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Skill Gaming Policy Thread

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My understanding of this rule is only games that you pay into are affected.  If you don't pay to get into the Greedy game or the contest..........then it would not be affected by this rule.

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Mackenzie Ariel wrote:

My understanding of this rule is only games that you pay into are affected.  If you don't pay to get into the Greedy game or the contest..........then it would not be affected by this rule.

Yes but there is the option for that even though I have never used it, just as there is for a zombie thing I have out and for sky jumping thing I have too.

1000s of lindens worth of items people use for entertainment on our sims will have to go even though they have never been used for gambling.

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Hi Yingzi,

Per the Skill Gaming Policy; a game of skill is defined as “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; 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.” Moreover, “[g]ames in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy.”

For more details, we strongly recommend reviewing the Skill Gaming Policy and Skill Gaming Program Terms and Conditions.

 

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Hope that it doesn't come to that.  Might come down to a game dev making a non-pay version for those who want them for entertainment purposes and not gambling.


It's not just SL, I noticed in a MMO I play, they used to have "bags" awarded by a NPC that would issued up to 1m gold, but those were removed.  According to their patch notes, it was done due to requests by  a few U.S. states that prohibet gambling, although unlike SL, you can't take gold out of the game for cash monies.

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Hi TerryDavidd,

As each game differs in its operational functions, we are unable to provide opinions of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy via this forum. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and in compliance with, this policy.

We reiterate that a game of skill is defined as “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; 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.” Moreover, “[g]ames in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy.”

For more details, we strongly recommend reviewing the Skill Gaming Policy and Skill Gaming Program Terms and Conditions.

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Hi Surfaqua,

As each game differs in its operational functions, we are unable to provide opinions of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy via this forum. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and in compliance with, this policy.

We reiterate that a game of skill is defined as “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; 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.” Moreover, “[g]ames in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy.

For more details, we strongly recommend reviewing the Skill Gaming Policy and Skill Gaming Program Terms and Conditions.

 

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Linden Lab, now that you're back can you PLEASE answer the question as to why you need both the creator AND operator to provide the same legal opinion.  We get that it's a CYA exercise but the big question is, will YOU accept the creators legal council stated opinion from the OPERATOR given that the operator has no way whatsoever of knowing the innerds of the game.

In other words, creator makes available their affidavit available to others to use as their sworn statement, will that work for you or do you insist that both parties incur expense when one can't even verify the claim?

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Sassy Romano wrote:

Linden Lab, now that you're back can you PLEASE answer the question as to why you need both the creator AND operator to provide the same legal opinion.  We get that it's a CYA exercise but the big question is, will YOU accept the creators legal council stated opinion from the OPERATOR given that the operator has no way whatsoever of knowing the innerds of the game.

In other words, creator makes available their affidavit available to others to use as their sworn statement, will that work for you or do you insist that both parties incur expense when one can't even verify the claim?

I've just had a thought.  Maybe it's that LL need confirmation it's lawful for the Operator to run this game in his or her jurisdiction.    That is, the sort of games someone in the UK  can operate online without needing a licence from the UK authorities might not be the same as what someone in Mexico can operate online without needing a licence from the Mexican authorities, and LL is concerned to check that I'm not breaking the law by operating this particular game from where I live.

That would make sense to me, but it's just unclear at the moment what exactly is needed.    What we need, I think, is confirmation from LL whether they need  an opinion from my solicitor that it's lawful for me to operate this game from the UK without needing a licence or simply a general opinion that this game, as described, is a game of skill and not of chance?

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Ok...Looking at the new policy, I'm slightly confused...or maybe it's just me...

One part states that a skill game "requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play"

and another part of the rule states "“[g]ames in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy.”

Now, if a game like Greedy/Greedy permits the payment of Linden Dollars but the owner of the game does not have the players pay, is it or is it not within the scope of the policy?

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I asked this same question and they reiterated the whole paragraph, so evidently, unless it's pay to play, it's safe... from what I gather.


Tex Monday wrote:

Ok...Looking at the new policy, I'm slightly confused...or maybe it's just me...

One part states that a skill game "
requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play
"

and another part of the rule states
"“[g]ames in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy.”

Now, if a game like Greedy/Greedy permits the payment of Linden Dollars but the owner of the game does not have the players pay, is it or is it not within the scope of the policy?

 

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Linden Lab wrote:

Hi Surfaqua,

As each game differs in its operational functions, we are unable to provide opinions of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy via this forum. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and in compliance with, this policy.

