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"There may be a gray area with the wagering policy which prohibits payout in Lindens or a thing of value. It also talks about chance. Who can argue that racing doesn't have an element of chance? On those two alone one could come to the conclusion that racing may not be allowed if a prize of any kind is awarded."

The word chance when talking about games is NOT the same as if you leave 5 minutes later for work you you have a "Chance" to be late. Also we are talking about the new skill game policies. you seem to be thinking this is about the old wagering policies. All games of skill now have to be licensed, have legal opinoins offered by both creators and operators, even the most skill based of games. This isn't an issue about games of chance. some states and countires do not allow games of skill. This is garbage especially in the US given the government has no business to tell us if we want to spend our money in a unwise way.

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"Let's not forget that receiving a prize or dollar amount for a competitive or chance activity is really gambling. In my opinion the wagering policy and the skill gaming policy overlap for a one-two punch. If it feels like gambling or chance and there is a reward for activity it most likely falls under sport, chance or skill."

AGAIN The wagering policy allows for games of skill whether it be sports or various puzzle type games or what not assuming they are predominently skill based as opposed to chance based.

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Yingzi Xue wrote:

There may be a gray area with the wagering policy which prohibits payout in Lindens or a thing of value. It also talks about chance. Who can argue that racing doesn't have an element of chance? On those two alone one could come to the conclusion that racing may not be allowed if a prize of any kind is awarded.

I don't know.  I would differentiate, in RL, as does the law  (at least in the UK) between a cash prize awarded to the winner of a race or other sporting event and the money people may win by betting on the outcome. 

If I put up a cash prize for the winner, and the winner doesn't have to pay to enter my event, I can't see how it's gambing.    The LL policy forbids wagering on events.  What's the wager?   I'm organising the event to attract visitors to my sim, and maybe hoping they'll buy whatever items I'm selling that are relevant to the race (motorbikes, maybe), but I can't see how any of that is betting.

ETA:   Here's what Linden Lab Official: Policy Regarding Wagering in Second Life says:


The term "wagering" applies to any covered game or activity (i.e. game of chance, sports betting) in which a user contributes Linden dollars (or real-world money or things of value), whether into a pot, at a table game, at a house game, for purchase of a card (such as Bingo), or in any way risks Linden dollars based on whether an event may or may not occur, such as whether a team will win a sporting event, or whether Barack Obama will win the Democratic primary.

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I been getting many mixed messages over the changes in the "Terms of Service"  I want to sure I comply when these changes take place or are affected on August 1, 2014.

Can you please confirm which of the items below are included if not all of them when it comes down to "Skill Gaming in Second Life".

Contest Boards.

Raffle Boards,

Sploders,

Weighted Contest Board (No option to pay to enter but an allowance for anyone to increase the prize pot)

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I am not a Linden but Sploders have been banned since 2007 as a pure game of chance unless they are a game of skill such as chasing after prims that pay money etc. I don't think the new policies change anything about those. Some sploder makers have made bogus claims of legal sploders because they came up with some algorithm that doesn't use a random number generator and each player wins something.

Contest boards I think at least until LL unravels the mess they created would fall under the new policy. Otherwise people will just run current skill games through a score board and just pay out manually.

I already hit agree on my terms when I logged on but its not valid given the conflicting policy issues.

Honestly I think the way they phrased anything all the traffic devices like coins and cones which are a form of a game in many cases would fall under the skill game policy. The policy does not make it clear if it is "pay in AND pay out" or "pay OR pay out" or "pay in AND OR pay out" in the skill game policy. They just use semicolons between each one. So I would assume a contest event that pays in or out is a game of skill or a game of chance. A game of chance is not allowed so it would be a game of skill.

So under this new policy it would appear that traffic games, fishing games with pay in or out, solo games of skill, beauty contests, judged contests, virutal sporting contests, chess tournaments, and basically anything resembling a game of skill will be restricted to gaming sims, have to jump through a lot of red tape, legal opinions offered by the creator and the operator, pay extra costs for sims, pay quarterly fees which the amounts have not been disclosed, provide LL with all SL business contact information without that individuals concent, places of operation, all games or boards used, and go through who konws what other red tape.

This policy will GREATLY  reduce content across the board.

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Well, I just have one Zingo machine that helps pay for the rent and is a bit of fun.   No way can I justify the legal expense of becoming an operator, so on August 1st, 2014 the Zingo machine either becomes freeplay or gets derezzed, unless LL changes their mind at the last minute.


