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Ayesha Lytton wrote:

    1. Ensure that the “llTransferLindenDollars” Linden Scripting Language function will be used for all outgoing Linden Dollar transactions for each Skill Game
      ; and
    2. Verify that each purchaser of its approved Skill Games has been approved by Linden Lab as an Operator through the Skill Gaming application process. Linden Lab will maintain a 
      ."

 But if a game neither accepts nor pays L$ it wouldn't have this function.

 
  1. Skill Gaming is not permitted in the Second Life area in which Linden Lab is the estate owner (the 
    “Mainland”
    ).
  2. It shall be a violation of this Skill Gaming Policy to create, operate, or offer Skill Games in Second Life without a License or outside an approved Skill Gaming Region, or to circumvent the prohibitions set out in Section 6.
    "

Yes but they define a skill game as accepting and paying out L$, so any game that doesn't would not fall under the definition. See what I mean?

Yes, but you said "skill game" that pays in and out in US Dollars. And I quoted the first part about the approval, because with the new policy all skill games need to be approved by Linden and its highly unlikely that the kind of skill game with the design you are talking about would make it past the approval process. And again for the second part, you said "skill game" so it says there that you can't operate skill games outside of the Skill Gaming Regions.

Now if you end up saying it wouldn't be a skill game and pay in and out in US Dollars, then it likely would be a chance game. And in the Wagering Policy it specifically says chance games doing transactions in any currency is prohibited.

 

"It is a violation of this policy to wager in games in the Second Life® environment operated on Linden Lab servers if such games:

  1. Rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner,
    OR
  2. Rely on the outcome of real-life organized sporting events,

AND provide a payout in

  1. Linden Dollars (L$)
    OR
  2. Any real-world currency or thing of value."

So by logic, it still would be No and No to your two-part question unfortunately.

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Coby Foden wrote:


Qwalyphi Korpov wrote:

 

In article I see this:

"
 However, you are responsible for knowing
and not attempting to access a Skill Gaming Region if you do not qualify.  Attempts to circumvent our controls will constitute a violation of our
and
.
"

 

So okay.  I don't want ever to go to a skill gaming region.  Just because.  Also I don't want to have to do research every time I am in a new place.  So how can I?   If someone offers a TP will the message warn  me that it is skill region?   What is my process to avoid attempting to enter a skill region?

Hm... what I read in the link below is this:

"...
access to skill games
offering Linden Dollar payouts
will be limited to Second Life users who are of sufficient age and are located in a jurisdiction
that Linden Lab permits for this type of online gaming activity."

... and further down in the same document:

 

"Authorized Participants:

Only users that meet the criteria for Skill Gaming are permitted to access
Skill Gaming Regions and participate in Skill Gaming in Second Life.
Participation is limited to residents who are at least 19 years of age and do not reside in a prohibited state.
Please review the list of prohibited states below to see if you can participate. For more information about why you may not be able to access Skill Gaming Regions in Second Life, please see the FAQ."

From that I guess that the system will automatically take care who can enter and who cannot enter to Skill Gaming regions, no need for the users check anything. Just like M and A regions have system enforced limits for entering, so will the skill gaming regions.

(I hope).

Yes, I also guess.  It may be that the LL will take care of everything automagically for everyone.  However, they state clearly that it is the users responsibility to know if they can participate from their location.  And they wave the violation flag to back it up. Hmm...that's a bit of a push in the other direction.  While they might do a similar thing as the GMA scheme they also might not.  And instead go with a 'who can upload mesh' scheme.   Or a 'who can access premium regions' scheme.

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Ayesha Lytton wrote:

I'm talking about a game that is not a chance game, neither accepts nor pays L$ but accept US Dollars or some other currency added via an external website. Would that be allowed? 

I don't think there is a game that would have no chance and/or skill in it. If I am thinking of all the games out there, either in SL or RL, they either have an element of skill, chance, or both in it.

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That would'nt be allowed either from what someone else posted earlier in the thread.


The gambling is such as delicate issue since many juridictions have different rules on gambling and LL is stuck in the middle since the game uses and cashes out RL monies. 

