What Happened to Brian Christopher and His Slots YouTube Channel?
Published on July 30, 2018
Brian Christopher has been building his slots YouTube channel for over two years. The “Brian Gambles” channel has attracted over 84,000 subscribers during this time and put out more than 1,100 videos.
But Christopher awoke to a shocking email from YouTube on June 3, 2018.
The video-sharing site warned him that “Smokin’ Hot Gems, BIG WIN, Mammoth Power Slot Machine Pokies w Brian Christopher鈥?violated the site’s restrictions on “violent or dangerous acts” that can cause “serious harm or physical death.”
Thus began the downward spiral of one of the most popular gambling YouTube channels. Christopher is now struggling in an attempt to restore his channel to its former glory.
I’m going to cover how Brian built his famed slots YouTube portal, along with how it all came crashing down through mysterious circumstances.
Slot machines are sometimes depicted as only being played by retirees. The prevailing wisdom is that younger generations simply aren’t interested in spinning reels over and over.
But slots makers have worked hard to dispel this image by creating entertaining games filled with bonus rounds and special features. These aspects have helped keep slots relevant at a time when gaming technology is better than ever.
Christopher is the poster child for younger gamblers who still enjoy slot machines. The 30-something travels to land-based casinos around the US and chronicles his slots adventures.
In one video entitled “High limit slots, Up to $88/Spin, Slot Machine Fun,” he visits California’s San Manuel Casino to try Fu-Dao-Le slots.
He discusses how he’s been playing the Asian-themed game for a while and betting $8 per spin. But he’s failed to win the Major Jackpot, which is worth $19,452 at the time of the video.
Brian increases his bet to $88 and takes a major chance with only $200 in credits. His bankroll quickly vanishes after a few small wins, but it still makes for an entertaining experience.
Of course, anybody can grab a smartphone and record themselves playing high-limit slot machines. What makes Christopher’s presentation interesting, though, is how long and in-depth his videos are.
Christopher and other YouTubers like “The Big Jackpot” channel have tapped into an interesting segment of gamblers who want to see these real-life slots adventures. Only in the past couple of years have we seen YouTubers make such a serious effort to vlog their gambling highs and lows.
These channels also give viewers a chance to make live comments. Christopher answers relevant questions as they come up during his videos.
This creates an interactive experience that few could鈥檝e imagined with slot machines just a few years ago. And Brian was one of the YouTubers at the forefront of this movement鈥t least until his channel was abruptly taken down.
Earlier, I described how Christopher received a strange warning from YouTube that one of his slots video involved violent or dangerous acts.
After spending time watching videos on Christopher’s site, I failed to see anything that would remotely inspire violence or lead to physical harm. The most dangerous thing that could happen is Brian slipping on a wet casino floor during filming.
Shortly after Christopher received the first email, he was sent another message explaining that his account was suspended over “repeated or severe violations” of YouTube’s community guidelines.
This was a shock to a guy who’d spent 8-12 hours per day for the past two years creating his channel. Furthermore, he was suddenly missing hundreds of videos that he’d produced over this span.
Christopher isn’t just some two-bit operation that got lucky with a few viral videos. Instead, he employs three people and treats YouTubing as a full-time job.
Brian isn’t the only one who’s felt the sting of the world’s largest video-sharing hub. The Big Jackpot, which has tallied over 115,000 subscribers, received the same warnings before their site was taken down.
This channel has proven even more popular than Christopher’s, receiving over 2 million unique views every month. But The Big Jackpot wasn’t treated any differently when YouTube dished out its mysterious punishment.
For Brian, YouTubing isn’t just a fun side job 鈥?it’s become his livelihood. His channel earns up to $20,000 in ad revenue per month, and he makes additional income through merchandise like shot glasses and coffee cups.
He initially started Brian Gambles as a hobby. Now it’s evolved into a bigger deal that takes him around the country.
Christopher was recently preparing for an east coast trip that would see him hit casinos in multiple states. Instead, he’s now trying to piece his channel back together.
Brian Gambles features original content that produces views. These are the characteristics that YouTube looks for in partners.
Nevertheless, they still shut down his channel with little explanation. The explanation that they did offer made no sense when considering Brian’s content.
