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Are slot streamers playing with fake money?

Posted by THEPOGG on Aug 30, 2019

The owner of the website “Legend of Gambling” announced two days ago that he would be shutting it down. The site will cease publication as of the 6th of September, with nothing more than a statement on the homepage now available for anyone to read:

“Due to multiple personal threats including personal harm against me and my family, I’ve decided to shut down my website.

I guess this is how millionaires do things and its not that big of a loss as this website has made 0 revenue.

If you enjoyed my content and want to throw a little dono, its appreciated.

Regardless to everyone have a great day.”

Just 5 days prior to the announcement, Legend of Gambling made claims about live streamer and N1 Casino affiliate Roshtein that questioned the streamer’s honesty.

The alleged offence arose during one of Roshtein’s live streams on the Twitch platform. Roshtein was asked to during the stream to prove that he was not playing in demo mode. Roshtein obliged by exiting the slot he was playing (“Gonzo’s Quest”) before opening up another in demo mode in order to highlight the difference between the two.

This topic was discussed at great length on the Casinomeister Forums and covered at Casino Gazette.

Below you can see a screenshot that highlights how much money was in Roshtein’s account during his real money play on “Gonzo’s Quest”.

Then Roshtein chose to open Play ‘n Go’s “Rise of Merlin” but only did so for a matter of seconds. This is where the controversy arose. The balance that Roshtein had on display during “Gonzo’s Quest” was, as you can see, sitting at 22,113.10 Euros and when he opened up “Rise of Merlin” in demo mode the balance, as you can see below, was exactly the same.

What makes this confusing is that a real money balance should not have transferred over into the demo game. I would go as far as to say that I have never heard of this happening to anyone before. All demo games give the player a large amount of imaginary cash to play around with, but the number is normally a very round one, like 25,000 Euros, not an amount as specific as 22,113.10 Euros.

The publication of the story sparked massive interest on the Casinomesiter forums, with some of the more vocal participants calling out N1 Casino and Roshtein himself, asking for an explanation.

A response from N1 Casino was forthcoming with an apparent representative for the casino, stating that:

“…roshtein playing with real money at N1 casino. And from what I know – it’s impossible to somehow show play money and real money. At least at N1.”

When pressed further they went on to say in relation to the accusation:

“I do not know and to be honest not really interested to spend my time investigating it. I know that there is no fake money with Roshtein, and I can prove it to any regulator / judge if needed. It’s simple fact.

As for the thread – I think even such amount of posts shows how Roshtein is popular and even bad PR is still PR. Or not, I do not know, and honestly I think I can leave it to him personally.

What I should care about – N1 casino. And as a representative of this brand here – I confirm that all his transactions is real.”

Despite the assertions made by the N1 rep there were still those on the forum calling out for more than just confidence in the legitimacy of Roshtein’s play, with calls for real evidence being asked for on more than one occasion.

Before continuing I want to be clear that no one at the ThePogg is passing direct comment on the Roshtein and Legends of Gambling story specifically. However, when we consider the “slots streaming” community more generally some basic maths should have us all questioning whether these individuals are genuinely risking the funds their videos would have you believe they risk.

The first issue to note has to be the size of the bet that many of these streamers play with. 10, 20, even 50 Euros or Pounds a spin will, when they trigger a win, generate hugely impressive numbers. But they can also quickly result in losses of tens if not hundreds of thousands. The short term variance at these stakes can be huge. By selectively highlighting the sections of the streamer’s play where large wins occur on the videos posted to sites like YouTube, viewers can quickly end up with a significantly skewed perspective of the likelihood of winning.

But this leads to the next question – if streamers like Roshtein are playing with real funds, how much are they actually losing to generate these wins that they showcase?

While we cannot comment on any individual’s specific experience the RTP figures that are provided by most software providers today provides and effective yardstick to draw some conclusions about expected loss rates. The longer someone plays – and these streamers are effectively professional players – the more likely it is the player’s results will gravitate towards the mathematically expected return rates. Whether the bets you make are big or small the house will always have the edge and as such if you lay bets as weighty as the ones that certain streamers highlight then it’s very likely you are going to lose a lot of money and quite probable that you are going to do so very quickly.

