legality of an RCE

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awe

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Over the years there has been the discussion if an RCE is actually a disguised casino, or if it is an entity on its own.
Now since this horse ha been beaten to death and beyond; there is only one way to know it once and for all.
This in matter is to ask each each country's cyber crime (since on-line gambling is illegal in many countries) or gambling division to investigate.



Now to summarize what EU is not:
a subscription game, since there is no monthly fee.
a Freemium game, since there is no way to play for free. Even if you trade "free" stuff, the other player had to deposit for this. Or simply, MA does not provide any for of free game-play in what it calls it's main activities beyond the tutorial missions.


Now, you can start a discussion here about whether you think EU is a casino or not; but this is not the scoop of the thread. The scoop of the thread is if governments think EU is a game.

And yes I am aware that PE was not considered a casino by Sweden over 10 years ago.


I'm very curious what the official reactions will be; although I think they won't think they will prioritize very highly on their list.
 

Falagor

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I have lost respect to goverment in my country (in general to all politicians) long time ago.

So basicly i do not care what goverment in my country thinks about Entropia.

If a bunch of people that are in no way better than yourself considers something illegal or not and then you have to obey what they decide is total absurd ;).

Falagor
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DaisyColdFinger

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Swapped EU for Poker ;)
Some Rules are for "fools" used by the big boys to keep the competition in check It IS the way of the world
 
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awe

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I have lost respect to goverment in my country (in general to all politicians) long time ago.

So basicly i do not care what goverment in my country thinks about Entropia.

If a bunch of people that are in no way better than yourself considers something illegal or not and then you have to obey what they decide is total absurd ;).

Falagor
:bandit:

It is possible that governments don't have the right answer. But MA can always defend themselves.


Also, in Poland this might not be a big problem; but I was just going over FBI reports concerning illegal casinos and I found out that, the players can get sued and their gainings confiscated :eyecrazy: if an RCE is deemed a casino.

Also, note that 70 countries in the world allow online casino playing; so for Austria, New Zealand, Denmark and others nothing much changes.
 

awe

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Rules for fools used by the big boys to keep the competition in check ;) It IS the way of the world :yup:
Ohh, you just reminded me about PK'ing assets with a real world monetary value. That is another legal matter to present.
 

DaisyColdFinger

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Swapped EU for Poker ;)
Now to summarize what EU is not :

a subscription game, since there is no monthly fee.
- Fee's do not exclusively constitute a subscription. Free subscriptions are a reality - Thus your grounds for this claim is incorrect.

a Freemium game, since there is no way to play for free. Even if you trade "free" stuff, the other player had to deposit for this. Or simply, MA does not provide any for of free game-play in what it calls it's main activities beyond the tutorial missions.
- Walking around and clicking on things is play. Playing with EMOTES is play, all of which are free. So are you talking about PLAY or EARNING PEDS because clearly it is FRee to PLAY.
 

AxeMurderer

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Now to summarize what EU is not:
a Freemium game, since there is no way to play for free. Even if you trade "free" stuff, the other player had to deposit for this. Or simply, MA does not provide any for of free game-play in what it calls it's main activities beyond the tutorial missions.
:scratch2: so what game offers that?
 

Falagor

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It is possible that governments don't have the right answer. But MA can always defend themselves.


Also, in Poland this might not be a big problem; but I was just going over FBI reports concerning illegal casinos and I found out that, the players can get sued and their gainings confiscated :eyecrazy: if an RCE is deemed a casino.

Also, note that 70 countries in the world allow online casino playing; so for Austria, New Zealand, Denmark and others nothing much changes.
I could not live in a coutry with FBI ;).

:scratch2: so what game offers that?
There are games that have full playable content accesible for free and only thing you need to pay for are extra looks that give no extra advanage (except looking bad ass that might be intimidating ;)),


@edit @topic:
i am sure that even if country strictly prohibits online casino an similar activities - there is ALWAYS a way to explain the game in a way it will not be a cassino.

