FBI Probe Online Gambling in Second Life
By Marianne Lambert
The FBI are looking into the legality of gambling at Second Life casinos. Linden Lab, creators of the virtual life game, has invited the FBI to consider casinos in Second life, which offer slots, blackjack and poker.

Now, clarity is being sought as to whether or Linden Labs can be held responsible for these online casinos, which they are currently unable to regulate.

Ginsu Yoon, ex-VP for business affairs said, 'It's not always clear to us whether a 3-D 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.'

This problem arises because it is individual players of the Second Life game who set up these businesses and take their profits, not Linden Labs. Some people make their living entirely from Second Life activities, in areas such as virtual real estate.

According to Reuters, online gambling with Second Life’s currency, the Linden dollar, probably “violates US anti-gambling statutes, which cover circumstances in which 'something of value' is wagered.'

Brent Britton, emergent technology lawyer, said that Linden Lab could face criminal charges under the 1970 Illegal Gambling Business Act or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

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