Roshtein in Numbers

Using the Roshtein example, I popped onto his streaming thread while preparing this article and made a 1min video of his play which you can see below:

During that video I count 25 spins at a value of 16EUR. So that’s 25×60 = 1500 spins/hour and a total wager of 1500×16 = 24000EUR wagered. The game played was NetEnt’s Vikings. This game has a House Advantage of 3.37%. So the average expected loss per hour playing at this rate is 24000×0.0337 = 808.80EUR!

A quick Google search for how much streaming time Roshtein engages over the course of a week give us the following answer:

So if we say he plays 12 hours a day 4 days a week that’s 12x4x4 = 192 hours/month and an average loss of 192×808.80 = 155289.60EUR per month.

It could be argued that streamer’s do not always play at this speed, so maybe the figure’s lower than this. Perhaps, but given that the top 10 videos that came up when we searched ‘Roshtein’ in YouTube 6 out of 10 featured him wagering at 50EUR/spin and another showed 40EUR/spin (only one showed a bet lower than then one we saw at 10EUR/spin), it seems more than reasonable to conclude that our above estimate of expected losses could well be on the conservative side. We’ve also been conservative by going with only 4 days per week of play and counting exactly 28 days in the month. So we’ve built in a lot of tolerance to our figure in an effort to account for variation in play levels.

Slots streamers are affiliates – they make their money by referring depositing players to casino operators. We’ve been in the business a long time and for any affiliate of a decent size you can quickly figure out the average value you are seeing returned for each player. Even if we gave a fairly optimistic estimate of a value of 100EUR/player, that still leaves Roshtein having to refer 1552 player/month just to break even. We don’t know many affiliates that could sustain this type of overhead and remain profitable. ThePOGG would be short of achieving a break even point by a VERY long way if we needed 1.5k player registrations per month.

So what are the possible explanations for streamers who play at this level? As far as we can see there are 3.

i) The streamers are independently wealthy and simply using the affiliate referrals to offset their losses somewhat. I would question the likelihood of this. It seems unlikely that someone with a large bank balance is going to want to spend time filming themselves playing video slots for such extended periods of time.

ii) These streamer are quickly going to bankrupt their businesses as it seems almost certain they will be losing large amounts of money playing this way.

iii) Losses are being offset for streamers significantly by the casino operators.

For our money i) and ii) simply don’t seem likely. That leaves iii). Operators could be offsetting these specific streamer’s losses in a variety of ways. The funds in their accounts could simply be ‘dead money’ – a balance that is put in an account that the streamer knows can never be withdrawn. Perhaps they receive a lot of bonus funds to top-up the balances they receive. Or maybe they have massive cashback on losses agreements with the operators they are playing with. Regardless of how this is happening, the result is the same – the streamer is effectively not really playing at the stake that the game shows as their downside risk is being significantly offset.

If this is the case then it sets a false precedent, one that many would deem to be immoral, especially at a time when gambling addiction has risen to such prominence within the public consciousness. The illusion that this could create being that anyone can make lots of money playing slots as long as they are willing to bet big. Disclaimers at the end of the videos do not seem to us to remedy the illusion being created by selectively cutting presenting big winning sessions and playing at unrealistic stakes.

The purpose of this article is not to directly accuse any individual of any nefarious actions – perhaps these streamers really are pulling in the player volumes that would account for these losses, or maybe there is some other explanation that we haven’t considered. What we are looking to do is encourage readers to apply some reasoning to how much of what they see on these streams they believe. Foster a healthy sense of scepticism about the wins they see. Maybe it is all entirely upfront and real, but no-one’s a loser if you take what you see with an extra large scoop of salt.

