On Wednesday June 26th 2007, Linden Labs issued their new policy, which you can read here in full on the blog.
In essence, it bans gambling –
(1) (a) rely on chance or random number generation to determine a winner, OR (b) rely on the outcome of real-life organized sporting events,
(2) provide a payout in
(a) Linden Dollars, OR
(b) any real-world currency or thing of value.
This includes (but is not limited to), for example, Casino Games such as:
o Pai Gow
o Sic Bo
o Slot machines
It also includes Sports Books or Sports Betting, including the placing of bets on actual sporting events against a book-maker or through a betting exchange. As residents have pointed out, it also includes things common at parties, such as sploder balls.
Overnight, the effect has been to close down casinos across Second Life. Clubs that held gaming machines have either got rid of that side of their operations or closed down altogether. It’s clearly going to have a huge effect on the SL economy, as gambling was either a major or a minor underpinning of many businesses. The casinos may go – but how will the jazz clubs who used gambling as a source of revenue survive? Will we start to see door charges instead?
From the point of view of the householder, the gardener and the designer in SL, the demise of gambling brings some advantages. Firstly, we might lose some of the hideous advertising markers that have littered the mainland. In addition, the loss of crowded casinos might cut down a little on the lag – especially as many of them made use of campers to puff up their numbers. Let’s just hope that the next move the Lindens make is to abolish campers!
But in terms of design, we could be losing some rather striking and beautiful builds. Not necessarily a huge number, as many casinos focused on the most simplistic of builds in order to separate customers and their money. Indeed, quite recently I was lamenting the demise of an attractive build for a casino, where the casino owner very rapidly decided he wanted something much simpler, where the patrons could concentrate on spending money, rather than the beauty of their surroundings, and the whole thing was pulled down.
However, a further advantage of the end of gambling – there may be some land available for sale very soon. And I look forward to seeing people find creative ways to fill it.