G-Men in Second Life

2lifegamblingReuters has interesting news about Second Life – the FBI is investigating gambling.  With hundreds of casinos and the Linden dollar freely transferable into US dollars, it seems pretty clear that there is gambling in the traditional sense of the word. 

‘We have invited the FBI several times to take a look around in Second Life and raise any concerns they would like, and we know of at least one instance that Federal agents did look around in a virtual casino,’said Ginsu Yoon, until recently Linden Lab’s general counsel and currently vice president for business affairs. ‘We have specifically requested that a US Attorney give us guidance on virtual gaming activity in SL, but this hasn’t resulted in clear rules yet.’

Yoon goes on to say, “It’s not always clear to us whether a 3D simulation of a casino is the same thing as a casino, legally speaking – and it’s not clear to the law enforcement authorities we have asked.”  I fail to see how it can be considered anything but the same, although that’s different than believing it should be outlawed.

hgunWhether the virtual casinos are a simulation, or actual gambling, I love the idea of the FBI investigating.  I wonder if the agents are undercover?  Are they armed?  Wired?  Do they have informants?  How many Linden dollars is a juicy piece of information worth?  The questions are endless.  Of course, one way to look at this is to view the FBI as just another business trying to set up shop in Second Life.  They can do some marketing, have an outreach program, maybe a gun exchange.  If we’re lucky, perhaps we’ll see Smith & Wesson opening a shop and creating virtual handguns for the agents.

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