For example there should be NO way goverment preventing you entering the universe and just walking around doing nothing - there is no gambling in that right?
If someone wants to controll your in/out cash flow - then you can always explain you were providing buying/selling service and did absolutly nothing that has to do with any sort of gambling.
If they want to investigate your activities inside the game then they will be breaking the laws they try to enforce or you live in China or N.Korea :) (no offense to any chineese or korean people i bet a lot of you are great people - i just hate the goverment).

Falagor
:bandit:
 
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PW3CKA

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Once again some noob with fake account. So what is it that you did? Crafted explosives on condition? :D

God I hate people like this...
 

moise

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in a casino there's a probablity to win jackpot, not anymore in EU :laugh:
 

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Mindark visited the US Congress in 2007:

A meeting within the US Congress

In August MindArk were invited to a meeting with representatives from the Joint
Economic Committee of the US Congress in order to discuss a range of
legislative and legal issues regarding virtual worlds.
The meeting took place in Washington DC and MindArk sent two executive
officers to attend. In its invitation the US Congress pointed out MindArk’s vast
experience, an experience the Congress want to utilize in its ambition to learn
more about virtual worlds and what might be their most appropriate policy
response to this growing economic sphere.
 

awe

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Once again some noob with fake account. So what is it that you did? Crafted explosives on condition? :D

God I hate people like this...
Actually neither.
Although the first time I had this idea, years back, I was pissed of at returns. But since then I made good amount of money and actually got bored with the game a couple of times.

The idea behind this is twofold. It would forever set the discussion about whether an RCE is a casino;
and more importantly, what would happen if some countries say it was.

What would be the aftermath if this happens.
Interesting to notice would be how the players as a whole react. Just like in a real economy where faith is hitting rock bottom.
It looks very interesting to learn how it would play out; and maybe some of the info could be used to predict how a RL economic collapse would play out.

The funny thing is that things are already set in motion; and without even really knowing why, some have already acted upon things that haven't happened yet.
Just look back at this in late spring, and you will be amazed and intrigued.

And always remember it's just a game.
 

Ape Drape

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in a casino there's a probablity to win jackpot, not anymore in EU :laugh:

Online casinos will also run promotions where they will match your deposit.
 

mastermesh

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Swedish Take on it in 2013...

Copy of an email regarding this issue dated 11/26/2013 that I personally received from the Swedish Gambling Authority after inquiring about the matter with them a little before then:
-------------------------------------------
Hello,

The content of this letter is not to be considered a legally binding document. The Swedish Gambling Authority has investigated the “Loot” system in Entropia Universe in journal number 13Li3786. The investigation was closed on the 30 of October 2013.

The Swedish gambling market is regulated by The Swedish lottery act (1994:1000). The general rule is that lotteries must not be arranged except by permit (Section 9, Lotteries Act). Permits may in principle only be granted to non-profit making associations whose activities are for the public benefit (Section 15, Lotteries Act), it is thus not sufficient for a permit to be granted that the proceeds of the lottery are applied for charitable purposes.

There are two possibilities for The Swedish Gambling Authority to act in cases of suspicion of crime, one is to submit to the suspect with a penalty (Vite) the second one is to notify the police. To submit the suspect with penalty it is required to that the offense has been committed within Swedish jurisdiction, this means a server is located in Sweden or the person or company that offers the lottery lives in Sweden.
It also requires an exact moment when the crime has been committed. It is, therefore, necessary to secure documentation of a Swedish player who lives in Sweden when he or her wins “Loots” in order to prove that the location of the criminal act is within the Swedish jurisdiction and that the legal person responsible for lottery is Swedish. The Swedish Gambling Authority would likely need to dedicate an employee on full-time to play in Entropia Universe before the possibility of gaining loots in Entropia Universe. It has to been proved that the actual legal person which is responsible for lottery is Swedish, in this case, MindArk and that it is not arranged by a foreign subsidiary to MindArk. This would require a thorough investigation concerning MindArks corporate structures.