I think one or more of the other grids prohibit gambling completely.  Who knows, LL could go that route since it's a big headache and prohibit all games that take and awards lindens.

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Yes, but you can have skill games - and even chance games - that don't accept L$. For example a free poker table is allowed. We know they have not allowed chance games for which you exchange L$ for tokens and vice versa. But what about a skill game that uses tokens that are NOT purchased with L$. For example you buy them on a website that is not connected to SL. It seems that LL is concerned with the usage of L$ for games. If L$ is not used at all, they shouldn't care, right? I'm asking them to answer. All the rest of us can do is speculate. 

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Ayesha Lytton wrote:

Yes, but you can have skill games - and even chance games - that don't accept L$. For example a free poker table is allowed. We know they have not allowed chance games for which you exchange L$ for tokens and vice versa. But what about a skill game that uses tokens that are NOT purchased with L$. For example you buy them on a website that is not connected to SL. It seems that LL is concerned with the usage of L$ for games. If L$ is not used at all, they shouldn't care, right? I'm asking them to answer. All the rest of us can do is speculate. 

Again you said "skill game that uses tokens" so you've classified it as a skill game. And like I said before in the previous posts, those kinds of games all need to make it through the approval process with Linden, and chances it would get refused as they also have the power to prohibit it based on the general TOS even if it doesn't fall under the new gaming policy.

Also as for the idea of buying tokens or some kind of currency on an external website...that is super risky territory. By doing that you are probably putting yourself out to greater scrutiny in RL with RL laws and take on heaps more legal risk. Not worth it in my opinion, just to have a game machine in SL.

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Forgot to add -- For those with the Greedy Greedy tables, the developer has updated the game to remove the pay-in/pay-out option from it to comply with the new rules.  The update thing automatically nukes the old table and issues a new one that has the payment option removed.

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OhanaGaming wrote:

I have spoke to the attorney general kentucky, the common wealth attorney, and even the kentucky state police head quarters on this. They have told me that yes there are some sights that can be played from kentucky online and that not sure why there is a issue upon this game second life. I have read also in several articals of how online is fine just as there no casino's physically built in real world. I am going to continue to look into it. I know they said it is something that has not been completely decided upon. I just do not see how this whole time it was fair for all to enter and play and now they put a restriction and ban on certain states. 

Then you have access if you talked to Jack Conway himself that I don't have.  My lawyer friend just shook her head and told me if someone approached her for legal work in this area she'd refer them to an expert.  Outside of that I just know what I read and linked to the one example which was par for course. 

As far as fairness goes, I'm not sure what to say.  We know the gov't has been cracking down on Virtual Currencies. And Ebbe said a while back they were under greater scrutiny.  I don't know the economic stats for other VR's, but SL has got to be among the largest. 

So whether this action is simply based on "We'd better take steps to protect ourselves," or it was suggested to them by Gov't that they get on top of it we don't know. 

Of course some people just see this as another money grab by LL, but when you are paying attorney's $300 to $500 an hour to vet things, that certainly is not cheap.

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Not a Linden but have been in the game business for ages, but most of those were banned in 2007 along with all other games of pure chance if they pay in. If they pay in and it pays out based on chance they have been in violation for years. LL appears to have let them slide dispite the blatant TOS violation. The justification on most of them has been they are not using a random generator but some other method. But it is still chance. If it was ok slot machines would have used the same approach and be all over the place.

I am curious on the vote board also. Techinically it could be considered a game of skill choosing the best outfit etc. The way they poorly worded things and the conflicts between the old TOS and the skill game TOS it is both allowed and not allowed without a operatorers permit. Generally it would affect all games of all kinds if they pay in and have money or prizes to win.

It was all unfortunately poorly written.

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I worked in SL with games of all kinds and I have a few questions that keep popping up and ones I ahve myself. I will start with the loaded question then move on to the easier ones.