Anybody who hears Brian鈥檚 story may wonder if his channel was suspended due to gambling.
Casino gambling has come a long way over the past few decades due to the spread of gaming venues. Many people now accept the activity, rather than demonize it.
Nevertheless, gambling can still be a sensitive subject on certain platforms. But this doesn鈥檛 appear to be the case in Christopher鈥檚 situation.
YouTube鈥檚 community guidelines offer warnings on nudity, hateful content, violence, graphic content, harassment, cyberbullying, spam, threats, copyright, child endangerment, and harmful or dangerous content.
The latter is allegedly where Brian Gambles went wrong. Here鈥檚 the main excerpt from the harmful or dangerous content section.
Nothing in this passage indicates that gambling and slot machines fall under the dangerous/harmful umbrella.
YouTube doesn鈥檛 have a dedicated section to gambling. Perhaps this is why they grasped at a non-related policy to shut down slot machine channels.
Christopher filed an appeal to get his YouTube channel back immediately after it was suspended. The appeal explained how he hadn’t violated any of the site’s policies.
He was denied, though, without an explanation. Things looked dark for Christopher at this point, but YouTube suddenly chose to reinstate his channel afterward.
The site emailed Brian and explained that, upon further review, he actually didn’t violate any rules. They did the same for similar channels such as The Big Jackpot.
Does YouTube have something against gambling channels, no matter how clean?
Was it something revolving around the site’s algorithm? Namely, did YouTube AI find that over 1,100 videos is too much for this particular channel?
AI isn’t always perfect when determining who’s in violation of guidelines. It doesn鈥檛 use the same commonsense approach as human monitors and is subject to strange mistakes.
YouTube suddenly flagged multiple channels dealing with slot machines and gambling. This action means that their algorithm may have been adjusted, then fine-tuned after making some mistakes.
YouTube does use thousands of human employees to monitor sites. But the company flags 3 million videos each month, which would be over 1,000 videos per day for an employee.
Obviously, the AI is doing some heavy lifting when watching for inappropriate content. And it appears that the computers might have messed up in this case.
The good news for Christopher is that his channel is back with all of the videos restored. He avoided losing 300 hours’ worth of content that previously disappeared.
But the problem is that his videos haven’t been generating money since returning online. Brian was told that the videos would be making money again in 24-48 hours, yet this hasn’t happened at the time of this writing.
Again, his channel makes up to $20,000 per month. Losing revenue for an entire week (or longer) means missing out on around $5,000.
Another downside is that Christopher’s confidence in the site is shaken. He’s worried about YouTube being able to do the same thing at any other point.
This fear hasn’t stopped Brian from resuming production on his YouTube content. But it also leaves him with second thoughts on how much time to pour into the video platform.
Christopher is right to be worried about YouTube shutting him down at any point. Despite the fact that his channel generates money for both him and YouTube, Brian isn’t an official employee.
YouTube recently changed qualifications for channels that can generate money. Numerous smaller channels lost their revenue streams with no recourse.
Those who have an issue with YouTube’s policies are usually met with automated emails. Video producers are encouraged to use the site’s Twitter, which also offers little interaction with the average user.
The fact is that YouTube could be more transparent about how they deal with channels. One can have their channel suspended and still not find a valid reason after combing through the site’s policies.
This lack of transparency put Christopher in a tough position with the east coast casinos he planned to visit. Following the suspension, he spent the next few days speaking with the casinos about still wanting to film videos on their properties.
Christopher has done an excellent job of creating slots videos that people like. You can watch the number of live video comments or his subscribers for evidence of this fact.
Unfortunately, Brian had the rug ripped out from under him. The likely reason why is due to bad judgment by YouTube’s AI.
His channel has since had all the videos restored. But he鈥檚 currently having trouble getting the videos remonetized.
It鈥檒l be interesting to see how hard Brian attacks his YouTube channel after suffering a big setback. He should be fine moving forward in theory.
But Christopher must be on guard that his main source of revenue could be taken at any point. Furthermore, the subscribers who love his slots content also need to worry about missing out.
Hopefully, though, YouTube leaves these channels alone so that they can continue delivering interesting content to gambling fans.