I was listening to MetaReality Podcast over the weekend when Qarl mentioned that Second Life under Mark Kingdon had been considering ways to bring back gambling, according to some it has never really gone away, but the days of casinos on the landscape are certainly long gone.
This remined me that I’d been reading about real money Facebook apps: Facebook strikes deal with 888 to launch more real-money gaming apps in the UK. The key here being the in the UK part, so as to not fall foul of laws regarding online gambling in jurisdictions where it’s not allowed.
A quick recap on gambling in Second Life, as far as I’m aware it was never licensed. However it was popular and it did require land, so it generated tier revenue. Linden Lab took a business decision to ban it, but I can recall a forum or blog post where Zee Linden, former CFO, said they had been considering finding a way to bring it back. However that has never happened.
When Linden Lab struck a deal with Dragonfish to process payments, I wondered if this was to do with introducing gambling back to Second Life, as Dragonfish are related to 888, the same 888 who are introducing gaming apps to Facebook. When you used to email support, they had an 888 address. This was for the now defunct Local Payments System, US residents didn’t have their payments processed in this fashion.
Now one way of bringing gambling back to Second Life would have been to do what Facebook are doing, and restrict it to residents of a certain country, so for example if 888 had opened an 888 sim, only UK residents would be able to enter. This would obviously be problematic, especially as gambling winnings would find their way into the wider economy, but it does raise the issue of restrictions on Second Life based on the geographic location of Linden Lab, rather than their customers.