Simulating A Gambling Crackdown

by Pixeleen Mistral on 06/04/07 at 12:02 pm

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Thursday Robin Linden stimulated metaverse simulated casino owners to come up with an acceptable euphemism for simulated gambling today with the announcement that the Lab will no longer “accept any classified ads, place listings, or event listings that appear to relate to simulated casino activity”. A few Second Life casino owners noted that the world simulated gives them a great excuse to continue their ads – as long as the gambling in-world is real. With things of value being wagered, that argument may have some merit – but could raise other thorny issues.

Observers expect casino owners to take a page from the metaverse pedo-community – which simply changed their group names from “ageplay” to “roleplay” in response to a similar Linden crackdown – as reported earlier in the Herald.

It was probably pure coincidence that the Lindex L$ to hard currency exchange was seriously broken earlier Thursday – limiting options for those who feel that a simulated crackdown on metaverse casinos might affect the in-world economy. It seems hardly worth comment that the same company that lost a number of resident’s billing information has promised to “implement features that will enable Residents to optionally confirm aspects of each other’s identity, including age and jurisdictions”.

With the Lab’s nearly stellar record of security and reliability, most residents don’t expect any problems with the promised verification/categorization services – which would depend on the Linden Lab being able to retain records consistently. As Herald correspondent Inigo Chamberlin – a victim of the Lindens loss of his billing information this week – said, “my account was disabled, all payment info snuffed… And people told me having money in GINKO was risky? Bah – having money in SECOND LIFE is an unacceptable risk! They just broke the ONE THING that has to work”.

12 Responses to “Simulating A Gambling Crackdown”

  1. Dave Kobolowski

    Apr 6th, 2007

    Does anyone know how much Gambling contributes to the SL economy? It’s never been something that interested me in SL though I have been known to have a little flutter on the Horse in RL from time to time. I probably just don’t like SL Casinos cos they are full of campers!

  2. Carl Metropolitan

    Apr 6th, 2007

    I’m extremely skeptical of LL’s ability to enforce this new policy. How many employees will it take to search the classfieds, places, and events and remove all the gambling-related ads? And is LL willing to keep up the effort over the long haul?

    Historically, whenever LL is confronted with something that’s tricky to manage, their response is find some way of not doing it anymore. I would not be surprised to see LL move quickly to outsourcing Search, Classifieds, and Events.

  3. Onder Skall

    Apr 6th, 2007

    “Does anyone know how much Gambling contributes to the SL economy?”

    Actually, nobody knows anything. The claim is USUALLY that SL’s economy is entirely based upon sex, but that claim is generally made only when sex is in the news. There are no reliable statistics here, and any guesses are easy to pick apart and criticize.

    So for all we know, if the casinos disappeared tomorrow everything would be fine… or explode… either/or.

  4. Artemis Fate

    Apr 6th, 2007

    This is interesting, because Casinos seem to pay a lot to SL. I mean, a lot of the top paying classifieds are from casinos, but then, I don’t know if LL can sell lindens. So maybe the classifieds makes them no money whatsoever.

    Really though, i’d say besides the classifieds potentially giving lots of money to LL, they don’t add much of anything to the economy, rather take money out of the economy by ripping off newbies who might otherwise spend money on stores, and using it for advertising or classified adds or whatever they spend their money on.

    It will be interesting to see how this pans out, I doubt it’ll stop any casino owners from operating, they’ll just have to figure out a way to operate differently to get around it like the ageplayers.

  5. urizenus

    Apr 6th, 2007

    In a little experiment that I conducted, 80% of the money changing hands (“dollars spent” in Linden speak) was gambling related. That means that when LL says 1 million lindens was spent, it 800,000 L of that was money moving back and forth between gamblers and gambling machines. Obviously, a Linden is passed back and forth quite a few times before the house finally gets to keep it.

  6. shockwave yareach

    Apr 6th, 2007

    Just taking the word “casino” off the search engines is a “weasel step”, designed to keep the weasels from blaming LL. If it works, then fine.

