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Ludwig Just Got Honest About His Addiction

Seemingly out of nowhere, Ludwig really blew up in 2021, amassing millions of followers in a lengthy sub-a-thon where he attempted to break Ninja's all-time record for subscribers. Now, he's one of the most-watched streamers working today. Fans love him for his humorous reaction videos, but also for his honest opinions on the world of content creation and marketing. As a streamer with an interest in the landscape of Twitch, Ludwig has talked about streaming metas before, including gambling. Although Ludwig has shared his surprising feelings about gambling, saying that he's tired of the meta and doesn't get any joy from it, the streamer continues to dabble in gambling streams. He even hosted a high-stakes poker game for famous friends like MrBeast and xQc. And now, Ludwig has come forward with a startling confession.

Ludwig shared in a candid YouTube video that he's addicted to gambling, and has been for a while. "Five years ago, it got so bad I had $100 left in my bank account, and you know what I did with that 100? I gambled it," Ludwig began. He told his best friend, Slime, that he was struggling with gambling, and that he'd spent his last bit of money on a "Mario Party" bet. Ludwig quickly pivoted to discuss other streamers and their associations with gambling, beginning by talking about xQc's return to gambling streams, then moving on to discuss how Twitch could stop this trend in its tracks.

The platform should step in, Ludwig said

Even though Twitch has tried to make a move against the gambling meta in the past, efforts haven't been successful. Ludwig explained that the issue is bigger than Twitch, and viewers can't rely on Twitch to maneuver around gambling companies. According to Ludwig, gambling companies like Stake pay streamers millions of dollars to use their product on stream, meaning that even when streamers lose massive amounts of money, they still stand to gain millions.

Ludwig didn't use the opportunity to say he was more righteous than other streamers who have taken gambling deals, though. The streamer said that he didn't want to take gambling deals because he loves his audience and doesn't want to disappoint anyone, not because he thinks he's morally superior to those who have had sponsored streams. Even though Ludwig said that it's not streamers' fault if viewers choose to gamble, he did have a solution to the issue.

"It should be the platform. The platform is the one that should dictate what is okay and not okay," Ludwig said. Currently, Twitch doesn't allow streamers to share links to gambling sites, but it does allow streamers to host sponsored streams. Ludwig explained that messages in gambling streams — like Trainwrecks' famous anti-gambling speech that plays frequently on his channel — are a good step that could prevent others from picking up the habit, but it doesn't do enough to actually deter people. This is a fact Ludwig found out the hard way.

Ludwig discovered that leads to more gambling

Ludwig explained that when he was participating in gambling streams, he found it hard to stop gambling once he logged offline. When he was still participating in sponsored gambling streams, Ludwig said he decided to take some of his online winnings offline to play blackjack and make even more cash. At first, things went great, and he ended up turning a small amount of money into $10,000. Ludwig told his best friend Slime about his luck, but urged him not to gamble and trigger his own struggles with addiction. Luckily, Slime didn't make a move, but that didn't stop Ludwig from continuing his winning streak until he lost it all. Later that night, Slime also gambled, even after seeing his friend lose thousands of dollars. Gambling addictions, like all addictions, can spiral out of control and land people in serious financial trouble. 

One of the issues with gambling on Twitch, Ludwig said, was that streamers use "fake money" to gamble. In other words, the sites that sponsor them give them a certain amount of money to use on the site, meaning that all of the cash they lose before hitting the jackpot really wasn't theirs to begin with. Ludwig showed a clip from streamer SteveWillDoIt, who had a revelation live on air that gambling with one's own money could be stressful. Steve considered that if he played with his own money, it might be dangerous, and that he shouldn't put himself through the stress. It's unclear if Twitch plans to crack down on sponsored gambling streams in the future.