Some of the biggest stars on Twitch, including Pokimane and Hasan Piker, are rallying behind the hashtag #TwitchStopGambling to ask the company to ban gambling from its platform after one of their fellow streamers revealed that he has a gambling addiction.
Abraham Jehad “Sliker” Mohammed, a streamer on Twitch who plays games like Valorant and Counter-Strike Global Offensive but more commonly chats with his fans, was called out yesterday by some his fans, as well as his fellow streamers for taking money from them without paying it back in order to fuel his gambling addiction. Streamers like Hasan Piker, Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo, and Félix “xQc” Lengyel joined together on a Discord call on stream to confront him about his actions. On the call, Sliker told them that he got into gambling by gambling on skins in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2017. Once he realized he could gamble with money, he started borrowing from his managers and family. He was able to stop for a time, but once he started streaming, Sliker says that his gambling problem got worse.
“There’s no such thing as stopping in gambling. For me, there was no such thing,” he told Mizkif and Piker on stream.
In a stream, Sliker apologized to his fanbase and specifically the people he has “done dirty.” He said that he is going to rehab for his addiction.
“I don’t need to explain how big of a thing it is. It’s made me an ill person. It’s made me into an evil person,” he said. “Basically the outcome is, 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.”
Gambling, and in specific crypto gambling, has recently become very popular on Twitch. According to Bloomberg, streamers are sponsored by casinos for gambling streams, and have made “slots” the seventh most popular category on the platform. Currently, almost 60 thousand people are viewing the slots category on Twitch.
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Over at least a year, Sliker had reached out to fellow streamers as well as his own fanbase to ask for money, Sliker confirmed on the call with Mizkif and Piker. Piker said that Sliker asked him for money, which he gave, and in his own video on the subject, Twitch streamer Ludwig Ahgren says that he was also approached for money from Sliker and that he gave it to him. According to Sliker, these funds were then used to pay his gambling debts and to gamble even more. These streamers estimated that Sliker took around $300,000 from his colleagues and fans.
“Twitch should get rid of fucking gambling,” Ahgren said on a video on the topic. “I feel like that solves it, because gambling is clearly here to stay in society, at least in America. It’s going to be hard to go against that. But it doesn’t have to be sponsored this overtly, people can’t gamble this frivolously, this often.”
After Mizkif’s stream with Sliker, Mizkif, along with Ahgren, Piker, and Imane “Pokimane” Anys, have called for Twitch to ban gambling.
In the hashtag #TwitchStopGambling, fans of streamers are sharing their experiences of gambling and Twitch. Some say that they were introduced to slots and sports betting from Twitch streamers.
Twitch and Silker did not respond to a request for comment.