Kick Banned in Greece: Why the Streaming Platform Got Blocked
The casino streaming service Kick.com has been banned in Greece. But even with the nation-wide ISP block in Greece, the gambling site continues to sign competitors Twitch’s talent, and isn’t slowing down. What does the ban mean for the industry and which countries might be next to block the disputed streaming platform?
Earlier this year in January, Greece introduced new technical regulations for its permanent online gambling licenses, which include limits on stakes and jackpots.
Under these regulations, online casino stake limits will be set at €2, and the maximum online jackpot per spin will be capped at €5,000. These restrictions come at a time when the industry is grappling with similar limitations in other parts of Europe.
But in a recent turn of events, Kick.com, a streaming platform popular among pro-gambling advocates, has been blocked in Greece. This platform with its liberal approach to gambling content, was founded by the creators of Stake.com.
Its goal is to provide users with a “censorship-free environment”, where they can freely express themselves and produce content. This lax attitude has ultimately led to streams with nudity, firearms, and gambling on their platform.
Has Kick.com Really Been Blocked in Greece?
The ban in Greece follows changes made to the gambling content policies of Twitch, an Amazon-owned streaming service. Notable gambling streamers like Trainwreckstv and Roshtein have migrated to Kick.com, supporting its mission to rival Twitch. Trainwreckstv, previously one of Twitch’s top Slots streamers, openly criticized the platform’s new policies.
In a recent turn of events, a spokesperson for Kick’s stated that they are experiencing a temporary problem with access to the platform in Greece, working closely with Greek ISPs to resolve the issue. The platform’s domain has mistakenly been blocked due to a specific ISP blocking an individual channel.
Despite being owned by Stake, a gambling site, Kick is not primarily a gambling website and does not directly offer gambling services. Nonetheless, the Hellenic Gaming Commission has added Kick.com to its blacklist of unauthorized gambling sites.
What is the Hellenic Gaming Commission?
The Hellenic Gaming Commission is the regulatory authority in Greece responsible for overseeing and enforcing gambling laws. It licenses and supervises gambling activities, promotes fair play and consumer protection, and sets technical standards.
The commission maintains a blacklist of unauthorized gambling sites and takes measures to block access within Greece. Its role ensures transparency, fairness, and responsible gambling practices in the industry.
Furthermore, the commission monitors and investigates any potential violations of gambling laws, including issues related to fraud, money laundering, and underage gambling. It has the power to impose fines, revoke licenses, and take legal action against operators who fail to comply with the established regulations.
Kick Appears on the Greek Gambling Blacklist
Video evidence and reports from users confirm the ban, with Greek users being redirected to the Hellenic Gaming Commission’s website upon attempting to access Kick.com. Access to the platform can currently be achieved through a VPN.
The recently updated blacklist of the Hellenic Gaming Commission explicitly lists Kick.com, including its now-removed “slots gang” section.
However, after doing some research, it appears that the ban is imposed by Greek ISPs, specifically restricting access in accordance with the blacklist, rather than through a regional IP ban.
Stake, the parent company of Kick, is also included in the blacklist, with its domain, stake.games, blocked in Greece at present.
Greece and the EU maintain stringent restrictions on online gambling, permitting only a select few sites and compliant countries to operate legally within the EU.
Reasons for the Kick Ban
Kick.com gained popularity for its lenient policies and attractive compensation. However, it is precisely these policies that led to the ban in Greece. Greek users recently discovered their inability to access Kick.com, and upon checking the gaming blacklist of the Hellenic Gaming Commission, it became evident that the streaming site had been blacklisted. The Slots Gang section was cited as the reason for the block.
It remains to be seen how other countries will respond to Kick’s policies, as Greece is not the only jurisdiction with strict regulations on gambling content. Nevertheless, Kick.com remains steadfast in its determination to surpass Twitch. The platform’s founders have spared no expense in attracting top gaming celebrities, challenging the dominance of its competitors.
Recently, Kick.com secured Félix “xQc” Lengyel with a staggering $100 million contract, followed by Amouranth, who announced her partnership with the platform. Although specific financial details were not disclosed, it’s rumored her deal is worth upwards of $30 million. With these developments showcase Kick.com’s ambitions and Amazon’s need to pay attention to this emerging rival.
Who’s Going to Ban Kick (and Stake) Next?
Twitch currently faces competition from platforms like Kick.com and YouTube Gaming, which are actively seeking to gain a larger share of the streaming market. While Twitch still maintains its dominant position, its competitors like Kick are steadily growing stronger, signing even more talent, posing a significant threat to the Amazon-owned platform’s grip on the streaming market.
Kick.com joins the ranks of platforms challenging Twitch’s authority like YouTube, and Facebook. Whether its lenient policies will prove advantageous or detrimental remains to be seen.
With a quick search on Stakes website, you can see a multitude of countries that have “absolutely restricted”, or “blacklisted” the company as of right now.
With Greece recently joining the list, it’s impossible to say what country will ban the platform next. Our guess? Europe. With some of the strongest gambling laws on the planet, it’s safe to assume a European country will be the next to ban Kick or Stake.