Swedish Influencers Under Fire for Illicit Online Casino Advertising on Twitch

It has come to light that a significant number of Swedish influencers on the video platform Twitch have been endorsing unlicensed online casinos, sparking concerns about the promotion of illegal gambling activities.

8 in 10 Swedish Influencers Promote Unlicensed Casinos

Following a thorough investigation conducted by Kulturnyheterna, the investigative arm of Sveriges Television AB (SVT), it was uncovered that eight out of ten prominent Swedish influencers on Twitch have been actively promoting unlicensed casinos to their vast audiences.

Over a period of six weeks, Kulturnyheterna meticulously reviewed the broadcasts of these influencers, revealing how they have been disseminating advertisements for unlicensed online casinos through extended live streams, urging hundreds of thousands of followers to engage in gambling activities.

The investigation further highlighted that these influencers collectively reach an audience of approximately half a million subscribers, predominantly comprising young males born in the 1990s and 2000s.

During their live streams, 60% of these influencers employed direct marketing tactics, including sharing links to unlicensed casinos in their profiles and broadcasts, as well as enticing followers with bonus incentives to create casino accounts.

According to Kulturnyheterna’s report, these influencers were observed actively encouraging their viewers to gamble, participating in gambling activities alongside their audience, and even involving viewers in decisions regarding wagers, thereby intensifying engagement in gambling-related content.

Swedish Gambling Regulator Takes Aim at Twitch

Twitch, owned by Amazon, has faced scrutiny over its role in facilitating these advertising infringements. Despite implementing community guidelines in 2022 to prohibit the promotion of gambling content, Twitch has seemingly struggled to curb such activities effectively.

Kulturnyheterna has submitted its findings on these advertising violations to Spelinspektionen, Sweden’s gambling regulator, emphasizing Twitch’s status as the primary platform for promoting unlicensed casinos.

Spelinspektionen, armed with enhanced enforcement powers granted by amendments to the Gambling Act of 2018, has recently taken decisive action against illegal online gambling operators. Last week, Spelinspektionen announced the prohibition of a network of skin online gambling websites, which were primarily promoted on platforms like Twitch and YouTube.

While Spelinspektionen has yet to comment on Kulturnyheterna’s investigation, it has reiterated that advertising unlicensed gambling is illegal under Swedish law. Violators risk facing severe repercussions, including business bans and potential police intervention.

Similar action was also taken in Norway. Norway’s Gambling Authority declared a zero-tolerance stance towards social media platforms promoting online gambling content, enforcing a blackout on gambling advertising except for state-owned monopolies. The actions by the authority included warnings issued to Schpell.com and other entities.