1: Given LL has shaped the skill game industry within SL actively or inactively by allowing "Skill games" that clearly were going way too past the line in the last couple years which encouraged other game creators to match the games LL was allowing, will LL own to at least some of their responsibility in this mess as it relates to games of skill which it has allowed since 2007 and extend the timeline so game owners and makers can adapt to the new TOS changes as it relates to Skill games. These changes are understandable but they are things that probably should have been looked at years ago.

2: Technically the new TOS covers all games of skill which would include things like SL race car races, avatar based virtual sports, best dressed judging contests, chess tournaments, building contests, and many others. And if they don't the Skill Game policy needs to be rewritten in a more clear fashion. The policy makes it so ANY contests of any kind has to be held on a gaming sim and ran by a licenced operator. Additionally legally speaking, the instance of games of chance, prizes are not considered to be allowed in most states and countries that do not allow gambling. There are expections such as in Japan where gambling is not legal but Pachinko is highly popular and they can win prizes which is rigged so they go else where and sell said prizes. Are any of the contests above or of any kind allowed if they give out virtual prizes that are not virtual linden currency without a operator permit.

3: I plan to attempt to use my mainland sim (and hopefully survive) by putting more board games out (with no money in or out of any kind) and survive on tips, donations and ads. I am not considerned about the board games but I am considering freeplay skill games as well for traffic and entertainment purposes where the games are free but do pay out in a timed contest. These games have no money in so they would not be wagering at all with the possible exceptions some of my old games have a freeplay setting where people pay but it is refunded. I believe game creators did this in the past to save on script memory. Would the pay and refund to start games be ok given wagering is not even in question or would these games have to be altered to not accept payment at all. Techinically they would not require linden dollars to play but the older games have a pay and instant refund feature to get the games to start.

4: Back to the race car example. If such a contest was allowed and the winnner paid out either manually or automatically this should be in voliation of the skill game policy. If it is not in either case why not? I ask to attempt to understand the new policies in full.

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"tokens" are basically currency of a different kind like buying poker chips at a casino. If buying tokens elsewhere and playing games in SL was ok, full casinos would be all over the place now. that was attempted in the past and even got a couple quiet nods of ok (or ok for now) from LL but was quickly sqaushed later.

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To whom it may concern;

I am both a merchant and car racer in Second Life, and I have some concerns regarding the Skill Gaming Policy.  

First of all, it is my understanding that any 'game' that entails a 'buy-in' of sorts for a chance to win a larger amount of money falls into this ludicrous category entitled the 'Skill Gaming Policy'.  While I can understand ( a wee bit) how games such as greedy, sploders, contest boards and other board games where an entry fee is required could be a target of LL generating more USD for them, what I cannot understand is why Linden Labs would target these small money generators over the much larger area of those who own hundreds of sims that are grandfathered in at one price and being rented for double that.  I say if a sim owner has 100 sims and their maintenance fee is $150 USD and they are charging upwards of $300 to their renters, those people are the ones LL should be targeting and NOT the residents, many of whom make their own way in SL through their creations which make considerably less than these virtual land barons, who are raking in enormous profits.

I am saddened and apalled to see this type of corporate greed overtake SL, and especially with regard to SL racing.  Almost all tracks have a buy-in jar (much like a real life fee to race at a track) where racers have the option to buy in to race.  It is not required to buy-in, however, in order to win any prize money (for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place), one must have bought in.  In most all instances, SL track owners are those who have a love of the sport of auto racing, whether it be oval racing or drag racing, and they do not make any money from owning and operating a track.  They do it for the sheer love of the sport, and bringing something to SL for others with like interests.  Punishing these track owners with a $100 application fee that is non-refundandable and a subsequent  quarterly licensing fee is not only preposterous, it is preying on the very people who bring something to SL without expecting a thing in return.  

Having spoke to many of my fellow racers and those who build cars for racing about this, it will not only decrease the amount of people who participate in racing, but will also reduce the amount of cars sold by those creators.  In essence, this Skill Gaming mess will destroy an entire virtual industry in SL...and when that starts happening, fewer people are spending money in SL, fewer lindens will be sold. Linden Labs, through their consumate greed, will be the ultimate loser in this game...because if there is no one here to purchase items, there will be no one to rent virtual land from all of those big named land owners...what is not being realized here is this one move to collect a fee from merchants or businesses that do not make a profit in the first place will have a ripple effect on the entire workings of SL.  Oh, and those racing pots of money that a racer has a chance to win? One is lucky if the First Place payout is more than $2.00 RL money.  And yes, that's TWO DOLLARS!

