Via Reuters – “FBI investigators have visited Second Life’s Internet casinos at the invitation of the virtual world’s creator Linden Lab, but the U.S. government has not decided on the legality of virtual gambling.”
It took them this long to be bothered, and they had to be “invited?” Whenever I would look for populated areas in Second Life, every place would end up being a casino.
How does it work?
Second Life allows for advanced scripting, that means you can create a slot machine or similar gaming device. L$ or linden dollars can be purchased and sold at various virtual currency exchange sites on the web. Casino operators place parking chairs in their location that pays users to sit in them. This makes their location appear very populated on the world map thus attracting curious users. So, USD in -> L$ -> USD out.
Legal? Normal online gambling is in the US is a big enough of a mess; I wouldn’t touch it. As usual the Second Life creators appear so eager for press that they are inviting a criminal investigation into themselves and their users.
Considering how confusing Second Life is to anyone but hardline 3D nerds I would imagine the FBI are stratching their heads right now.
Could it be when a group uses the threat of violence to illegally abduct and detain individuals who peacefully start businesses that compete with their own vice monopolies?
In other news, great opportunities ahead for internet entrepreneurs in Antigua and Barbuda who want to run a business without worrying about those pesky TM and copyright C&D letters.
I’m sure you’ve noticed Golden Palace’s crazy antics that range from buying dumb stuff on ebay to paying streakers to display their name. Have you ever noticed the ads for PartyPoker on TV that say PartyPoker.net and not PartyPoker.com?
Tonight I read a very interesting case study from MarketingSherpa. It turns out that this multi-billion dollar industry has more than a few tricks and gimmicks up its sleave to rake in the cash.
“We have BoSpoker.net, for example,” he explains. The concept is that the average consumer won’t type dot-net. Rather, they type dot-com, landing on the pay gambling site rather than the free site. With that in mind, Griffiths is spending millions of dollars on radio, newspaper, and internet ads for BoSpoker.net. Interestingly, even on the dot-net site, he can’t advertise for the dot-com, because other sites — ESPN for example — won’t take the dot-net advertising if the dot-net links to the dot-com.
Oh, and advertising gambling websites in the United States isn’t exactly illegal, but there are some people who would like you to think it is.