YouTube Clamps Down on Videos Including Online-Poker Site Promotions

A weekend-long clampdown by YouTube targeting online-poker videos that include promotional elements supporting online sites has left numerous streamers with dozens of videos now deleted from the site. Prominent poker streamers including Jason Staples, Evan Jarvis, and Spanish-language streamer ‘ZerosPoker’ reported large numbers of videos having been deleted, with over a hundred each created by Staples and Jarvis (a member of Team Gripsed training site), now gone from YouTube.

According to a Tweet by Staples, many other video-content producers have had videos deleted as well, including some created by Andre Neeme, Parker Talbot, Alec Torelli, Derek Gomez and others. The crux of the problem, as currently adjudged by YouTube, are videos that include active promotions of online-poker sites. That appears to apply whether the promotional offerings are link-based or graphic/banner-style within the videos themselves.

Staples also asserted in one of several comments about the YouTube ban being applied against videos such as those promoting PokerStars’ late-2018 “Vlogger in Paradise” effort. Whether such videos have been deleted from YouTube remains unclear; PokerStars’ YouTube channel remains fully active (though no direct promotion-boosting videos are visible), and Staples himself recently moved from PokerStars to rival partypoker.

While the ban appears to be scattershot and ongoing, the direct linking to and promoting of online sites has long been part of the site’s Terms of Service. The applicable language is found under a support page regarding the “Sale of Illegal or Regulated Goods“. That page includes the following (emphasis ours):

Sale of Illegal or Regulated Goods
Content intended to sell certain regulated goods and services is not allowed on YouTube.

If you see content that violates this policy, please report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you have found multiple videos, comments, or a user’s entire channel that you wish to report, please visit our reporting tool, where you will be able to submit a more detailed complaint.

What this means for you
If you’re posting content
Don’t post content on YouTube if it aims to sell directly any of the items listed below or links to sites that sell these items.

Bank account passwords, stolen credit cards, or other financial information
Counterfeit documents or currency
Endangered species
Firearms and certain firearms accessories
Nicotine products
Online gambling casinos
Pharmaceuticals without a prescription
Sex or escort services
Unlicensed medical services
Human smuggling
This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. Please note this is not a complete list.

Here are some examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube.

Linking to an online gambling casino in the video description or comments.
Selling counterfeit passports or providing instructions on creating forged official documents.
Advertising escort, prostitution, or erotic massage services.
Content instructing how to purchase drugs on the dark web.
A video of a user making a purchase with software that generates fake credit card numbers.
Including a link to an online pharmacy that does not require prescriptions.
Please remember these are just some examples, and don’t post content if you think it might violate this policy.

Gambling writer Rob King, in a comment on a poker forum, also noted that the ban appears to be mostly targeted at US and Canadian online-poker content producers. YouTube was formed as an offshoot of PayPal last decade and like PayPal, is today owned by Google and is based in San Bruno, California. Most Google-related sites have had long-standing bans on online-gambling business, and as a “dot-com” offering, all of YouTube also falls under the auspices of US law, despite the site being globally available.

The banhammer wave will likely cause some online poker sites to rethink their online marketing strategies in rapid order. PokerStars, for example, has shifted away from sponsoring high-profile tournament pros in recent years in favor of supporting many online streamers, who Stars can sign for much, much lower fees. A prime example of this occurred just a couple of weeks ago, when Stars and famed pro Daniel Negreanu parted ways after a 12-year run.

Jarvis, whose Team Gripsed videos often promoted PokerStars heavily, was among those who received YouTube “strikes” that at least temporarily removed his ability to upload new content. He offered this on Twitter to his followers:

Feeling pretty lost and scared right now about my @Youtube Channel

After 10 years of hard work and no violations, overnight Ive received 2 strikes and am at threat of getting 2 more overnight and losing my entire channel?

Please advise @YTCreators This is my livelihood here 🙁


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