Online Casinos Banned at Second Life

Online Casinos Banned at Second Life

Online casino gaming is illegal even in video games.

Second Life, a virtual world created by Linden Lab, has shut down all casinos and gambling establishments in the virtual reality game world.

What is Second Life?

Second Life (SL) is an Internet-based virtual world that was launched in 2003 – think of it like a more advanced version of The Sims. The “Residents” of Second Life download the Second Life Viewer which allows you to interact in the world, talking to people, trade items, play games etc. It’s like a massive multiplayer game version of MySpace – like social networking but video game style. Players in the game do business using the Linden Dollar (Linden / L$) which can be exchanged for real-world currency. About 10 million accounts are currently registered.

How would players bet and gamble on Second Life?

Well, they would use Linden Dollars to bet. As a Second Lifer puts it, “Definitely, no more sploders & raffle balls. Can also see prize pot games getting the ax because they select winners by random. Seems the only way to pick up a few L$ that hasn’t been nuked by LL is camping. I understand the policy, and I do agree with it for the most part, but it just seems like SL is being forced to taste more and more like tofu with every new policy – bland and flavorless.”

What’s going to get affected by this decision?

Well this is going to affect the Casino-style islands that are found in the video game. This will then be a snowball effect which will then directly affect Linden Labs because the owners of these islands are some of the biggest financial contributors. They pay land rental fees and currency fees to Linden Labs, so this must have been a hard decision for the company.

Ugh – UIGEA strikes again

It’s obvious that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is behind this. Linden Labs, even though they are potentially losing big money from the players by banning this, is trying to prevent heat coming from government officials and the FBI. There’s no word if the FBI has contacted Linden Labs – but I wouldn’t doubt there’s at least some conversation that lead to this decision.

I’d love to know how the loyal gambling population of Second Life feels about this decision. Furthermore, I have a more interesting question. Has anyone done any research to see if the players who gamble on Second Life are gamblers in real life? In other words, do they also play at online casinos like SunPoker or real life casinos like the Mirage?

If they don’t, then this poses an interesting question. Does stopping players from gambling actually promote players to move to “real” gambling at online casinos? Maybe these players that used to get their gambling fix at virtual worlds like Second Life now move to the big boys of gambling like PokerStars. All this while the supposed reason for the UIGEA was to prevent gambling addictions by making gambling too accessible.

Will the power of the UIGEA ever fade away?