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Skill Gaming Policy Thread

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Tarina Sewell wrote:

I know I cant participate because of where I live. So, how do they regulate it? I can unless I am caught?

Isn't that why they want Payment Info On File?   They know to charge me VAT because they know where my billing address is.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Tarina Sewell wrote:

I know I cant participate because of where I live. So, how do they regulate it? I can unless I am caught?

Isn't that why they want Payment Info On File?   They know to charge me VAT because they know where my billing address is.

There's a lot more than just that....

 

Per the Skill Gaming FAQ:

"If you are in a permitted jurisdiction for this activity, you may not meet its requirements. Whenever you attempt to access a Skill Gaming Region, we check certain pieces of your account information against the requirements of our policy, including your billing address, age, and the location from which you are logging into Second Life. If this information is not available or does not satisfy the requirements, you will not be able to access the region."

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Gavin Hird wrote:


daisybloomer wrote:


should you be faced with a legal challenge and/or end up in court.

In my neck of the woods there is no way that could ever happen as there is no mechanism to force anyone into legal proceedings in the US (which is due to the US having the death penalty in it's legislation.) 

Are you sure about that, Gavin?   In general, the ECHR (and the EU/EEA extradtion treaty with the USA) certainly bars extradition to the USA on capital charges UNLESS the USA promises, in advance, not to seek the death penalty in case of extradition or, if it's imposed, to commute it. 

Since I doubt the death penalty is going to be an issue here, no matter how badly any of us Europeans upset the Americans, I really don't think it's going to matter one way or the other in legal proceedings relating to this matter.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Gavin Hird wrote:


daisybloomer wrote:


should you be faced with a legal challenge and/or end up in court.

In my neck of the woods there is no way that could ever happen as there is no mechanism to force anyone into legal proceedings in the US (which is due to the US having the death penalty in it's legislation.) 

Are you sure about that, Gavin?   In general, the ECHR (and the EU/EEA extradtion treaty with the USA) certainly bars extradition to the USA on capital charges UNLESS the USA promises, in advance, not to seek the death penalty in case of extradition or, if it's imposed, to commute it. 

Since I doubt the death penalty is going to be an issue here, no matter how badly any of us Europeans upset the Americans, I really don't think it's going to matter one way or the other in legal proceedings relating to this matter.

Yes, there is no extradition treaty at all in place between my country and the US and the reason why is that we do not ever extradite - regardless of reason - to countries with a death penalty in the legislation. For wartime the rules are slightly different. Other countries in Europe have the same, as this is not subject to any EU directive, but regarded a national affair. I think the rules are different for the UK for instance (as seen in the wikileaks case, but then it can be appealed into oblivion...).

If I, however, were to travel to the US, then the story is different. 

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Gaia Gabe wrote:

Hi Linden Lab.

 

Just a few questions to file application to become an operator :

- Echosign : you require a SSN number. I am not american. i tried to file it with my fiscal code (equivalent to your
 america r SNN). It was not accepted

- It is required to provide transactions from 1st of the year ...LL site allows only to dowload transactions of last 31 days . How we can do?

- it is required to provide a list of approved skill games we have...dont you think this process have to be made in 2 phases with 2 seperate deadlines? Before the games scripter (so operators will know what is allowed or not) and next the operators.

 

- you require 
  • A reasoned legal opinion from a credible attorney in good standing, which describes in detail the operation and legality of the games of skill you are submitting for approval, including the creators of each game of skill;
  • A sworn affidavit or declaration 1) certifies the facts set forth in the application and legal opinion; and 2) attests compliance with Linden Lab’s requirements.

Please explain me the difference beetwen those 2 points . Do not think it is the same? Dont you think that it is enough the legal stuff provided by game creator? Do we have to use a local (not american ) attorney?

 

Thank you

Hi Gaia,

EchoSign allows for other types and forms of ID if you do not have a SSN. Please see the options on the application such as passport information. 

FY13 revenues are requested, not transactions.

The reasoned legal opinion has to be from a credible attorney in good standing and licensed to practlce law in the U.S. The sworn affidavit comes from the applicant.

Thanks!

 

 

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WDL Bayn wrote:

Hi LL,

Thank you for taking the time to address my specific question.