If you ask me, they should just change the age for access to a skill game sim to be 21 RL years and avoid the complication of looking up what state you are in.  That would also elimiate the logic for the operator having to get the legal opinion, just the game creator.   The games would be more expensive to buy of course, as the creator would have to recover the legal fees, but hopefully not real expensive as cost would be spread out over a number of purchasers.

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having side games to help pay the bills and content will definitely be difficult. It is unclear on the policy if freeplay will be allowed or not though. the skill game policy is poorly written. It implies if it you pay in or if it just pays out its an issue. But think but not sure that freeplay games may possibly have to be fixed as freeplay. But that is another thing LL needs to clear up.

I agree with the age thing though but I don't think that would be an option for LL. Some web skill game sites I believe have to be location verified also by location.

In a perfect world the powers that be wouldn't dictate how a grown adult spends their entertainment money. Porn content is ok in SL but playing a game is not.

For the longest time though I assumed and thought it was part of TOS in realtion to games that they had to be on mature sims and not PG sims but apparently not.

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You own a gaming sim? Didn't you know that gambling hasn't been allowed in SL for years? But you did know, and you chose to break the rules.


OhanaGaming wrote:

I sit and question a few issues and things. They are now putting a ban or restriction on those 10 states listed after so long.

1: Does this mean child avatars will not be allowed over to the new gaming sims?

2: Why all of sudden the major change and giving such a short amount of time due to those who own a gaming sim?

3: Why those 10 states that are listed?

If the reasoning is due to it is not legal for online gambling in those states then ask yourself is it legal for escorting in certain states as we have that in sl. Putting a restriction on certain people of not beling able to enter the new gaming areas after so long of allowing it for everyone.

1: It is going to make it harder for those who own a gaming sim on making any type of income from it to possibly be able to pay for the fees that are included in this new update. 

2: The  number of people in the group is going to drop due to the restriction.

This all is going to make a major change in sl and out come of those who enter sl now may drop due to this
. I know there were several people who made a income from gambling to support RL or to have some type of income to be able to purchase things they want or need in sl. Due to alot of people are not willing to load real cash into the game. This is going to force some to find a new way to get that income or not enter sl no more. This is something that i am sure alot sit and question or ponder on. As i am one of the owners of a gaming sim and with this change i feel it unfair and hopes things change before this becomes final, because we were a family based sim were all were able to come enjoy themselves. 

I'm sure that those who enter SL will drop due to this. All one of you will leave. I really don't think that SL will be able to carry on when you've gone. Such a shame.

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Leslea Aldrin wrote:

I rent on a general sim, and have a couple games -  Zyngo and Gemmy... which *can* be games where ppl win lindens, however, I have them set for free- one of them requires one linden to play which is immediately returned. Do I need to get the license as I do not make any lindens, the users don't make any lindens, and they are just there for fun?

 

Thanks,

 

Leslea Aldrin

If a game can be set to pay in and pay out, then it comes under the new rules, even though the game is not used in that way.

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Votarn Torvalar wrote:

In fact it seems quite clear that sploders as in general use now, will be illegal outside permitted areas without licence , whether considered chance or skill  .. Do you agree?

Sploders as in general use now (users pay in, sploder pays out to users), will not be allowed anywhere, because it's all chance and no skill. They aren't allowed anywhere now.

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Votarn Torvalar wrote:

so to be absolutely clear.. contest boards the do nit require any sort of fee to enter,  remain outside the new rules and therefore completely 'legal' ?

Yes, provided that the board cannot be set to pay in.

That assumes that contest boads are encompassed in the new rules. They may not be. The contests that I've come across should not come under the new rules, even if people have to apy to enter, because they don't rely on chance. Those who enter take a chance on winning, but that's a different kind of chance.

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

The Oxford defintion of "Game"

"A form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.
"

Sports also have rules just like board, computer, or card games even the simple ones. For example in a 100 meter dash I found rules.

Sports are games as well. They are just a physical based game. But within Second Life they would be more comparable to a traditional video game. Sports clearly are games of skill so they would fall under a skill game policy until LL clears up this mess of course.

I disagree :)

Chess is a game because it has gameplay, but it's not a sport. Long-jumping is a sport but it doesn't have any gameplay, so it's not a game. It has rules, of course, but that's not gameplay. Football and other field games are games because they have gameplay. They are also sports.