I respectfully request that Linden Labs reconsider this outlandish way for them to drag in a few dollars to make a higher profit, and recognize that there is a far bigger cash cow they could be siphoning money from...the big land owners.

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It has come to my attention that LL is requiring all game operators applying to provide all games, sims, location information since 2013 which concerning but barely acceptable. But what is alarming is LL is requesting a list of all business assocciates and other personal information of OTHER individuals other than the the person applying fo operator status. LL is requiring people to violate other peoples civil and privacy rights by making such demands.

Why are these associations being demanded by LL from past accociates in the past for operating skill games in the future? In business (and this is business) this would is way out of line.

Additionally will LL be providing information and records on their end on how they handled games in the past and allowing games that went over the skill game line into games of chance on a regular basis which formed the entire SL skill game industry?

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Unfortunately this will affect a LOT of content like yours and things like chess tournaments. :/

 

You would think LL doesn't operate in a country with a "Land of the Free" Bumper sticker. LL makes more than enough money off games, contests, and content in SL of all kinds when people cash out, buy more money, etc so on.

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It is a game. Sports are a game also. Football games, Olympic games, etc. Additionally it is a video game really comparable to mario cart. I hate it also but this affects a LOT of content in SL and racing is definitely a game of skill. I am somewhat of a semi expert on games as I own a game store in SL and RL and deal with games all day long.

Its a big mess. LL needs to get their heads on straight and think things through.

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

It is a game. Sports are a game also. Football games, Olympic games, etc. Additionally it is a video game really comparable to mario cart. I hate it also but this affects a LOT of content in SL and racing is definitely a game of skill. I am somewhat of a semi expert on games as I own a game store in SL and RL and deal with games all day long.

Its a big mess. LL needs to get their heads on straight and think things through.

Why does money have to be a factor in skill games at all? Shouldn't games be about enjoyment instead of money?  I know gambling is a rush, but it was banned in 2007.  It's LL's fault that it's gotten this far again.

I can see from visiting your business that you are one of the bigger "skill" gaming locations in SL. You have a lot to lose.  I've never seen so many games in one place, most of which are based around pay-in/pay-out (gambling).  I can't imagine the amount of money you've been raking in over the years.

As others have already stated in this thread, the skill gaming policy is most likely to protect LL from liability due to increased scrutiny.  This isn't the infancy of internet-based tech/media anymore, things are changing fast and more control and accountability are coming to bear.  The skill gaming policy should've been clearly defined and regulated back in 2007 to curtail future gambling game development.  I'm surprised it's lasted as long as it has.  I fail to see how prolonging it weeks or months would do anything but allow the game operators to make more money on a banned game concept and prolong the inevitable.

By the way, I commend you on the design of your casino, it's one of the nicer ones I've seen and it actually feels like a casino.  You've captured it well.

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Looking at the big picture, both LL and residents have equal rights to protect themselves, both against illegal activity and in maintaining freedom, alike.  I would ask that the definition of "skilled gaming" in the proposed (or finalized) TOS policy be clarified.

1)  First of all, it's grammar is incorrect.  In a list of items preceded by a predicate, the predicate must connect to each item in the list individually.  #4 does not connect:

" “Skill Game” or “Skill Gaming” shall mean a game, implemented through an Inworld object: . . . 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law."

Therefore, #4 makes no sense to me.

2)  Clarification:   After reading and agreeing to this definition in the TOS when it's released upon all residents, most (if not all) will still ask "what exactly is considered skilled gaming and what exactly can I do or not do."  This seems written by a lawyer for a judge, not for the average resident to understand.  At least give examples.  It's too vague to be a policy that one can follow.  "Sports" should not be considered skilled gaming in my opinion - ever heard of "in the spirit of the sport?"  Also prizes for winning contests or sports go back to cavemen days.  Everyone pitching in for this prize is in the spirit of the sport. Illegal now?

