Linden Lab has issued a further reminder that the new Skill Gaming policy comes into effect as of Monday September 1st, and that it will be enforced. This means that as of that date, all games of skill operating in Second Life must:
- Have been created by a skill games creator approved by Linden Lab
- Be operated by a skill games operator approved by Linden Lab
- Be located on a Skill Gaming region operated by the Skill Games operator.
In case there are any wondering what might be classified as a skill game, and thus falls under the above requirements, the Skill Gaming policy provides the following definition:
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 authorised by applicable United States and international law.
The policy also notes that, “‘Skill Games’ are not intended to include and shall not include ‘gambling’ as defined by applicable United States and international law.” Gambling is, and remains, against the Second Life Terms of Service.
The new policy means that as from September 1st, 2014, anyone wishing to play games of skill also must meet certain criteria, which the Lab again defines as follows:
Should you wish to participate in Skill Gaming in Second Life, you represent and agree that you: (i) are at least nineteen (19) years of age; (ii) have the legal authority to agree to this Skill Gaming Policy; (iii) reside in, and are accessing a Skill Gaming Region from, a jurisdiction in which participation in Skill Gaming is legally authorized; and (iv) are of legal age to participate in Skill Gaming in your jurisdiction.
Additionally, those wishing to play gamers of skill must, “establish and maintain a Second Life account with accurate, current and complete information about yourself, including a valid payment method.”
The official reminder from the Lab further makes things clear:
Remember: if you are not an approved* Creator or Operator, you must cease the creation, distribution, and operation of skill games (as defined in the Skill Gaming Policy) by September 1, 2014. So if you haven’t already removed any unapproved skill games from your Marketplace shop, for example, or haven’t yet ceased operating them inworld, now is the time to do so. From that date forward, operating and/or creating skill games with L$ payouts, among other criteria as specified in the Skill Gaming Policy, without Linden Lab approval (and/or outside of Skill Gaming Regions) will be subject to enforcement measures.
If you live in a jurisdiction where skill gaming is permitted and you plan on playing these games in Skill Gaming Regions in Second Life, you should not need to do anything differently. However, adding payment information on file now is a good way to help ensure you’re able to play as soon as Skill Gaming Regions are live.
*As noted in the FAQ, creators and operators whose applications are under review at the deadline may continue to operate skill games while their applications are reviewed, provided that they have submitted all required documentation and continue to promptly respond to any inquiries from Linden Lab.
As I recently reported, a number of approved operators and games have appeared on the official Skill Gaming Approved Participants wiki page, but one of the concerns expressed by potential creators and operators is the remaining lack of clarity around aspect of the new policy. for example, the Lab still had yet to give any indication of the likely quarterly fees which are to be levied, and this may still be causing people to hesitate in submitting an application as a creator and / or operator of skill games.
However, this doesn’t escape that fact that all operators and creators of skill games will have to be in compliance with the policy from Monday September 1st – and for those who have not yet submitted their application, that means ceasing creation, distribution and operation of skill games, as noted in the Lab’s blog post.
- Reminder: New Skill Gaming Policy In Effect, September 1st, 2014 – Linden Lab
- Linden Lab Official: Second Life Skill Gaming Policy
- Second Life Skill Gaming Approved Participants wiki page
- Skill Gaming FAQ