 

I'm confused by this answer.

 

You've created a set of rules, yet you are unable to determine what violates them?

So if a creator "decides" that what he is doing is in compliance, you are saying Linden Lab will not come saying that he isn't?

No wonder the grid is still littered with gaming.

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Linden Lab wrote:

Hi Surfaqua,

As each game differs in its operational functions, we are unable to provide opinions of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy via this forum. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and in compliance with, this policy.

 

We reiterate that a
game of skill is defined as “
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; 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.” Moreover,
[g]ames in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not within the scope of this Skill Gaming Policy.

For more details, we strongly recommend reviewing the 
and 
.

 

Thank you for your 1er reply

 

Ok so if I understand well:

Free Skill Games: Not need the SIM Approved Skill Games

 

Skill Games (payment in Second Life by an object): Need the sim Approved Skill Games

 

But payments via groups?

 

I have often seen contests (without payment object), but payment by entering a group.

(contest from foto, ..... via groupe = no objet ! )

 

And I see nothing about this in the police> the payment by a group

 

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I wonder, which games actually fall under this new policy. From the policy entry:


Linden Lab wrote:

“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; 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.

 

These properties are and-connected, so they must all apply for a game be a skill game. So people moaning about Greedy can rest assured, as it doesn't pay out (3), IIRC. Also, (1) would not apply.

Point (1) is the most interesting one, however:  A game, whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance.   There are very few games that fulfill this criterium, as most do have important random elements. A weird example would be a Chess turnament with entry fee [no chance, payin, payout, not outlawed]. But there aren't many sims full of chess automats around..   The widespread Zyngo/Slingo games on the other hand are not skill games, as they are dominated by chance (the player agency and skill level is ridiculously low) - it's barely above pure gambling. Other casino games naturally are also heavily chance-dependent.

I don't think that any skill games are particularly widespread on the grid, especially compared to the mentioned casino games like Zyngo.

Disregarding the money payout issues, games are either games of chance or games of skill (or in a continuum inbetween, with either chance or skill being dominant). Chance games with payout equal gambling, and should already be banned by the existing TOS (yet Zyngo is not, though it clearly is a game of chance. You are inconsistent.). Thus, the new policy should cover practically all games with a payout option, which seems very much overdone.

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I find it funny, yet disturbing, how the same response is posted over and over again that does not include a propper answer. I agree with SLAddict Allen. An announcement is made before thinking and looking things over. Sure, I think all of us here understand that people that now own land stuffed with games have no choice, at least not if they want to continue. But many of us also have a sim or even a small parcel with maybe just one game that is only used for friendly gameplay (in our case only 2 hours every week of Multi-Zyngo or games like Greedy).


Our sim isn't even listed, we do not promote our games, it's a set group of people that gather once a week to play a few games. Like I said if it's a sim full of games I totally understand and I think it has good sides, but why take away that one little thing from those of us who actually are NOT earning from it but just have it for fun/hangout with friends. I know there's many people out there that are going to have the same issue. And because no propper response is given people stress out. We all want to know what to do, what we will be up against. So it would have been nice, if you as LL making this rule, would have done some homework and study BEFORE causing all this.

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I'm sure the creators of Greedy and contest boards will be given the opportunity to make an updated version of their products that don't allow pay in.  Since Lindens Labs won't be able to police all of this.........I'm sure we have time to use what we have until updates are provided.

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SLAddict Allen wrote:


Linden Lab wrote:

Hi Surfaqua,

As each game differs in its operational functions, we are unable to provide opinions of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy via this forum. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and in compliance with, this policy.

 

I'm confused by this answer.

 

You've created a set of rules, yet you are unable to determine what violates them?

So if a creator "decides" that what he is doing is in compliance, you are saying Linden Lab will not come saying that he isn't?

No wonder the grid is still littered with gaming.

If the Lab determined what was a skill game and what was a chance game they'd have legal exposure in the event of a problem with gaming laws.  There are obviously what can be charitably described as edge cases in SL right now - it would be much safer for the Lab to put the onus on the developers and owners to pull some sad, broken lawyer off a barstool get an expert opinion as to the legal status of the various games.

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DerekShane wrote:

Hi, We support Linden's efforts to help Creators and Operators and the replies have been helpful, thank you. The timetable is really aggressive here. We have a few questions please:

1. Will there be any type of "white list" for 
key employees who live in prohibited jurisdictions? Can Operators, associated avatars or employees receive access to skill gaming regions to do their work? Perhaps these service providers can be considered as part of the 4.©(1) Exceptions list?

