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The REAL reason why Slots/Roulette Tables were taken out the game?

Discussion in 'EA Land/The Sims Online Stratics Forums' started by Guest, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I was never able to get a clear answer to why Slots/Roulette Tables were taken out the game. Right now it doesn't make any sense for why they were taken out. [​IMG] Anyone got a good answer to why they were taken out?
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Because of US gambling and tax laws. Once simoleons are worth real cash, it becomes illegal online gambling to have slots and roulette tables in the game.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Simoleans aren't an official currency is it? Because of the "Cash out" not being activated yet. I know were buying simoleans from EA, but its not like people haven't been buying simoleans all these years, while slots were still enabled.
     
  4. Purdy

    Purdy Guest

    The Federal government went after Second Life's casinos. I found this news article about it:


    Recently, however, the virtual casinos that operate in Second Life have become the focus of major news outlets, and of the U.S. Government. Ever since Congress laid the legislative smack down to online gambling last year, industry analysts have speculated that Second Life could be the next target for legal action.

    The Reuters/Second Life News Center ponders the state of gambling within the virtual world:

    Most lawyers agree that placing bets with Linden dollars violates U.S. anti-gambling statutes, which require that “something of value” be wagered. But the degree of Linden Lab’s responsibility, and the likelihood of a crackdown by law enforcement officials, is far from certain
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    The Federal government went after Second Life's casinos. I found this news article about it:


    Recently, however, the virtual casinos that operate in Second Life have become the focus of major news outlets, and of the U.S. Government. Ever since Congress laid the legislative smack down to online gambling last year, industry analysts have speculated that Second Life could be the next target for legal action.

    The Reuters/Second Life News Center ponders the state of gambling within the virtual world:

    Most lawyers agree that placing bets with Linden dollars violates U.S. anti-gambling statutes, which require that “something of value” be wagered. But the degree of Linden Lab’s responsibility, and the likelihood of a crackdown by law enforcement officials, is far from certain

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Lindens are completely different, we have no way of turning our current simoleans into real world cash, so that argument about simoleans is negated.
     
  6. Yea it seems like the slots/roulette would be turned off when Cash-Out comes. Which is supposed to be this month
     
  7. Mahrya

    Mahrya Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Lindens are completely different, we have no way of turning our current simoleans into real world cash, so that argument about simoleans is negated.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's not a true statment - but things of that nature can't be discussed here.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Lindens are completely different, we have no way of turning our current simoleans into real world cash, so that argument about simoleans is negated.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's not a true statment - but can't be discussed here.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Why not?
     
  9. Mahrya

    Mahrya Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Lindens are completely different, we have no way of turning our current simoleans into real world cash, so that argument about simoleans is negated.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's not a true statment - but can't be discussed here.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Why not?

    [/ QUOTE ]


    I haven't posted here in ages but the last time I was on Stratics discussing $ value of simoleans was against the RoC - that's why. Perhaps that's changed - but I'm not testing it.
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Lindens are completely different, we have no way of turning our current simoleans into real world cash, so that argument about simoleans is negated.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's not a true statment - but things of that nature can't be discussed here.

    [/ QUOTE ]You have been gone quite a while, haven't you! [​IMG]

    Anyways...

    The ability to sell back simoleans may not be present at the moment - at least not from EA itself; but the feature IS planned, and as long a there is even the possibility of gaining the ability to sell simoleans for RL currency - either through EA's ATMs or through private, third-party transactions, the casino objects become illegal in the US.

    Think of it this way: If we still had casino objects, what would stop you from buying up, say, $5000 worth of simoleans and running them through the casino objects - holding onto the winnings until cash-out is implemented?
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    Lindens are completely different, we have no way of turning our current simoleans into real world cash, so that argument about simoleans is negated.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's not a true statment - but things of that nature can't be discussed here.

    [/ QUOTE ]You have been gone quite a while, haven't you! [​IMG]

    Anyways...

    The ability to sell back simoleans may not be present at the moment - at least not from EA itself; but the feature IS planned, and as long a there is even the possibility of gaining the ability to sell simoleans for RL currency - either through EA's ATMs or through private, third-party transactions, the casino objects become illegal in the US.

