Gambling, risky pranks and lucrative contracts: Inside the streaming site Kick

This summer, online personality Adin Ross drew thousands of fans to his live streams on the new platform, Kick. While sipping Yerba Mate and listening to Lil Uzi, he promised to live stream Jake Paul’s upcoming boxing match, despite potential copyright issues. Ross also streamed himself engaging in casino gambling and blackjack on the gambling site Stake, and even streamed pornography at one point. He has hosted controversial guests such as white nationalist Nick Fuentes and Andrew Tate, who is known for his misogynistic views and is facing human-trafficking charges.

Kick, which was founded last year and is based in Australia, has gained 21 million accounts, almost twice the number it had just four months ago. The platform has attracted attention due to its Business model, which offers significant earnings for streamers and a smaller cut of their earnings compared to platforms like Twitch. However, Kick has been criticized for its lack of content moderation, allowing controversial and potentially harmful content to thrive.

The platform’s founder, Ed Craven, started Kick as an offshoot of his online casino, Stake, which has gained popularity through partnerships with top Twitch streamers like Félix Lengyel, also known as xQc, and Tyler Niknam, also known as Trainwreck. Kick’s growth has been fueled by the popularity of gambling content, but it is losing money as a separate entity from Stake.

The platform’s content has raised concerns about influencing underage viewers to gamble, and Kick has implemented age verification measures, although some commenters have still expressed criticism. Online gambling is heavily regulated in the US and illegal in many states, but users can potentially evade these restrictions through virtual private networks. Kick’s Business model has come under scrutiny, with questions about whether it is genuinely committed to regulating its content or simply paying lip service in response to criticism.

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