2. Can an existing non-mainland sim be converted into a gaming region? It appears to be yes in 5(a). For sims that are mixed use (with a mall or club or skyboxes), can part of the sim be parceled off for non-gaming activities? We're hopeful about the parceling because of 5.(b) "...the full Region fee will apply even in Skill Gaming is not operated in the entire Skill Gaming Region."  
This will affect a lot of places. 
Can a skill gaming region be placed immediately next to a non-skill gaming region?

3. With respect to the paragraph with the defined terms "Skill Game" and "Skill Gaming", it's stated: "Games in which Second Life residents do not pay to play are not subject to the requirements of these Terms."  Freeplay games are free to play, but Linden's technology requires a L$1 payment that is immediately refunded. Are Freeplay games considered, "pay to play"? And/or would Linden consider making it possible to eliminate those L$1 payments? Players and our transaction reports will thank you.
 
4. Is it an error in Paragraph 4 of the Application? 
Operators won't have the data mentioned in 4(a)(iii):  "A Reasoned Legal Opinion that describes each Skill Game (including detailed operational descriptions) and provides a detailed analysis of its compliance with applicable United States and international law:"  If the g
ame's creator must provide a legal opinion about a particular game for it to be approved, why must Operators also provide an opinion? A Operator's opinion, legal or otherwise, won't be sufficient for an approval determination.
 
Our plan has been to complete the Operator application, then to look at which games have been approved and those are what will run. 4(a)(iii) is difficult because Linden's asking for legal review of games or creators that may not even be approved and therefore moot.
 
This is sort of chicken and egg: Until Operators know what games are approved they're at a stop point, and if Creators don't have customers there's no incentive to create. Can you please help us understand how you'd like to see this process move forward since the timing is so short?
 
JP Linden used to be the contact on these matters, is there someone assigned to this project that can be contacted?
 
Again, thank you for a lot of effort Linden's put into this and for reading and considering the comments in this thread.

I would love to see some of the answer to this question if we could get Linden Labs to respond.

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This is interesting. Very interesting.

It has long been my firm opinion that Linden Lab has allowed games - for whatever reason - from certain creators that are anything but skill, and have been out and out games of chance dressed up as skill based games....ie gambling.

Quite how this has occured for so long amazed me.   I spent hours watching and even playing these so called 'skill' games at a number of locations many many months ago.

I have also suspected that there may well have been some legal challenges, shall we say, to this in RL and perhaps the result is this new policy.

I believe it is game over for certain 'select' creators. as now their gambling...sorry, ahem,... 'skill' games will need to be rescripted to show a strong measure of skill and hence they  - and Linden Lab - will not plunder the profits they have for the last few years.  Although,that said, they have creamed in profits to a remarkable degree, so I doubt they will be too bothered that the game, so to speak, is up.

If the Alphaville Herald had maintained it's investigative drive and impetus, I think there may well have been an expose in the offing long before now. but, they missed the boat.

Who prior to this new policy was responsible for scrutinizing these games at the lab?  What processes were used to provide some creators with the green light?   Which games, exactly, can the lab prove were games of skill?

Come back, Pixleleen Mistral!

Of course, this is merely my opinion.  Still, it is very, very interesting.

Maybe, we do indeed have a CEO who is 'on the ball', for once?

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Linden Lab wrote:

Hi Smoovious,

To the extent that your activities would fall within the definition of "Operator", such activities would require a license. 

For more information on the destinction between a "Region Owner" and "Operator", please review the 
.

Thank you,

Sorry, Linden, but your answer was just as vague as what I was asking clarification on...

 

What specifically, qualifies as an Operator... as, in my case, from my understanding, I would fall somewhere between "Region Owner" and "Operator"...

 

I'll explain.

 

I used to operate a small arcade. Nothing big or fancy... started with a small parcel on mainland with 1 type of game, later expanded to 5 types of games on another larger mainland parcel... I never made a profit, I just did this for fun, and played the games myself using my main (all of my construction is done on alts).

 

If I was to continue this, I would end up renting a parcel on a gaming sim (possibly owned by Anshe if she chooses to convert some of her sims to gaming sims) and, unlike before with my little arcade in a spot where no other gaming was, I would be crowded into a sim with many other people also running their own arcades, and most likely a lot of duplication on the games we offered... (but I digress)

 

 

  • “Region Owner” shall mean a Second Life resident who licenses Inworld land from Linden Lab.