    Think of it this way: If we still had casino objects, what would stop you from buying up, say, $5000 worth of simoleans and running them through the casino objects - holding onto the winnings until cash-out is implemented?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Well with your theory the person who did run that $5000 worth of simoleans through the casino objects would not be guilty of online gambing, cause at that time of betting, the simoleans had not been "something of value".
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Well with your theory the person who did run that $5000 worth of simoleans through the casino objects would not be guilty of online gambing, cause at that time of betting, the simoleans had not been "something of value".

    [/ QUOTE ]Perhaps not; but the simoleans have implied value. Whether or not that would hold up in court is an as-yet unanswered question, but - when you know you're going to bring cash-out to the game and have to remove casino objects anyways, why risk it - particularly when the game is, in effect, starting over anyways.

    And, even if there is no legal precedent, think of what a handful of such people can do to EA's operating budget in short order!
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm playing the devils advocated here,but with Botters running wild wouldn't EA be more concerned about taking them out first before they did Casino Objects. Botters themselves are going to send EA's cash-out option to hell. I just find it funny.
     
  14. <blockquote><hr>



    Think of it this way: If we still had casino objects, what would stop you from buying up, say, $5000 worth of simoleans and running them through the casino objects - holding onto the winnings until cash-out is implemented?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    As someone who has the oldest casino in TSO (we opened the night casino objects were released in Test Center) I had to laugh at your $5k scenario. Running a casino was always a money losing occupation -- all the slot winnings come directly from the slot owner's pocket (many players don't know that). When you lost money at the slot machine I'm sure it seemed like the owner was getting rich off of you, lol. I know some casino owners made a good living, but they had to be totally "into it" and I always operated the place just for fun.

    When I first read the original post -- that asks why casino was removed -- I was gonna give the snide remark: "Because casino is fun, and fun has been surgically removed from this game." OK. I said it. I'm still smarting from losing casino fun, and because there is no visitor bonus my long-time tour business has gone from the game as well.

    Because all of us have the potential to turn casino winnings into real world cash EA cannot leave casino objects in the game. This also means there will be a fine line to walk for any cash awarded in this game -- it has to be within guidelines for being "a game of skill" and not "chance."

    With cash as dear as it is these days, I can't imagine giving it away for fun -- not like it used to be. Imagine the 25k jackpot on those hearts slot machines! To think that used to seem like chump change!

    Now, TC3 could have casino objects because there will never be cash out in TC3. I brought this up to Lee at the Pub weeks ago. He agreed. But, he said that it was important for TC3 and EA Land to be equal, so that TC3 would provide a valid testing area. The fact that the many perks -- increased payouts, increased skilling -- have been given to EA Land and not to TC3 has discouraged me no end.

    I really, really miss the casinos. The day they were taken away remains one of the darkest days for the fun aspect of this game. [​IMG]
     
  15. <blockquote><hr>

    I'm playing the devils advocated here,but with Botters running wild wouldn't EA be more concerned about taking them out first before they did Casino Objects. Botters themselves are going to send EA's cash-out option to hell. I just find it funny.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    EA is concerned about botters and actively working on a fix. Taking out casino objects was easily done. Botters = not so easy. They did not take out casino objects and then decide not to worry about botters, like you make it sound.

    Legs
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Personally, I think the entire cash-out idea should be scrapped, and I'm still undecided about cash-in.
    <blockquote><hr>

    I really, really miss the casinos. The day they were taken away remains one of the darkest days for the fun aspect of this game. [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]The next time I see you in game, remind me to teach you how to pee someone's name on your front lawn!
    [​IMG]
     
  17. <blockquote><hr>

    The next time I see you in game, remind me to teach you how to pee someone's name on your front lawn!
    [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Oh sure -- your first name takes up the entire lawn. Mine you don't even need a full bladder. [​IMG]
     
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    I'm playing the devils advocated here,but with Botters running wild wouldn't EA be more concerned about taking them out first before they did Casino Objects. Botters themselves are going to send EA's cash-out option to hell. I just find it funny.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    EA is concerned about botters and actively working on a fix. Taking out casino objects was easily done. Botters = not so easy. They did not take out casino objects and then decide not to worry about botters, like you make it sound.

    Legs

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Still, the fact that they took out casino objects without knowing that simoleans were not "something of value", makes you wonder why they were taken out. But as long as botters are around there will not be cash-out, and unlike botters, Casino objects have no legit reason to be taken out the game, in my view.
     