I will have more as I've already contacted a local attorney. But the 1st one is : That legal oppinion must be US oppinion or EU oppinion ? I'm based in EU. 

Thank you,

WDL Bayn

Hi WDL,

The reasoned legal opinion has to be from a credible attorney in good standing and licensed to practlce law in the U.S. We will be updating the FAQ to clarify this.

Thank you,

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:

Thanks there are answers to some of the questions that have come up but again:-


"What if the creator is also the operator" what applications have to be made, double fees?  and how many affidavit's will be needed (same one or a different one per application)?

 

Hi Sassy, fees are needed for each type of license that is requested, but the application allows for applying for all types with one applcation - provided the legal opinion and affidavit covered all the necessay points for all perspectives being applied for those could be done at the same time as well.

best regards,

 

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I envisage a few RL challenges forthcoming, as it seems - by the some of the posts here - that there were, indeed, possibly some games allowed by the lab that were, to all intents, out and out gambling. Ouch. The customers - whom LL like to 're-label' as residents...but many are most defintiely customers - may not be pleased when they learn the Lab had not ensured the games on offer in it's domain were not games of skill - despite the TOS -, and - understandably - may be somewhat miffed at any subsequent losses due to gambling chance. A can of worms has possibly been opened? Do I hear the sound of lawyers licking their lips......or gnashing their fangs? :o) Maybes, getting rid of the LL staff a couple of years ago has badly backfired. At least one of those could have checked the games out that some of us have raised issues about many, many times? Boy, the Alphaville Herald sure picked a bad time to be out of circulation! I predict a riot. :o)

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daisybloomer wrote:


AnKayla wrote:

Not too good with these threads but can someone help with this question?  I have to pay tier and am not sure if profit share can still be here? I don't want to lose linden

 

I have games from a profit share avatar on my land. Will this still be legal?  I am not responsible for it but can they still do the profit share for me?  Will I lose their business now ? 

Going exactly based on what LL's new Second Life Skill Gaming Policy says you would fall under as an "Operator" since you are collecting money from it and your game would classify as a "Skill Game" since people are having to pay-to-play. That means you will have to apply to be an operator and move to a Skill Gaming Region if you wished to continue what you are doing now.

No, its not his game, the split avatar owns it and is the operator, and he would need to be on that avatars list as a person who recieves liden payment for providing services to that avatar (land)

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My account went to honored in 4 postings. I dont know how they work. But pointing fingers and making accusations is not helpful. this is a discussion thread and LL has invited commentary. Please dont act like the forum police and discourage people from posting on this very important issue. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. In my understanding, This is the proper place to post it.

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Thanks everyone for your questions. We will continue to keep an eye on this thread for questions and feedback and will update the FAQ accordingly as needed.

best regards,

 

 

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SosiaalinenKokeilu wrote:

So, does this mean you have to apply for these licenses too Linden Lab? I mean you run Linden Realms. A game in which you need a certain amount of skill, in order to get a cash payout?

No, there is no pay-in for Linden Realms, so the Skills Games-policy does not apply.

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Hello,

are operators allowed to buy stuff from the marketplace for themselves, e.g. to buy an avatar and fancy mesh-clothing?

 

The part about operators not allowed to participate in any other SL-business is what worries me most.

Since the official LL client still does not officially support to have multiple instances, and uses a hilarious amount of system-resources to run, it would be really difficult to maintain a social life in SL and at the same time practice the job of a skill-games- operator. E.g. an operator would (as they need to solicit in Second Life to stay in touch with customers and employers) need to have multiple accounts and therefore often need to be logged in on multiple viewer-instances at the same time, which is not officially supported (yet possible).

For example the slplugin only works for a single instance, so an operator cannot use voice for his private account and his operator account at the same time, and hence would miss voice-calls in one of his accounts all the time.

Will Linden Lab update the viewer to fully support multiple simultaneous viewer-instances (e.g. for SL-voice to work on at least two instances) and fix the viewer so it doesn't use a hilarious amount of system-resources like it does now, in order to make it possible for operators to maintain a social life in SL while at the same time using their operator-account?

 

If you cannot promise that, then you should definately change the rules for operators (e.g. you could change the skill-games system so the operator can administrate his skill-games income via the website, and NOT directly with an SL-account), because they are residents too, and have the right to maintain a social life in SL, too.

