A dark underbelly
If you’re a Twitch fan then you are already probably accustomed to some of the most prolific gamblers on the streaming platform. Through their high-stakes wagers and entertaining personalities, top streamers such as Trainwreck, Roshtein, and Xposed have each racked up hundreds of thousands of followers.
built a loyal fan base by staking millions of dollars
These online casino streamers have built a loyal fan base by staking millions of dollars live, often stoking further growth by offering cash giveaways to followers. As a result, the slots section hit a landmark moment in May by breaking into the top ten most-watched categories for the first time.
Below this exciting gambling surface, however, lies a heated debate over transparency. It’s a topic that many within the community refuse to confront, except for one of the leading gambling streamers Trainwreck. Earlier this year, he called out his fellow influencers, including both Roshtein and Xposed, claiming that they aren’t being honest to their followers.
In light of his comments, VegasSlotsOnline News has taken a deep dive into gambling Twitch to shed some light on these streamers, their losses, and the deals they make with online casino sites.
Trainwreck tells all
There’s no better place to begin than with the revealing comments of streamer Trainwreck, real name Tyler Niknam. While most other gambling Twitch streamers seem to win a lot more than they lose, Niknam is very vocal about the fact that he is down millions of dollars overall. Just look at his Twitter comments after his record $22.5m slot win earlier this year:
In another effort to break from the mold, Trainwreck recently announced he was rolling out a new mental health program to his audience, named the Community Care Program. He has donated $350,000 to the project and, yet again, was quick to take aim at his fellow content creators for failing to get involved
just bc it means pennies of their pocket.”
As evident from these comments, it’s fair to say that the 31-year-old Arizonian isn’t a huge fan of his peers. His main grievances relate to the lack of transparency others show in relation to big money deals with casino sites, as well as their overall profits and losses. In a particularly scathing rant on his stream in February, he said:
“Selling a false reality is just f*****g whack. Trying to show gambling as profitable every day is just f*****g dumb. There is already an attraction to gambling for human beings there is no need to sell a false reality of it.”
A profitable business
In February, Trainwreck drew attention to a table of Swedish streamer Roshtein’s profits over a three-week period. Somewhat amazingly, the streamer had only lost cash in two out of 20 gambling sessions, generating a supposed profit of $32.5m in that time. Twitter user Kuba shared the table:
As most gamblers will be mindful of, its certainly unlikey to secure a profit 90% of the time through slot gaming – something the often unlucky Trainwreck knows all too well. He suggested that Roshtein may be lying to viewers about losses:
“Maybe privately behind the scenes he is spinning the slots for his bonus hunts and losing just as much as I am. What he’s presenting publicly is a different story.”
Twitter is full of users who share similar opinions to Trainwreck. One account called Thompa has claimed that Roshtein stakes far more than he lets on to make a fake profit and scam his followers into playing. Another, named craig h, alleges that cryptocasino site Stake gifts the Swede large multipliers to help bring in customers.
Niknam recently confessed to losing $22.9m in nine months
Of course, these Twitter users have little evidence to back up their claims, but it’s important to note the difference between the performance of the top gambling Twitch streamers. Niknam recently confessed to losing $22.9m in nine months through gambling, only recently making back $12m of this. Similarly, xQc, who has only just returned to gambling after a brief hiatus, has admitted to losing $2m of his own cash in one month.
In contrast, Roshtein and Xposed are remaining relatively stum regarding their overall losses. However, as an indicator of how much they may have forked out, the latter recently lost $850,000 in just one 35-minute gambling session, while Roshtein’s largest on-stream loss still stands at $7.5m from October 2021.
Fake money deals
Trainwreck has also drawn light to fake money deals formed between online casino sites and gambling streamers. These allow the streamers to gamble with no risk to themselves while potentially keeping a certain percentage of the profits, or earning a wage on the side. He posted about this in a since-deleted Tweet this year:
Top streamer xQc has also added fuel to the fire recently by questioning gambling sponsorships. The Canadian confirmed the details of his deal, in which he supposedly gambles with his own money but with an additional cash boost from his gambling site partner. He then explained how this differs from some other more ethically contentious agreements made in the sector:
“These other deals, they cut the risk and they cut the reward, and make it stagnant promotional dogs**t, that shows something that’s not real. It’s fantasy. It’s fake.”
Regardless of the debate, Twitch’s biggest gambling names are bankrolled by the sites they visit. Trainwreck recently confirmed that he receives a flat fee of at least $1m each month for gambling on Twitch, while influencer Mizkif has asserted that gambling firms will pay influencers up to $10m for sponsorship. Fake money or not, the operators are facilitating the gambling on their sites.
When xQc briefly left the gambling sphere last year, he apologized for exposing his audience – which included underage youth – to gambling. Now, he’s back and staking more than ever in front of his 11 million fans. Similarly, Trainwreck has amassed two million followers through his habit, Roshtein one million, and Xposed 513,000.
a link between watching these streams and self-reported problem gambling
With such a significant audience, the importance of protecting viewers in Twitch’s gambling sector has truly never been greater. One of the first studies into gambling streaming completed in the UK found that adults who watched people play slots on Twitch were more likely to play themselves. More concerningly, it also revealed a link between watching these streams and self-reported problem gambling.
Twitch has taken some steps to curb any damaging effects of its gambling influencers. In 2021, the streaming service banned anyone from sharing referral codes or links to gambling websites directly on their videos. However, indicating the effect streamers could have on their own freedoms if they continue to cause controversy, other top influencers have asked for far stricter reform:
Whether or not you agree with Asmongold, it’s evident that gambling Twitch streamers have to take responsibility for their actions. Its fanbase looks set to continue its growth trajectory, and transparency regarding sponsorship deals, fake money agreements, and profits and losses seem the only way to truly protect viewers.