The Truth Behind High-Stakes Online Gambling Streams
The live streaming of online gambling has been in the limelight again with the news that Kick.com, an aggressive Twitch.tv competitor, just poached one of its biggest content creators.
Record-Breaking Creator Contract
The famous Canadian streamer Félix Lengyel, known to his followers as xQc, announced that he had entered into an agreement with Kick for a staggering $100 million.
Speaking on the deal, xQc said:
Kick is allowing me to try and do things I haven’t been able to before. I'm extremely excited to take this opportunity and maximise it into new creative and fresh ideas over the coming years.
The deal comprises two parts, $70 million in cash and $30 million in incentives, which will be paid out over the two-year agreement. In addition to the incredible value of the contract, what has made it a standout is that it does not include an exclusivity clause. This allows xQc to stream on competitor platforms while fulfilling his contractual obligations to Kick.
Big Names Pull Big Crowds
While fellow streamers like Joe Vargas of the Angry Joe Show questioned why Kick wouldn’t gamble on multiple mid-size streamers, choosing instead to spend money on streamers who “already have millions of dollars”, the numbers speak for themselves.
In the twenty-four hours after the announcement of the xQc partnership, the live-streaming platform saw an astronomical influx of new users.
The streaming platform tweeted:
Kick is experiencing stability issues due to immense traffic (50x our usual). We are overwhelmed by your support and will get this fixed quickly
Not only did the website experience a 50-fold increase in visitors, but it recorded more than one million new account registrations. The downside to the tidal wave of traffic is that it crashed the servers, causing the website to go offline briefly as they adjusted to the surge.
Are Kick and Gambling Synonymous?
Even a cursory review of the news feeds covering the xQc signing will show a massive focus on online gambling. This is because a significant investor in Kick.com is the crypto casino Stake.com co-founder Ed Craven.
The company frontman is also a well-known gambling streamer Tyler “Trainwreck” Niknam. Speaking on his reasons for joining and promoting the platform, he said:
I choose to work with Kick because their investors are willing to listen to creator input to make their platform better. Kick understands that a successful platform starts with a successful streamer.
However, this close connection to online gambling has more established streamers wondering if the site will become more than a casino marketing exercise. The company is addressing this by onboarding more prominent non-gambling content creators like Amouranth, the popular hot tub streamer, who signed a $30 million contract days after finalising the xQc deal.
Always Follow The Money
While the streaming service works to expand its repertoire, there is no doubt that streaming online slots and other games of chance are a massive part of its initial business plan.
One of the most common questions when it comes to gambling streamers is where the money comes from that they play with. Since its inception, the funding of casino content creators has evolved:
Playing with Free Credits
Early attempts at attracting players to watch casino streams saw creators using free credits and demo games. This failed to hold players' attention as there was no real sense of risk, which lessened the impact of big wins.
Hourly Gambling Rates
Back in 2021, avid gambler and popular streamer and YouTuber Matthew Rinaudo, known online as Mizkif, revealed that he was offered $35,000 per hour to play slots on-air by an unnamed gambling website. He also said he was offered additional incentives for mentioning the sponsor on social media, naming it during his live streams, and giving away bonuses to prospective players. What is incredible about this offer is that it was made when Mizkif only had 20,000 viewers per stream – he has since hit six-figure viewership numbers.
Massive Upfront Payments
As a high roller, Trainwreck has never been shy to speak about the money side of his streams and has openly spoken about receiving a monthly flat fee of $1 million for streaming his slots gameplay. He added that there have even been times when the casino has stepped in to fully cover his losses which have been known to be as much as $2.8 million. He has also been known to win tens of millions which are his to keep as part of his contract with Stake.
Viewer Funded Bankroll
There are startups aimed at allowing viewers to fund a streamer's bankroll as part of their live casino experience. These funds are added to the player account and played live on stream. Depending on the platform, the viewers stand to share in the streamer's profits during any gaming session they helped fund.
As a natural part of the live-streaming ecosystem, content creators will make additional revenue from subscriptions, gifted subs, and various platform-specific tipping options. Proactive streamers even go so far as to sell branded merchandise.
Focus on Creators as Entertainers
While we support the expansion of the industry and seeing it run with the hottest new technologies, it is essential to emphasise that one should never look to these betting habits and gameplay of streamers as an example to follow.
We recommend watching your favourite casino streamer for entertainment, learning how the latest games work, and determining how various bet settings work. The fact that they are paid to play allows them to wager at levels that should not be emulated, especially when gambling with Bitcoin at crypto casinos like 22 Bet, Wild Tornado and 1xBit.
For the safest online gambling experience, set your budget, adjust your settings accordingly, and have fun.