  19. Jason, do a search on "casino objects" and include the past year or so. You will find lengthy discussions that detail why the devs had to take the steps they did. The feds came down hard on SL, and that spooks the entire game industry. Online gambling is illegal in the US, and no one wants to be caught in that net. Of course there were ways around it, but the devs for this game did not consider casino as important to their plans. They have other fish to fry up.
     
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Well if casino objects weren't important to their plans, why did they bother to remove it? The Devs really jumped the gun on this one.
     
  21. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Still, the fact that they took out casino objects without knowing that simoleans were not "something of value", makes you wonder why they were taken out. But as long as botters are around there will not be cash-out, and unlike botters, Casino objects have no legit reason to be taken out the game, in my view.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    <blockquote><hr>

    Well if casino objects weren't important to their plans, why did they bother to remove it? The Devs really jumped the gun on this one.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Would it really have made a big difference if the devs had waited a few months to remove the casino objects? I am certain Luc had the idea of cash in/cash out from the beginning. The team has probably been at least discussing, if not working on the system, from the beginning.

    Regardless, the objects would have to have been either disabled or completely reworked to the point that they did not reward simoleans. This is for various legal reasons, those including: minors playing the game, taxes for casinos, etc.

    The point is, the team didn't just get up one day and say "We're going to disable casino objects just in case they somehow interfere with the law." The idea of cash out HAD been established, so this HAD to be done...it was just a matter of now or later.
     
  22. Sindran: You are right about that. It made sense to take away the casino objects before TC was merged into TC3 because they wiped all our cash at that point. Out with the old...

    Jason: when I said casino objects were not important to the dev's plans, I meant that in my opinion they had no use or vision for casino objects in their new game plans. If such objects were important, a work around would have been done that circumvented cash-out, but obviously casino play is not a big deal to the devs. They must have other and better plans on the drawing board to infuse the game with fun.
     
  23. <blockquote><hr>

    I really, really miss the casinos. The day they were taken away remains one of the darkest days for the fun aspect of this game. [​IMG]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Agreed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  24. The casino objects could have been changed to give out tokens instead simoleans. Tokens that would have no RL dollar value, but instead be able to be used to redeem prizes at the casino (like a teddy bear for 100 tokens to like a shower or expensive statue for like 10,000 tokens depending on the prizes at the casino and what the owner valued them at).

    At least it would still allow us to have some casino fun lol.
     
  25. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Good idea Marcin, good thoughts people.
     
  26. Bindy

    Bindy Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    The casino objects could have been changed to give out tokens instead simoleans. Tokens that would have no RL dollar value, but instead be able to be used to redeem prizes at the casino (like a teddy bear for 100 tokens to like a shower or expensive statue for like 10,000 tokens depending on the prizes at the casino and what the owner valued them at).

    At least it would still allow us to have some casino fun lol.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I agree I miss the casinos too [​IMG]
     
  27. Great idea Marcin! I hope the devs are listening...er looking.
     
  28. Better to remove them now than to remove them after we open cash out and then try to figure out who got what, and hearing the issues about how you spent real money to buy simoleans to buy casino objects that are now no good.

    It is planning ahead which we do inspite of the last few weeks of bugs.

    Question:
    How would one obtain tokens?

    Cheers,

    Lee
     
  29. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Lee, I would think tokens could be purchased with simoleans, just not sold. Perhaps a "Token Machine" object. The games would then charge tokens, as well as reward them for winnings.

    Perhaps even a special "Tokens Only" catalog for games category owners to exchange their tokens for prizes, which they can in turn sell to players (again, for tokens).

    The idea is an interesting one, it could make an entire new industry of "Arcades". Once we have more freedom with CC, it'd be interesting to see the kinds of interactive games people would come up with.
     
  30. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Better to remove them now than to remove them after we open cash out and then try to figure out who got what, and hearing the issues about how you spent real money to buy simoleans to buy casino objects that are now no good.

    It is planning ahead which we do inspite of the last few weeks of bugs.

    Question:
    How would one obtain tokens?

    Cheers,

    Lee

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Not sure, probably have sims put their simoleans into the slot machine, lets say $15, and then when they win they get tokens out of it. For the roulette, maybe the same thing?
     
