Thursday, July 26, 2007

Second Life Casinos Dealt a K,6, K - BUST!

I am a gambling man. Not exactly a high-roller kind of a guy - the largest bet I've ever placed was a $2 lottery ticket. But I have written all kinds of gambling simulators and players to study betting strategies, playing strategies, and etc. I've got pages after pages of graphs and charts. My simulators have played billions upon billions of games. The end result? Well, depending on the house rules, smart, patient black jack players actually do pretty good for themselves. But in Second Life (as I've mentioned before), there is absolutely nothing stopping a casino from cheating. No regulation, no recourse, no relief, no nothing. I've shown statistically that some casinos cheated in the past and I've seen several people lose a lot of money to these fraudulent casinos--even after I've warned them!

Well, that won't happen again any time soon. Linden Labs finally shut down its casinos. Wait, strike that - Linden Labs shut down its "simulated" gambling. Yeah right. The whole process was a farce from the very beginning. California and several states have laws specifically banning this kind of behavior, but Linden Labs claimed that its out was the fact that the Linden had no real value. Never mind the fact that Linden Labs facilitates, advertises, and profits from the selling and buying of said Lindens with real greenbacks. It is in their very best interest to keep those transactions fluid. And what do you suppose fueled a huge chunk of their economy? That's right, gambling.

I'm sad to see legitimate, honest casinos go down, but without tight regulation, nobody else is there looking out for the consumers' interests. I would not be surprised at all to see a sudden and complete collapse of the Second Life economy - a very notable percentage of transactions will have suddenly stopped and the over-inflation of the economy will finally catch up. You can't keep printing your own money and hope that everything will sort itself out. You'll either run out of new users or run out of reasons to spend the cash. In this case, it's going to be both.


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