 I would not be a Region Owner, in this case... Anshe would be... I'm just a tenant in this context, and I don't believe I would be required to go through an application process, simply to rent a parcel on a gaming sim. For example, if I had a small shop open that sold gaming-related merchandise, like T-shirts with a royal flush on them, a large money bag worn over the shoulder while walking around, perhaps a Whale avatar wearing a tux, other silly stuff with a gaming theme, but would seem appropriate on a gaming sim, even tho I wouldn't be engaging in gaming... so just being a tenant on a gaming sim, wouldn't mean I would have to get Region Owner approval, since I don't own the region.

 

 

  • “Operator” shall mean a Second Life resident recognized by Linden Lab through the Skill Gaming application process to place and operate approved Skill Game(s) in a Skill Gaming Region, in accordance with Linden Lab’s requirements.

If I installed Jaded Kicker games instead, for example, I would not be an Operator, either. While I would be rezzing out dummy prims that the Operator of the games would later replace with the actual game board, I would, in effect, only be leasing out space/prims on my parcel in exchange for a fee from Jaded. Jaded is the Operator of the game, not me. I don't control the game, have no logs to check on for missed payouts, I have no access to the system whatsoever. All the 'dummys' serve as, is an invitation to Jaded to place one of their games in that spot, which they can accept or deny as they wish. Jaded does the actual placing of the game, and Jaded does the actual operation of the game, which makes Jaded the Operator, not me.

 

Now, if I installed a couple games from a different vendor (which I have 2 of) who doesn't use their own network, and I control the games and the accounting (even if I still can't see the script), then yes, I would qualify as an Operator, as while the Creator made the games, they don't Operate the games, I do.

 

So... see why this needs more detailed, and specific, clarification, about what exactly qualifies as one or the other, than just you pointing back to the FAQ which we all have already read forwards and backwards by now trying to figure out how we can survive this ToS change?

 

Please address my concerns, in a more direct manner, if you are permitted to, Linden.

 

-- Smoov

 

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If the land is in your name, and obtaining a fee from the machines being there, I would confidently say you better license as an operator.  What the lab is doing here, is buffering themselves from legal responsibility.  You need to get a lawyer to define your legality in relatiionship to LL's new TOS, because you are the one who will need that lawyer to defend you should you be accused of running an illegal gambling operation.  This is the essence of what LL is doing.  They are not going to define it for you, they are not going to be your legal defender.  They have provided the guidelines for your lawyer to form a decision, and they will not go beyond this.  

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Before getting a lawyer involved (who, at this point, is going to want clarification like I am wanting) those items are going to need to be defined, or that's what the legal fight is going to be about.

 

The letter of what is written, about what an Operator is, is what matters here, and, as written, I would not qualify as being an Operator for the Jaded games, I would only be the parcel owner.

 

A good attorney would make the same argument. Whenever there is something that is vague, that is a spot where the argument of if it is even applicable, comes into play.

 

If an Operator is considered to be someone who IS this, AND IS this, AND IS that... and I only satisfy two of those three? Then the equation is false, and I am not an Operator... change those ANDs to ORs, and then the equation is true, and I am an Operator.

 

Lawyers live for these kinds of technicalities, and we have to go by what is actually written, not what we may, or may not, like them to be.

 

Hence, the need for more specific clarification, by someone in a position to know, what the policy is supposed to be, and able to make changes to the ToS to make the policy actually say precisely what they intended.

 

Unwritten intentions don't count in contract law, only what was actually written and agreed to.

 

-- Smoov

 

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I'am i too very confused and i have a other question

Several people in a group ask me: the roleplay games he considers skill game?

 

 


SLAddict Allen wrote:


Linden Lab wrote:

Hi Surfaqua,

As each game differs in its operational functions, we are unable to provide opinions of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy via this forum. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and in compliance with, this policy.

 

I'm confused by this answer.

 

You've created a set of rules, yet you are unable to determine what violates them?

So if a creator "decides" that what he is doing is in compliance, you are saying Linden Lab will not come saying that he isn't?

No wonder the grid is still littered with gaming.


 

 

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I've been doing some research and some of the states on the list you provide as prohibited are actually gambling states.

Prohibited States & Countries

Residents of the following states and countries may not participate in Skill Gaming in Second Life:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee

Here is a link to USA legal online gaming states: Legal Online Gambling by State

http://www.legalgambling.net/legal-online-gambling-by-state.html

I hope this help because seems a little confusing that gamers on legal states can't play.

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