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Are claw machines outside of a gaming sim against ToS?


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So, I saw a few claw machines in a store sim and the sign for them specifically said “play at your own risk”. That sort of phrasing suggests gambling, which is illegal on Second Life, if I recall correctly. The sign said it requires “some skill”. Not only that, but it also said that even if you manage to get a prize in the claw, it would sometimes “fall out”, in which you paid money and got nothing in return. So I’m curious of two things:

1. Is this described claw machine against TOS as a whole?

2. If not, is it against ToS to have these claw machines on a non-gaming-related sim? 

According to California law (the state that Second Life’s headquarters is based), claw machines are considered illegal: https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/gambling/ill_devices.pdf .

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They are considered to be arcade machines, not one armed bandits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claw_crane

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A claw crane, toy crane or skill crane is a type of arcade game known as a merchandiser, commonly found in video arcades, supermarkets, restaurants, movie theaters, shopping malls, and bowling alleys.[1]

 

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Normally, I’d agree with all of you, but the fact that the claw drops the prize sometimes for no discernible reason, even if you’ve properly maneuvered it to the right place, reminds me of this: 

“Accordingly, games that award bonuses or impose penalties that are random or unpredictable through the use of any reasonably achievable skill or strategy will be deemed noncompliant with the Skill Gaming Policy and will be rejected.”

From:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Second_Life_Skill_Game_Guidelines

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@Selene Gregoire While that may be true on a more widespread basis in the States, California has some very specific laws that outline the exceptions to unlawful gambling-esque machines. Page two in my first link explains it a bit more under “Narrowly Defined Amusement Devices Exceptions”. 

Additionally, your wiki link points out that “Skill cranes in single-play mode (where the player has only one chance per credit to try for a prize) were found by the Ontario Court of Appeal to be essentially games of chance, and therefore prohibited except at fairs or exhibitions, where they are covered by an exemption.[8]” So there is still speculation on the perameters of legality from one state (or jurisdiction) to the next. 

Edited by Spitewick
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We could all argue our personal interpretation of things forever - and some in the forums would do so very happily.  However, as Alyona said, if you really want to know if it is against LL policies or not, AR it and then come back in a few days to see if they are still there.  Typically ARs related to the gambling policy are dealt with fairly quickly.  If they are still there in a few days (probably a week max), then LL does not consider them against their policy regardless of what any of us think.

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2 hours ago, Spitewick said:

@Selene Gregoire While that may be true on a more widespread basis in the States, California has some very specific laws that outline the exceptions to unlawful gambling-esque machines. Page two in my first link explains it a bit more under “Narrowly Defined Amusement Devices Exceptions”. 

Additionally, your wiki link points out that “Skill cranes in single-play mode (where the player has only one chance per credit to try for a prize) were found by the Ontario Court of Appeal to be essentially games of chance, and therefore prohibited except at fairs or exhibitions, where they are covered by an exemption.[8]” So there is still speculation on the perameters of legality from one state (or jurisdiction) to the next. 

Ontario, Canada? I thought your concern was US law, which, btw, state law can not legally supersede federal law. It's the US feds that have the final say so in the US. International law is a different plate of spaghetti. 

It's up to LL to determine if they are allowed in SL or not. Since LL has been down this road at least once several years ago, they've likely already made the determination.

Best thing to do is contact LL and ask them what the policy is for SL.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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3 hours ago, Spitewick said:

@Selene Gregoire While that may be true on a more widespread basis in the States, California has some very specific laws that outline the exceptions to unlawful gambling-esque machines. Page two in my first link explains it a bit more under “Narrowly Defined Amusement Devices Exceptions”. 

Additionally, your wiki link points out that “Skill cranes in single-play mode (where the player has only one chance per credit to try for a prize) were found by the Ontario Court of Appeal to be essentially games of chance, and therefore prohibited except at fairs or exhibitions, where they are covered by an exemption.[8]” So there is still speculation on the perameters of legality from one state (or jurisdiction) to the next. 

dude im in ontario too, while in SL we have to obid by california laws since that is where LL is based in.
What could be legal for us might be illegal in california therefor illegal in SL.

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2 hours ago, VenKellie said:

dude im in ontario too, while in SL we have to obid by california laws since that is where LL is based in.
What could be legal for us might be illegal in california therefor illegal in SL.

That’s what I said at the beginning of my post, heh. 

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6 hours ago, Spitewick said:

While that may be true on a more widespread basis in the States, California has some very specific laws that outline the exceptions to unlawful gambling-esque machines. Page two in my first link explains it a bit more under “Narrowly Defined Amusement Devices Exceptions”. 

 

8 hours ago, Selene Gregoire said:

They are considered to be arcade machines, not one armed bandits.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claw_crane

I thought perhaps it was a recent law enacted in California, but the Law Enforcement Advisory that Spitewick linked to in the first post was from 2010, so not very recent.  I found that interesting as I live in California and I know that I've seen the types of machines discussed in the wiki article Selene linked to in restaurants and pizza parlors still, even after 2010.  It looks to me that enforcement might be haphazard or not a high priority in some areas of the State.  Out of curiosity, I'm certainly going to be on the look-out for them, now.

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15 hours ago, Spitewick said:

@Selene Gregoire While that may be true on a more widespread basis in the States, California has some very specific laws that outline the exceptions to unlawful gambling-esque machines. Page two in my first link explains it a bit more under “Narrowly Defined Amusement Devices Exceptions”. 

Additionally, your wiki link points out that “Skill cranes in single-play mode (where the player has only one chance per credit to try for a prize) were found by the Ontario Court of Appeal to be essentially games of chance, and therefore prohibited except at fairs or exhibitions, where they are covered by an exemption.[8]” So there is still speculation on the perameters of legality from one state (or jurisdiction) to the next. 

You're walking down a street when you see a cardboard washing-machine box sitting in a front yard. There's a slot cut in the box and somebody has written "SLOT MASHEEN" on the box. As you approach it you hear a child's voice.

"I'm a slot machine. I'm thinking of a number. Put a stick of gum in the slot and guess the number. If you're right I'll give you one of my baseball cards."

Would you contact the gaming commission about this? Because it would literally be more of a "gambling machine" than the "claw machines" you're describing, both in the value of the stakes and items and its status of being a machine at all.

Oh, and the "skill gaming" regulations in Second Life only apply to payouts in Lindens.

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1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

You're walking down a street when you see a cardboard washing-machine box sitting in a front yard. There's a slot cut in the box and somebody has written "SLOT MASHEEN" on the box. As you approach it you hear a child's voice.

"I'm a slot machine. I'm thinking of a number. Put a stick of gum in the slot and guess the number. If you're right I'll give you one of my baseball cards."

Would you contact the gaming commission about this? Because it would literally be more of a "gambling machine" than the "claw machines" you're describing, both in the value of the stakes and items and its status of being a machine at all.

Oh, and the "skill gaming" regulations in Second Life only apply to payouts in Lindens.

I could point out the faults in your argument, but I think I’ll pass on replying much more to that sort of snark.

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