4 Responses

yolittner
Sep 05, 2019

germans know that roshtein is a fraud. as everybody knows affiliates have to attend to affiliate meeting in their region. so did we in germany and alot of affiliate streamer showed up for example roshtein, casinotest24 etc. pp. since affiliates HAVE to use multiple casino to generate money some people asked him how it is even possible to play highstakes with only multilotto as affiliate. the answer was obvious. he ADMITTED that he is using multilottos creditcard for deposits and cashouts. even casinotest24 talked about that on one of his streams in 2017. since jarttu did basically the same playing only on multilotto highstakes i assume hes the same fraud. we all know people have the same luck everywhere. doesnt matter if u play poker or casinoslots. u basically luck the same way. jarttu is down 150k on pokerstars but somehow hes a millionaire playing slots. compare him to casinodaddy. people think is fake aswell because he they have so many 1000x wins. but look at their pokergraph. they won the 530 bounty builder a couple times for over 100k. there is no way someone who is lifetime down 150k can win that big in slots.

fredos386
Sep 06, 2019

Hi, i am/was a small streamer on twitch for 2 years and tried or was offered to stream for group of casinos at multiple occasions. I refused any deal with any of them because they all refused to let me stream with real money. I had to play money they woould put on my real balance but that i could not withdraw. I found it immoral limit criminal to do that so i always refused prefering playing micro stakes that are real to big fake bets. I am extremely solid at mathematics and finances and it didn't take me long in that sector to figure out most are playing fake money. Even the "real" ones as the biggest and most succesful are playing real but not that real because the casinos offset their losses through special promotions and cashback so it's not a real picture. I play average 40-50p per spin and i swing thousands sometimes forcing me into break regularly so there is no way in the world anyone could play 5 euro a spin every stream, finance the losses and make a living out of it. Plain impossible in any way so it was easy to "guess" so i always just watched them for the show and never considered their results as anything real. Especially since i know many streamers and they know but won't clearly state it that they are set on "happy rng" accounts that give much better return than normal one as the difference was massive between my stream and any of their stream. Mine would be often straights rip, rarely any real action while the others hit left and right and when they get a little losing streak they would always come up ahead by a "miracle" huge bet yolo. How many of them i won,t name would show losses of 1-2-3k and then tell viewers "we going to do 20e spins raw on x slot" and would always hit huge instantly covering all losses and giving massive profits showing a false picture of slots to entice viewers into thinking mega big bets raw are magical. The real world is if i go 20$ bet for 20 spins on any game i will always have 20 dead spins or tiny win resulting in a huge loss adding it on top of the other losses.

These streamers are manipulating viewers showing them that these bets are "normal" while they are not. That kind of bets is for very wealthy people if not millionaires. They do that so that their sign ups go play bigger stakes, lose more, making bigger income for the streamer. Showing the viewers going yolo huge bets after big losses is the cherry on top to make sure their viewers go straight to bankruptcy. I could never do what they do, i could not live with myself knowing im enticing people into ruining their lives for a % of their losses. Sometimes it's limit criminal.

Acoxxx
Oct 04, 2019

So just to make something clear, on this same site N1 gets the almost perfect review but at the same time it's mentioned in a very bad context here. So either they are both cheaters/scammers or they are not. There is no other way around.

If they are helping Roshtein in any way to scam his viewers they are as guilty as he is.

Just saying that you can't have it both ways.

Best,
Alex

ThePOGG
Oct 16, 2019

Hi Acoxxx,

To answer your comment:

i) as is made clear in the article, we're not accusing anyone of anything. We don't have the evidence to make irrefutable claims.

ii) N1 are positively listed specifically because we function in a legal capacity to review and manage complaints that are submitted against them. The fact that we can as their ADR give legally binding rulings on complaints against their properties provides a degree of security that no other affiliate site can offer.

iii) If we were to accept that no streamers are playing genuinely, this is not a practice that's been prohibited by relevant regulatory authorities at the present time. Until such time they take a position neither the affiliates engaging with this practice nor the operators are actually doing anything that contravenes any law or license.

Presuming that our conclusions are accurate, we don't like this particular practice and won't support it. But suggesting that we're 'having it both ways' is inaccurate when we don't participate in this practice, users of our site are not exposed to this practice and the legal contacts we have in place ensure that we can intervene on behalf of players where issues do arise.

TP

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