A very worrying month for the industry of poker, as several notable YouTubers have reported poker content being removed from their channels. Jamie Stamples has experienced the brunt of this the most with over 100 videos of his being removed.
Poker has always been a grey area for content platforms like YouTube, and Staples confirmed that his content violated YouTube’s ‘Sale of Regulated Goods Policy’. This states that online gambling products cannot be promoted on YouTube.
For the most part the content that has been removed has been footage of the creators playing at an online poker room, which could be deemed something of an ‘infomercial’ for the site in question.
In the case of Staples, he was an ambassador for a couple of poker sites and to some extent that counted as promoting the site he played on. Sadly, his other videos where he didn’t play poker have also been removed. Neeme had one video removed that was related to Platinum passes a poker platform was offering.
The fact that so many YouTubers have been hit all at once suggests that the policy is now being more strictly enforced. It also means prominent content creators like Staples will move switch their attention to Twitch, where poker has been embraced unambiguously.
While those of us in the industry understand poker as a game of skill as well as chance for a platform like YouTube it clearly makes their job a lot easier by whitewashing any content that can be perceived as promoting gambling.
Much like the video game Red Dead Redemption recently prohibited it’s in-game freeplay poker game to certain jurisdictions even though it’s not possible to wager real money. Removing poker entirely is much easier than exploring the nuance of the game itself and how promotional each individual video is.