,000) and Jamie Staples ($60,000).

Rules for gambling streams tightened

Though Twitch has been great for online poker, gambling streams likely took a hit this summer when the company updated its policies to forbid the sharing of gambling-related promo links and referral codes. The goal is to prevent viewers from being harmed by links “created by questionable gambling services that sponsor content on Twitch.”

Among the catalysts for the policy change included criticism of Trainwreckstv, who promoted a Curaçao-licensed online casino site. Slovakia also banned Twitch completely because its national media agency determined that streaming gambling was a violation of the country’s advertising laws.

Twitch banned links and referral codes for sites offering dice, roulette, or slots games. That notably excludes poker, though it is not clear if Twitch is counting sites that are primarily for poker, but also have casino games.

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