April 05, 2007 |
G-men descended on Second Life's gambling casinos at the request of the virtual world's creator Linden Lab. The FBI has not made a determination about the legality of the site's virtual gambling and the agents probably felt pretty naked without their guns and badges too. Second Life has requested review of this issue several times in an effort to head off any issues that may cause problems. Until now FBI officials have been reluctant to take a look around (probably because calling for backup could get hairy.).
Ginsu Yoon, the site's general counsel and VP of business affairs said the company has been seeking guidance on virtual gaming at Second Life, but has not received any rules from U.S. authorities according to news from Yahoo and Reuters.
Hundreds of casinos inhabit Second Life but there are no exact figures on how much income these establishments make. The three largest casinos earn a modest $1500 per month according to the news release. This number is probably correct if you calculate the average lunch money of a school kid in the U.S. The spending on Second Life seems to be in the millions per day, so someone is getting happy at the virtual community.
Most regal experts agree that placing bets with "Linden Dollars" is illegal according to U.S. statutes. Linden dollars are the currency of Second Life and can be redeemed for the ever popular U.S dollar variant. Second Life appears to be trying to head off any possible crackdown that may hurt the site. It is only a matter of time before FBI undercover operations begin on any place turning over a mil a day!
Linden Labs rules prohibit illegal activity, which mirrors the physical world's assurance that nothing illegal can happen because of the law. I just hope no one finds the mayor of Second Life in bed with an illegal virtual call girl or the whole political atmosphere of Second Life may be turned up side down. I wonder, if you get whacked in Second Life do you die in the real world?