Anyone may make a police report at suspicion of a criminal offense. It is likely to assume that the circumstance needs to be proven up to the level which is mentioned above in order for the Swedish court to decide on a punishment on a suspected crime. The Swedish Gambling Authority has come to the conclusion that current circumstances isn´t sufficient evidence to make a police report, if you wish to make a police report, please notice attached contact details below

Circumstances of the case Entropia Universe has been put forward for head of department in the case of how the matter should be handled. Head of operational department which is responsible for the prioritization and allocation of resources, has decided that The Swedish Gambling Authority currently does not have the opportunity to further investigate the matter with reference to the extensive resource case would take.
Polismyndigheten i Västra Götaland
Box 429
401 26 Göteborg
Sweden

polismyndigheten.vastragotaland@polisen.se


Kind Regards
Josefin Jansson

LOTTERIINSPEKTIONEN

Josefin Jansson
Swedish Gambling Authority
Handläggare tillsyn Compliance Officer
Finningevägen 54 B
phone +46(0)152 650 184
P.O. Box 199
mobile +46(0)76 53 30 184
SE 645 23 Strängnäs
telefax +46(0)152 650 180
www.lotteriinspektionen.se
josefin.jansson@lotteriinspektionen.se

=============================
Mods, if the above information is breaking any forum rules, please feel free to delete out the parts that are...
 
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mastermesh

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Missouri's take on it...

Copy of an email dated 11/22/2013:
---------------------------------------
Our staff is aware of a number of massive multi-player online role playing games available to the public on the internet that may include activities that appear to be a form of gambling. Contrary to the Facebook posting you referenced, the Missouri Gaming Commission (MGC) only has legal jurisdiction over businesses, organizations, and individuals who are licensed by the MGC as part of the riverboat gambling industry or charitable bingo operations within the State of Missouri. Unlicensed or illegal gambling within the state is subject to the criminal law enforcement jurisdiction of the Missouri Attorney General and local law enforcement agencies.

The Attorney General’s Office website provides a summary of our state gambling laws at: http://ago.mo.gov/publications/gambling-full.htm You may also contact the Attorney General's Office with questions related to consumer protection by email at consumer.help@ago.mo.gov or through the Consumer Protection Hotline: 800-392-8222 (Outside MO: 573-751-3321)


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---------------------------------------
I suspect that most states here in the US follow similar setup as Missouri in that the gaming commission for any particular state only oversees real world gambling going on in that state. In Missouri the MGC is actually overseen by the state highway patrol. I'm not sure if that's a similar set up in other states or not.

As far as I know there is no official stance on online MMO use at the Federal level, although officially 'online gambling' isn't kosher in the US. Whether MMOs can be considered 'online gambling' is something that I don't think most laws and courts anywhere have considered yet.

Sidenote: It's funny that he mentioned facebook since the email originally sent had no facebook link in it anywhere. It was simply a link to the Wikipedia article on Entropia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropia_Universe

In real world casinos problem gamblers (folks addicted so much to gambling they can't stop themselves) can put themselves on state run disassociated person lists to be excluded from being on casino properties which basically means if they set foot in a casino they can and probably will be arrested for trespassing... but that type of thing is usually completely voluntary (unless they committed some type of actual crime or suspicious activity that would enable the authorities overseeing the casinos to add them to such a list involuntarily)... In a virtual world, banning folks permanently, or banning ip blocks might be about the closest thing possible to taking action... and it seems that Mindark can and does some of that type of stuff... just not voluntarily too often... (or ever?)

