In a move with both potential promise and peril, Linden Lab just announced it will soon allow Linden Dollar payouts for games of skill (i.e. no casino games) in tightly regulated, zoned areas of Second Life. Since L$ can be bought and sold for US$, this basically enables online gaming with real money payouts. Many have tried to offer such a service, but for various reasons, none have really gained much traction. However, because Second Life already has a relatively large userbase using Linden Dollars, there's a lot of potential here -- if ambitious game developers are willing to jump through all the regulatory hurdles Linden Lab has waiting for them. Here's just one of the clauses:
Access to Skill Gaming Regions will be restricted to Second Life users who are of sufficient age and are located in a jurisdiction that Linden Lab permits for this kind of online gaming activity. If you are in a permitted jurisdiction and you meet the relevant age requirements, you will be able to access these regions just like any in Second Life. If you are not eligible, you will receive an error message. However, you are responsible for knowing which jurisdictions are prohibited and the requisite ages of participation and not attempting to access a Skill Gaming Region if you do not qualify. Attempts to circumvent our controls will constitute a violation of our Skill Gaming Policy and Terms of Service.
So the question becomes, who has the skill to deploy skill-based gaming?
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