Turkey Bans Twitch in Anti-Gambling Crusade

a twitch logo with a ban symbol over it and a turkey flag
Mojahid Mottakin/Shutterstock ibrandify gallery/Shutterstock rehab-icons/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

It was only recently that Twitch hiked up subscription prices in Turkey by over 300%. But now, streamers in the country have an even worse deal. Creators across the internet noticed this week that Twitch is no longer accessible in Turkey.

This appears to be because Turkey’s National Lottery Administration has banned the streaming service entirely.

A notice on Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority’s website announced the news. It reads: “twitch.tv has been blocked by the decision dated 22/02/2024 and numbered 2024/7 of Milli Piyango İdaresi Genel Müdürlüğü.” That name roughly translates into English as the “General Directorate of National Lottery Administration.”

So, onlookers speculate this decision to ban the site is because of gambling. Turkey’s laws consider gambling a misdemeanor. The country also considers providing a place to gamble to be a crime.

That being said, Twitch does regulate gambling. Since October 2022, Twitch has prohibited gambling streams that are not licensed in the US or other jurisdictions that provide what the platform considers to be “sufficient consumer protection.”

But clearly, that wasn’t enough for the Turkish authorities. Twitch hasn’t responded publicly yet to the Turkey ban.

Up until yesterday, Twitch’s smaller and less regulated competitor, Kick, was also banned in the country. But, according to Turkish journalist Ibrahim Haskoloğlu, this ban was lifted because Kick promised to completely remove gambling from the site in Turkey.

With no Twitch to compete with, it’ll be interesting to see how much Kick is able to grow in Turkey. Or, whether Twitch will do a similar thing to restore access to the streamer.

For now, the future of Twitch’s Turkish creators is uncertain.

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