  31. Tokens will become black market items. All this requires more code.

    Simple solution get them out of the game and then no issues to resolve.

    FFL

    Lee
     
  32. Guest

    Guest Guest

    well Fancey, with all do respect, maybe the team should reconsider whether Cash-In and Cash-Out is really going to help this game, right now, It hasn't at all.
     
  33. <blockquote><hr>

    Better to remove them now than to remove them after we open cash out and then try to figure out who got what, and hearing the issues about how you spent real money to buy simoleans to buy casino objects that are now no good.

    It is planning ahead which we do inspite of the last few weeks of bugs.

    Question:
    How would one obtain tokens?

    Cheers,

    Lee

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thats a good question. After giving it some thought, I found a flaw. To play the casino it would require to have simoleans, and one could buy simoleans to play for tokens. Now I'm not sure if thats against the gambling laws. I will give this some more thought.

    Anyhow, to obtain tokens in my mind it would be just like the regular casinos.
    A player would put in simoleans ( or maybe tokens which could be given out once when a player makes a new sim ), at the slot of their choice &amp; the amount of their choice ($1,$5, $10, etc....). If they won for example what would have been $250 that could be converted to 125 tokens. When the player wants to redeem they would go to a area in the casino a booth for example. And exchange or purchase a prize with the tokens. The tokens would go to the owner of the casino or the roommate who owned the prize.

    If the slot were to run out of tokens to give out, the owner of the slot would put tokens which they got from someone exchanging them for a prize, into the slot. Maybe their could be weekly token payout for casino owners &amp; roommates (a small amount) so that they could constantly have at least a few tokens to refill at least 1 or 2.


    The tokens can be something like the Magic Coins in the Making Magic expansion pack, or the game tokens from the vacation expansion pack.
     
  34. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    well Fancey, with all do respect, maybe the team should reconsider whether Cash-In and Cash-Out is really going to help this game, right now, It hasn't at all.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My guess is cash-in has gained them a lot of additional revenue, which in turn has helped the game in the sense that it is not shut down due to lack of funding.
     
  35. I really dont see why we need cashin/cashout unless we want to be like SL. Why not keep our uniqueness and let us have casino games? It seems like with cashin/cashout you're limiting the gameplay in TSO and making it increasingly difficult for us to have fun. Keep your ATM and let us interact with casino objects and blow our money!
     
  36. The question is why Cash Out, this is just going to cost EA a portion of the $ they make with Cash In. It is also part of the reason for the extremely low payouts. I'm fine with Cash in but why cash out, do we really need to make this game into a second source of RL income for tree farmers?
     
  37. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    well Fancey, with all do respect, maybe the team should reconsider whether Cash-In and Cash-Out is really going to help this game, right now, It hasn't at all.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    My guess is cash-in has gained them a lot of additional revenue, which in turn has helped the game in the sense that it is not shut down due to lack of funding.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Quick question: Wouldn't Cash-out just negate most of the revenue generated by the cash-in?
     
  38. And you might wanna re-think the idea of player-run banks. Linden had to whack those, too.

    CherryBomb
     
  39. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    I think cash out itself will open a can of worms as well, If you can turn money you earn in the game into real money, doesnt that become earned income and therfore potentially taxable?
     
  40. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    And you might wanna re-think the idea of player-run banks. Linden had to whack those, too.

    CherryBomb

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Cherry, any idea why player run banks were an issue in SL?
     
  41. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I think cash out itself will open a can of worms as well, If you can turn money you earn in the game into real money, doesnt that become earned income and therfore potentially taxable?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Good question.
     
  42. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I think cash out itself will open a can of worms as well, If you can turn money you earn in the game into real money, doesnt that become earned income and therfore potentially taxable?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That is something to consider...if anybody here has experience with this in Second Life, perhaps they could give us a firm answer.

    <blockquote><hr>

    Cherry, any idea why player run banks were an issue in SL?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Ponzi Scheme.
     
  43. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Cherry, any idea why player run banks were an issue in SL?

    Ponzi Scheme.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I undertand what a Ponzi scheme, in fact Ive been involved in uncovering a ponzi recently, but maybe my brain is just addled at this time of night. Sindran can you be more specific how SL banks can be regarded as a ponzi?
     