I think of sport as an energetic activity in which one competes. That's why I see things the way I described. I don't care what any dictionary may say. I like my idea on it :)

I also disagree when all the competitors at the Olympic Games are called athletes. A lot of them are, but a lot are not.

 

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

"So you think it's unfair that LL is finally moving on gambling, despite the fact it was banned in 2007..."

 

They are moving in on skill gaming. Wagering on games of chance were addressed back in 2007.
It is affecting all games of skill if there is a way to pay in to enter and money to win.
This mess is affecting content in SL on a MUCH wider scale than you seem to be thinking. Additionally keep in mind LL is not cracking down on things hidden in the shadowy corners of SL. They allowed and practically guided the skill game industry by their action and inaction. They have a heavy hand in the mess that everyone is now dealing with when it comes to all kinds of games where there is a winner that can win money. Hell this clearly affects something as purely skill based as a chess tournament.

It is affecting "all [gaming] games of skill" by requiring licenses, but it's not banning them.

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zerotsm wrote:

Well, I just have one Zingo machine that helps pay for the rent and is a bit of fun.   No way can I justify the legal expense of becoming an operator, so on August 1st, 2014 the Zingo machine either becomes freeplay or gets derezzed, unless LL changes their mind at the last minute.

If your Zingo machine can be set as free-to-play, but can be used the way you're using it now, it will still come under the new Skill Gaming rules and will need to be licensed. So just setting it to freeplay won't make any difference. If a game can be set to pay-in pay-out mode, they way it is used doesn't make any difference.

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Sorina Garrigus wrote:

having side games to help pay the bills and content will definitely be difficult. It is unclear on the policy if freeplay will be allowed or not though. the skill game policy is poorly written. It implies if it you pay in or if it just pays out its an issue. But think but not sure that freeplay games may possibly have to be fixed as freeplay. But that is another thing LL needs to clear up.

It's been made perfectly clear. If a game can be set as pay-to-play, and pay out winnings to the players, then it needs the licenses, regardless of whether ot not it is being used in a free mode.

Games that cannot be set to pay into don't need a license and can be used anywhere, regardles of whether or not they pay out.

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Yes, as long as it cannot be set to pay in.

Games can be pay-in and be ok.

Games can be pay-out and be ok.

But games cannot be both pay-in and pay-out without a license, and a license is only issued if it's mainly a game of skill.

Games that can be set to pay-in AND pay-out need a license, whether or not the pay parts are being used.

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KirstenAnn Beck wrote:

I personally just submitted a ticket to LL after contacting LL Billing and requested a detailed response for why they are prohibting Maryland residents from online skill gaming in SL as Maryland has no laws on the books whatsoever about online gamlbing.

A quick search with Google suggests that the lawfulness of online gambling in Maryland is certainly open to question, and that the operator who allows Maryland residents to open accounts is in an even more precarious situation than the resident herself.    

You may well be correct in your analysis, but it seems it's not a risk many operators want to take.

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Having read through most posts in the thread, my impression is that many people think LindenLabs will choose an active role when judging what games qualify to be run in a gaming region, and thus kill off those games that are the most popular now because they resemble "gambling" the most, thus creating an opportunity for more truely skill based games to be operated in sl.

I very much doubt LL will take that route. It seems much more likely to me that LL will just check whether the "reasoned legal opinion" from the lawyer and the affidavit are in place, and whether the object for the game is named adequately and shows that the applicant = the object creator, when deciding on a creator license.
In other words, if an applicant can convince their lawyer that the game in question qualifies as a game of skill within LL's rules/guidelines, then it seems very unlikely LL will throw out the application.
My best guess is that If changes are made to existing games it will be because the lawyer demands those changes, not because of direct demands from LL.

That said, I reckon it will not be easy to get games approved, because of the definition given by LL in it's Skill Gaming Policy": “Skill Game” or “Skill Gaming” shall mean a game, implemented through an Inworld object: 1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance........" (text borrowed from applicable law I am sure)

"Material" means that the subject matter of the statement related to a fact or circumstance which would be significant to the decision to be made,  as distinguished from an insignificant, trivial or unimportant detail.
So, if a game can't rely on chance  "in material part", that means the role of chance must be insignificant/trivial.
Smart lawyers will of course question their client to make sure this is indeed the case, before offering their "reasoned legal opinion". I dare to say that even 5% chance might make many competent lawyers balk at giving such a "reasoned legal opinion".