If virtual mmos were considered real casinos by real world governments, I suspect that there might be a little oversight on who gets banned and why, etc. but I suspect that oversight would not be too definitively detailed unless some government created its own sub-branch that just did that and nothing else.... Maybe Mindark (or the next virtual president?) should implement a sign up plan so you can get yourself banned from virtual environments, just like real world casinos and governments allow in real world casinos for problem gamblers?... Honestly, that might be about the only 'real' type of thing I could see anyone running for virtual president might want to do to help out the community? I think in real world the self exclusion lists are something like 5 or 6 years in length unless there's some special circumstances... so if you ban yourself from real world casino you can't go in to real world casino for 5 or 6 years without getting arrested for trespassing... not sure virtual environment would need to be that severe, but maybe?... Not sure I'd want anyone to officially 'break any law' just for logging in to Entropia, but perhaps some 'problem gamblers' would need that type of self imposed penalty if the addiction to gambling in game is severe enough for them?
 
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OZtwo

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Copy of an email regarding this issue dated 11/26/2013 that I personally received from the Swedish Gambling Authority after inquiring about the matter with them a little before then:
-------------------------------------------
Hello,

The content of this letter is not to be considered a legally binding document. The Swedish Gambling Authority has investigated the “Loot” system in Entropia Universe in journal number 13Li3786. The investigation was closed on the 30 of October 2013.
Yes I got the same reply more or less. The issue here is that they will not recheck MA for the latest updates MA has done with the use of buying Tokens directly from MA to play the crafter in hopes to win big. I do understand that other types of trade in game to then craft do fall under this rule and is ok, but the new system is so close to playing an online casino.

All MA really has to do is fix what is needed to craft EPs, but as you can see there is no issue so it gives MA the green light to do even more casino type systems in game in the future.
 

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OZtwo

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Fifth

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EU has a certain feature that distinguishes it from (online) casinos - free market economy.

Years ago it was possible to loot virtual currency from the mobs and convert it into real currency directly.
Since this was removed there is only 2 possible lines of action with your looted/manufactured resources:
  • sell to TT for the fixed base price (fixed and guaranteed by MA),
  • sell it in the street trade or on the auction.
Provided you have access to the statistical data, it's possible to show that in the long term profit is not possible using only the fixed base price mechanism (selling to TT-terminal).

It is obvious that the goal of the game is to maximize your profit. If so, it inevitably follows that trading the goods on the free market is an imperative.

One might argue that it is easy to lose money in the game. Also, every player is free to ignore the market and throw their money away. However, it's a personal decision if you use the features that are readily available or not. (Likewise, some citizens might never vote on the elections or burn their banknotes every payday - it doesn't follow there's something wrong with the democratic or economic system.)
Obviously the possibility to lose does not make it any more (or any less, for that matter) "gambling" either.

What can we conclude from this?

It is questionable if any institution dare to condemn a video game that is based on the free market economy, the very foundation of the modern western society. It would look almost like burning the Constitution or shooting Abraham Lincoln... :smoke:



I also suspect that MA dared to introduce the explo BP's only because they left one connection with the market - the final product has a markup. It seems they are walking on a very thin ice here, but apparently MA believes this one connection is sufficient enough.
 

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It is questionable if any institution dare to condemn a video game that is based on the free market economy, the very foundation of the modern western society. It would look almost like burning the Constitution or shooting Abraham Lincoln... :smoke:



I also suspect that MA dared to introduce the explo BP's only because they left one connection with the market - the final product has a markup. It seems they are walking on a very thin ice here, but apparently MA believes this one connection is sufficient enough.
What I found interesting from the SGA (heh) was that they stated that MA can do this because, not of the MU value, but because of the skills gained from the actions that at the end can be sold freely to the open market.:scratch2:


FYI to mod: somewhere in the emails there's a disclaimer stating that emails may not be shared in public. Why I haven't posted any of my emails from them...
 
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Fifth

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What I found interesting from the SGA (heh) was that they stated that MA can do this because, not of the MU value, but because of the skills gained from the actions that at the end can be sold freely to the open market.
Yep, indeed.
Actually I stared with a list of all those features that distinguish RCE from a Casino. But then I deleted this list to make it short. Nobody likes a wall of text... :)
 
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