I've heard some discuss that once people "lose rights" to do things, one by one, it would crash the SL economy (just like RL).  If that is the initial intent in the first place to make SL no longer profitable, this can be done directly and swiftly in the end, not by shaving off activities one by one over time.  Easier for all.  On the other hand, if this is intended to rid pay/play gambling and thieves who hold L$100,000+ photo contests and their alt wins the pot, I'm all for it.  But only if the skilled gaming definition is clarified.

Lastly, where definitions are concerned on legal issues, when something is deemed "vague and overly broad" it is not admissible as evidence in a court of law.  It would benefit both LL and residents to clarify this definition (and make it grammatically correct).  Thank you for listening. :manwink:

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One huge difference that you are not taking into consideration regarding racing vs. casinos, is casinos actually turn a profit.  Race tracks, on the other hand DO NOT make money from running races.  Any lindens that are used as a 'buy in' are split among those racers who paid in.  Often times, the track owners will put a few lindens in the pot.  The track owners of public tracks do not keep a percentage of this buy in money. As I stated in my previous post, most track owners provide a racing venue on their own dime; they pay for the tier/maintenance fees and any other costs incurred.  Raising the tier of a venue such as this is a punishment to someone trying to give back to the SL community.

What ever happened to the SL slogan "It's your world, created by you" that was used to pull so many creative people into SL?  Oh, we can still create our world, but we are charged for it at every turn in the form of texture uploads, marketplace fees and now, the most ridiculous 'gaming skills policy'.  I can not help but feel that Linden Labs, in all of their infinite wisdom on this one, will be driving people out of SL, enmasse.  Oh, except for those whose only form of 'creativity' is sexually related.  

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Sorina

If what you say is correct, and there has been no misunderstanding on your part, then that is indeed alarming.   I can understand LL wanting to know all details relevant to the operator applicant, but why on earth would they want to know about previously known business associates?  Why go back a year?

Does the application say why this information is required?  What if some of these associates have gone from SL?  One may think they are "after" the ones that have made a fair amount of money from past gaming and have now "flown" away.  If known business associates are US based then they are governed by US laws.  But what if some known associates are outside of USA?   

I know the law F.A.T.C.A. encourages snitching on its US citizens worldwide but if your statement is true then that mentality is now with us in the virtual world.   You may find yourself with the dilemma, snitch on previous associates to comply with LL's demands and qualify for a licence and then possibly falling foul of some law or other in a different country.  

Before complying to the snitching questions I'd be seeking legal advice as to your own rights to ensure that by complying to LLs demands, you are not abusing any residents rights under DATA Protection or Human Rights.   Not sure if Safe Harbour comes into play here but I've assumed (dangerous I know) that LL has signed up with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework Requirements in order to ask for information regarding non US citizens, if not then are they legally entitled to ask these questions?   Or is it a case of their game - their rules?

Personally, I can't see why they need to ask about your business associates (current or past).   Surely, they already have on file the information they require regarding an account..or maybe their databases are so bad and in such a mess, they need others to point routes to find them.  Possibly, the application process has been designed to make it easy for "evidence gathering" to track down those that have "taken the money and run" in the past;  Snitch or dont qualify for a licence, who knows, one can speculate endlessly and get it completely wrong. Yes, of course, that sounds way over the top to play a virtual (once a fantasy, long gone) game, farcical in fact,  but then...these new TOS are complex and really not designed for the "average" guy in the street...its designed for the legal eagles.   As we all know, the more complicated a rule is, the bigger the fee to have it made clear to you, so some will give up and fall by the wayside.   Choice is pay up or run the risk of unknowingly taking part in illegal activities and face its consquences.   Ignorance of the law is no defence, but then that applies to all - LL included.  

I do  know one thing, I'd have to be very very sure of my own facts and my own position before snitching information to LL about anyone, no matter who they are, were, or wherever they live in the real world because it could have long lasting, time consuming and costly repercussions.

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