Many leading Twitch streamers are calling on the platform to ban gambling content after a fellow streamer revealed his struggles with addiction.
Sliker took money from fans and fellow streamers
Abraham Jehad “Sliker” Mohammed is a Twitch streamer who usually plays games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Valorant, as well as hosting chat streams. This week, evidence shared on social media suggested that Sliker took money from fans and fellow streamers to fund his gambling behavior.
Texas-based streamer Lacari shared screenshots of texts which suggest he sent Sliker more than $1,000 without receiving any money back:
As a result of the social media revelations, popular streamers such as xQc, Mizkif, and Hasan Piker confronted Sliker via Discord. Sliker later confessed to taking around $300,000 from fans and fellow content creators to fund his gambling habit.
The #TwitchStopGambling campaign has gained momentum over the past few days as a result of Sliker’s situation, with well-known streamers like Hasan Piker and Pokimane leading the charge.
On the Discord call, UK-based Sliker admitted he had been struggling with gambling addiction, dating back to 2017 when he began engaging in CS:GO skins gambling. When he eventually became involved in other forms of gambling, he began borrowing funds from family members and his managers to finance the habit.
Trainwreck gave Sliker about $45,000
He used a variety of excuses to explain why he needed the money, such as a frozen bank account and needing money to cover his bills. Popular gambling streamer Trainwreck gave Sliker about $45,000, while lukeafkfan contributed around $27,000.
In a subsequent stream, Sliker issued an apology to his fans, particularly the people who he had borrowed money from. He has committed to going into rehab to treat his gambling addiction. Meanwhile, high-earning Twitch streamers such as Ludwig and xQc have agreed to pay back victims.
Commenting on the outcome of gambling addiction, Sliker said: “You lose everything in life if you do this. It becomes worse and worse and worse and worse unless you get the help that you need.”
A growing trend
Despite some calling for it to be banned, Twitch’s gambling-related content has grown more and more popular in 2022. Many of the platform’s most popular streamers have sponsorship agreements with online casino firms such as Stake. The slots category is now a mainstay in the top ten most-watched types of streams.
Substantial sums of money are gambled on streams. In July for instance, popular rapper Drake lost $17m over the course of ten minutes during one stream. Popular streamer xQc has wagered hundreds of millions of dollars through online gambling platforms, while Trainwreck revealed earlier in 2022 that he had lost about $13m gambling.