  44. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm not sure of the details, but on the wikipedia article I linked to, if you scroll down to "Virtual World Examples" it provides a summary of the Second Life controversy.
     
  45. DGLita

    DGLita Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I'm not sure of the details, but on the wikipedia article I linked to, if you scroll down to "Virtual World Examples" it provides a summary of the Second Life controversy.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thanks I didnt notice that, resembles a ponzi only in regard to the high returns promised. So. in effect the guy was promising a 44% return for virtual money invested in the bank, and then couldnt substantiate it. Seems harsh that SL banned all player run banks because of one scammer
     
  46. There is/was a bank in SL. Which was posted about here a year or so ago, this bank was a big bank with multiple ATM's scattered around the game. And their was a controversy because (I'm recalling this from what I remember of the post) the bank's ATM's refused to allow customers to withdraw money and the bank was 'Crashing'...!

    Luc said that players will be able to make banks, but using the EA ATM's which will eventually have account wide sim accounts which would be able to be used by all your sims on the same account. However the ATM's don't benefit the lot owners so I don't see how the banks will work.
     
  47. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    I think cash out itself will open a can of worms as well, If you can turn money you earn in the game into real money, doesnt that become earned income and therfore potentially taxable?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That is something to consider...if anybody here has experience with this in Second Life, perhaps they could give us a firm answer.

    [/ QUOTE ]I'm not familiar with SL, but I'm familiar enough with tax law to comment.

    Any income, regardless of the source, is taxable and, therefore, reportable. For most people, failing to report a few bucks here and there that they got from odd places is not likely to get them into any kind of trouble unless they get audited.

    If, somehow, you get flagged for an IRS audit, and they find out you've been generating a profit from SL (or, soon, TSO) and haven't reported your earnings, well... Let's just say it would suck to be you!

    Additionally - by law, Linden (and, soon, EA) must report earnings in excess of a certain amount. I don't recall what the amount is, but it's not very likely the threshold will be reached in TSO - however, it is very reachable in SL. I'm also not too sure how this can happen without requiring social security numbers or TINs...
     
  48. If any of y'all are seriously interested in tax/copyright/trademark issues in virtual worlds, you might check out this. Warning: This blog is slam full of lawyers, game developers and [gulp] economists.

    CherryBomb
     
  49. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    <blockquote><hr>

    I think cash out itself will open a can of worms as well, If you can turn money you earn in the game into real money, doesnt that become earned income and therfore potentially taxable?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    That is something to consider...if anybody here has experience with this in Second Life, perhaps they could give us a firm answer.

    [/ QUOTE ]I'm not familiar with SL, but I'm familiar enough with tax law to comment.

    Any income, regardless of the source, is taxable and, therefore, reportable. For most people, failing to report a few bucks here and there that they got from odd places is not likely to get them into any kind of trouble unless they get audited.

    If, somehow, you get flagged for an IRS audit, and they find out you've been generating a profit from SL (or, soon, TSO) and haven't reported your earnings, well... Let's just say it would suck to be you!

    Additionally - by law, Linden (and, soon, EA) must report earnings in excess of a certain amount. I don't recall what the amount is, but it's not very likely the threshold will be reached in TSO - however, it is very reachable in SL. I'm also not too sure how this can happen without requiring social security numbers or TINs...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Kat (and anybody else that knows):

    I know that this differs from state to state, but I remember in LA we were told we did not even have to file as self-employed until we'd grossed (not net) $5000 in a year from anything we did. Would earnings from TSO/SL or anywhere else not fall under the same thing.....if not a high amount like $5k then a lower amount that one could make before getting into deep trouble with the IRS?
     
  50. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    I know that this differs from state to state, but I remember in LA we were told we did not even have to file as self-employed until we'd grossed (not net) $5000 in a year from anything we did. Would earnings from TSO/SL or anywhere else not fall under the same thing.....if not a high amount like $5k then a lower amount that one could make before getting into deep trouble with the IRS?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm no expert on the subject, but I'd imagine you are thinking along the right lines. Someone who is making a few dollars here and a few dollars there won't have to worry about filing this as income, and I would HOPE that anybody making thousands of dollars off TSO would have enough common sense to look into it.