So yes, it is possible current games will disappear after August 1, either because the creator threw the towel, or because of lawyer demands for change in order to be compliant.

The challenge for creators is to design a pure skill game that still attracts the pure gamblers crowd. Not an easy task, even though gamblers love to be misled.

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"You own a gaming sim? Didn't you know that gambling hasn't been allowed in SL for years? But you did know, and you chose to break the rules."

You have no clue what your talking about there is a policy on wagering not gambling per say. Games of chance have not been allowed in SL for years. Games of skill always have been allowed and is clearly stated right on the wagring policy.

Additionally LL has been very aware of games of skill such as all the slingo variants since 2007. Its impossible not to and they actively allowed them and even had a secret white list of games that were ok.  

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"Chess is a game because it has gameplay, but it's not a sport. Long-jumping is a sport but it doesn't have any gameplay"

Websters Definition:

gameplay (noun) : the experience of playing a video or computer game

Oxfords Definition:

gameplay noun

The tactical aspects of a computer game, such as its plot and the way it is played, as distinct from the graphics and sound effects.
 
If your going to argue a physical game like the olympic games or a football game is not a game make sure the people listening to you are high on something first.
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"It's been made perfectly clear. If a game can be set as pay-to-play, and pay out winnings to the players, then it needs the licenses, regardless of whether ot not it is being used in a free mode.

Games that cannot be set to pay into don't need a license and can be used anywhere, regardles of whether or not they pay out."

Not really. A semiolon isn't making things clear. And what about people running tournaments and taking in manual payments and pay outs. its all in the same spirit. So really any kind of contest of every possible kind that you pay to play or it pay out needs special license? So if you go to some golf course where you have to pay to play you have to have a special operators license? If you go to some video arcade and play a tetris game that has a pay in but nothing to win then you need a special sim. So your saying ALL games that cost ANYTHING at all to play are all now confined to special sims. I have a little zombie shooting area where you buy weapons so that must need special licening? No they are not clear and if it is clear than all games are restricted.

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Marishka Ixito wrote:

Having read through most posts in the thread, my impression is that many people think LindenLabs will choose an active role when judging what games qualify to be run in a gaming region, and thus kill off those games that are the most popular now because they resemble "gambling" the most, thus creating an opportunity for more truely skill based games to be operated in sl. [...]

I agree with most of your analysis: LL doesn't want responsibility for determining whether a game is one of skill or chance. There is, however, a gating decision that Linden Lab cannot leave up to other people's lawyers, and that's whether a thing is even subject to the skill gaming rules at all. They still have to make that determination, so they've not managed to completely shed all liability risk of hosting online gambling.

Folks have posed a couple of possibilities that seem like genuine edge cases, and LL would have to judge whether to subject those to "skill gaming" rules.

For example, what if all the wagering -- indeed, all the game play, too -- takes place on a website that's only presented on in-world Media On A Prim. Obviously the host of that website is liable in any jurisdiction in which they operate (at least), but what about Linden Lab, for linking to and presenting that site's content (even though, technically, Second Life supplies only the link, not the content)?

Another example: what if L$s are paid to gain access to a parcel, not directly into a gaming device on that parcel that sometimes pays out? I think the policy intends to make such an arrangement subject to the skill gaming rules, but might that be a judgment call if the pay-in somehow feels more like a donation than a bet?

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I have to say that, as a native speaker of British English (and as someone who is used to reading English legal documents), it didn't occur to me to interpret '“Skill Game” refers to any game: 1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play; 3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars; and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law.' as meaning anything other than that all four requirements must be met, as opposed to any one of them, until I saw your posts on the subject.

I've reconsidered it, and, while I agree LL could have expressed it more clearly, I still can't get it to mean that any one, rather than all, of the requirements must be met.   If you try to read the requirements as separated by "or" instead of "and", the definition ends up encompassing  EITHER any game whose outcome is determined by skill..... OR requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play (regardless of whether it's a game of skill)  OR provides a payout (again, regardless of any skill involved).   

That would encompass all games of skill, regardless of whether or not you pay to play them or whether or not they provide a prize, plus all games of chance unless they're free to play and don't require a prize.   I can't believe that's what LL intended,  

However, whichever way you read it, if you intend to operate any game other than free to play games of chance that don't offer prizes, it reads to me as if you need to get the game approved.

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