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Kick unbanned, Twitch banned for gambling streams in Turkey

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Kick, the controversial competitor to Twitch, has been unbanned from Turkey while Twitch has surprisingly taken its place on the country’s ban list.

If there’s one thing Kick can compete with Twitch on, it’s controversy. Despite its relative youth as a company, Kick attracted much notoriety in its first year of existence for its pricy contracts with some of the biggest streamers in the world. Partnerships with streamers like Adin Ross and Félix “xQc” Lengyel ensured that Kick would be a place for drama hounds to follow.

Despite having those big names, much of the discussion surrounding Kick has been its aggressive emphasis on gambling. The owners of Kick, Edward Craven, and Bijan Tehrani, made their wealth through online gambling sites and digital casinos. Streamers both on and off the site have discussed on-air gambling being a prerequisite for partnership. This landed the company in hot water and got Kick banned in Turkey. But in a strange twist, the site has been unbanned and Twitch is now banned in Turkey.

Why did Turkey lift the ban on Kick?

Turkey seemingly lifted the ban on Kick under the condition that all gambling streams remain blocked in the country.

The official Turkish Kick account on Twitter didn’t post any details, but users can see the condition for themselves. Turkey allows access for Kick once again, but if Turkish users try to watch gambling streams, the site redirects them to a 404 page. It will likely hold a warning message later, like it did with its initial ban.   

The relative swiftness of the unbanning shows just how much reach Kick has. Although gambling is undeniably a massive part of the platform, this move enables streamers who don’t even include gambling in their content to continue unimpeded in Turkey. Interestingly, Turkey’s ban on Twitch continues. 

Why is Twitch banned in Turkey?

Turkey reportedly blocked access to Twitch due to gambling streams.

Despite Twitch’s attempts to control gambling on its site, plenty of streamers still openly bet ludicrous amounts of money for people’s entertainment. Unlike Kick, Twitch has no representatives in Turkey, which Turkish streamers have voiced frustration over

On top of Twitch raising its subscription prices in the country due to the fluctuating value of its currency, streamers with a significant Turkish audience may start being Kick-exclusive. Twitch already has its hands full at the beginning of 2024, with the loss of over 500 employees and streamers including Imane “Pokimane” Anys no longer being partnered. Kick’s goal of supplanting Twitch as the place to be might not be so far-fetched if Twitch continues its losing streak. 

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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