    But I begin to suspect we citizens of SL need to build a second, offsite SEARCH for the ‘banned’ stuff.

  7. Big Babu

    Apr 6th, 2007

    On the “officious linden blawg” a lot of the responses seem to think casino owners rake in the big bucks. Some probably do – some probably cheat. But I’ve found that the more popular places have been big loss leaders for the owners, serving as a meeting place to play games with people you enjoy the company of and/or for newbies with no means of earning L$ in-game to make a few for spending. In fact, that’s how I made rent money to rent my first plot of land where I learned to build and script.

    I don’t think that restricting the language of ads will close down the casino culture here – what worries me is the A/S/L “age/identity/jurisdiction” thing. How will this be implemented?

    “Your papers please, sir. Yes, they all *seem* to be in order but we must detain you for improper dress code (lolipop and shorts). Please accompany me to the National Normalization and Reform Building for your rehabilitation. I see by your jurisdiction that you live in Rocinante, TN. A federal agent will visit your residence within 3 days to confirm your illegalities and take any action deemed necessary under US law. In the meantime your AV will be well cared for at the Normalization Reform Building. Have a nice day.”

    (heading over to my account website to fux with it some – why, of course I live in freakin’ Bangla-Desh, my name now Immibi Suliman – me spick no inglich)

  8. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 6th, 2007

    Gambling makes up a big part of the economy. My own estimate is that it has to be at least 25 percent or more. Why? Because in the old days, a year ago, when the Lindens ran a streaming ticker on the front page of “last 10 things bought in world,” a big chunk of them was gambling related. Of course sex-related, too, but that’s just it — most typical SL emporiums combine sex, casinos, dance-pads/camp-chairs, and vending of clothing, so it’s hard to say which thing really makes the most, when they all feed into each other.

    I personally took down most of my casino objects long ago, because I didn’t like two things about them: the frightful way in which newbies would pour huge amounts of money into them, which I felt bad to be contributing to — the old “Lost Wages” problem of “Los Vegas” — and the fact that a few people figured out how to game them or exploit them, and I’d find them suddenly hitting me and taking a slot machine down for its total 3 times in a row using a rapid succession of buy amounts. So I just removed all but the ones that seemed sort of more fun than usual, like “FICer Picker” and the horse racing.

    I wonder if we are to understand these new policies to mean we should completely remove all casino objects, even if not advertised anywhere.

  9. Angel

    Apr 6th, 2007

    Oh come on… “metaverse pedo-community”… thats extreme even for this gutter rag. Not all age-players are pedo, if they were all the married couples who play school girl in the bedroom would be. No?

    I think it’s a good thing though, it shows that the Lindens are doing exactly what I said they would when those bible bashing idiots went after the kid community, it set up the slippery slope that will make SL obey *every* law in *every* country.

    If cartoon kid sex is illegal in one country and the Lindens close it down then it is only right and fair that gambling, illegal in some countries, is also closed just as firmly. Also any account that asserts

    Likewise with furs (beastiality), Gor (Slavery), Vamp (Necrophillia), Mafia (murder and crime) and so onthey play in casino should be closed.

    The Lindens *must* stamp out all Metaverse activity that is not Male, Human, 21, Buffed Blonde Model Looks, Straight and American based.

    I am cheering that now we will finally have voice chat to allow confirmation of sex and also a method to allow confirmation of true age and country (or even state) of origin. This is a great thing and one that will go a long way to ease paranoia for those Americans who dread the thought they might be in the same sim as a 17 year old Iraqi. Heaven forbid!

  10. Anonymous

    Apr 6th, 2007

    I think it is reasonable for adults (of any country) to be concerned that they may be inadvertently getting into a sexual relationship with a minor.

    I hardly think that’s a concern to make fun of.


  11. Inigo Chamerberlin

    Apr 7th, 2007

    ‘it set up the slippery slope that will make SL obey *every* law in *every* country.

    Heh! Any Saudi residents out there? Hope not for your sake! :-)

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