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Ok, I'm not sure if this has been asked. I didn't read every page. What if somebody builds a skill gaming machine, that does not accept payment in L$, and doesn't pay out in L$, but instead took payment in Bitcoin, and paid out in Bitcoin? Would that be allowed? It uses no L$. No gaming place would have any machines that sold Bitcoins, or took payment in Bitcoins.

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Frankie Antonioni wrote:

Ok, I'm not sure if this has been asked. I didn't read every page. What if somebody builds a skill gaming machine, that does not accept payment in L$, and doesn't pay out in L$, but instead took payment in Bitcoin, and paid out in Bitcoin? Would that be allowed? It uses no L$. No gaming place would have any machines that sold Bitcoins, or took payment in Bitcoins.

No it most likely wouldn't be allowed since you have already confirmed it to be a skill game and therefore would have to go through the formal applying and approval process with Linden, which mostly likely would get disapproved per the compliance standards they expect.

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Frankie Antonioni wrote:

Ok, I'm not sure if this has been asked. I didn't read every page. What if somebody builds a skill gaming machine, that does not accept payment in L$, and doesn't pay out in L$, but instead took payment in Bitcoin, and paid out in Bitcoin? Would that be allowed? It uses no L$. No gaming place would have any machines that sold Bitcoins, or took payment in Bitcoins.

That could be considered money-laundering and therefore it's prohibited by law.

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Hmm,  it's slowly clearing up it seems.

My impression sofar is that all non US residents are effectively forced out of the application procedure, since they would need to seek overseas legal council to obtain the necessary documents.
With very few exceptions I expect this requirement will be too much for non US based applicants.

On a different note, I may have some news for Linden Labs, the current Italian legal framework with regard to offering internet  based chance and/or skill games to Italian citizens is gaining a following in other european countries, who are all suffering a rather severe loss of tax income because of the outflow of gambling funds to international online operators.


So, what have the Italians done?
1. Without an Italian government license you (and that you includes Linden Labs) may not offer games of skill or chance to Italian residents (license costs 420,000 € including VAT)
2. Applicants need to be based in an E.E.A.  jurisdiction, and licences will only allow to offer such games from an italian domain (dot IT). Offering such games to Italian residents from elsewhere is illegal and subject to imprisonment from six months up to three years.
source: http://www.gaminglaw.eu/news/i-gaming-global-legal-update-italy/#more-1922
I expect other european countries to adopt similar regulations within 2-3 years.

I hope Ebbe either hasn't planned any travel to Italy, or plans on Italy to be added shortly to the list of "banned states/countries" for gaming regions, lest he would want to risk secondlife.com to be added to the Italian list of "banned domains" which Italian ISP's must block for all customers.

 

 

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"Skill games" in Italy means something completely different than what LL consideres 'Skill games'.

As you can read under the url you provided, the Italian government even considers Poker being a 'skill game', whereas Linden Lab prohibits Poker and any other games of chance and - more important - casino games, and they always did.

The quoted regulation in Italy mostly covers casino-games, gambling and poker.

See https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Policy_Regarding_Wagering_in_Second_Life

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Maybe the webmaster of the MP can add a new entry on the drop down for games that accept/give lindens that are not licenced under the new policy.

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Marishka Ixito wrote:

If it's called a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. I am sure Italian magistrates agree.

 

Seriously, it's really not that easy. Different countries in the world consider different games as prohibited gambling games than others. For examples a quick check in wikipedia is sufficient, to learn that for example Poker is considered a game of chance in Germany, but in Italy it's considered a game of skill, and many other examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_of_skill

The regulations regarding gambling are extremely inconsistent in different countries all over the world.

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That's the problem, although it looks like LL is focused on those stateside.  Only real way out of the mess would be to forbid games that take and award lindens period.

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Martin,

The entire thing, from both sides (lawmakers/gaming industry) isn't about chance or skill, it's about money.
The gaming industry only puts up a fight to have some game designated as "game of skill" to stay out of more restrictive legal frameworks for games of chance (with higher financial burden for them).

All I am saying is that:

a. Italy decided to squash that discussion by making their laws applicable to both chance and skill games. They don't really care which is which, they care about tax income and selling licences.
b. Other european countries appear to be attracted to the Italian model, and are following suit with a licences/taxes system of their own.

 

 

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