I Stumbled Upon The Strange World Of TikTok Slot Gambling.

Lisa Martens
3 min readDec 12, 2022
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

When I was in Atlantic City, I started to see some gambling TikTok Lives. I won’t post the usernames because I don’t want to get them in trouble, but if you look for “slots” you’ll find a few.

These Lives show people playing at slot machines. I thought that was it: Just watching someone gamble for entertainment.

That was fine to me: I liked watching people play — it’s like I’m getting of the entertainment of the machine without having to actually lose money.

But I soon realized there’s more than meets the eye:

  1. According to these slot machine players, TikTok doesn’t allow them to ask for money or say which casino they’re in. I’m not sure how true it is, but these TikTokers are careful to say things like “I’m in Vegas” instead of a specific casino. They will also never ask for money, and say instead, “people can donate.”
  2. Here’s how it works, apparently: You can “donate” money to the people gambling, and there’s usually a minimum of at least $100, and you’ll be on a queue. After a certain number of people “donate”, then the line is full and the person doing the live will no longer accept “donations.”
  3. The streamer will play the money you sent. You can pick which machine, how much you wanna bet, if you want them to quick stop or let the machine go, and if there’s anything to choose, the person streaming lets you choose. Other people watching the Live may give their opinion or ask questions about the game. There are moderators who remove people saying things like “Jesus doesn’t want you to gamble.”
  4. If the streamer wins using money you sent, then the streamer gets a cut and donates the winnings back to you. There are usually special rules for larger amounts, since most of the time, a larger amount has taxes deducted at the casino.
  5. It seems like TikTok tries to cut down on this behavior, and not all casinos allow live streaming. Some casinos have certain rules about live streaming, and it seems like you have to apply for some kind of special permission to do so. A lot of the streamers I’ve seen just pretend they’re not doing it when security walks around. Sometimes, they’re forced to turn off the Live, but they come back pretty quickly.

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Lisa Martens

A remote working Latina. Storytelling is a calling. Read, support, and more here: https://linktr.ee/lisathewriter