Linden Lab Official:Second Life Skill Gaming FAQ

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Why can’t I access a Skill Gaming Region?

There are a number of reasons you may not be able to access a Skill Gaming Region. See the following to see if you meet all the requirements:


Authorized participants

Only users that meet the criteria for Skill Gaming are permitted to access Skill Gaming Regions and participate in Skill Gaming in Second Life. Participation is limited to residents who meet the following criteria:

  • Have current billing information on file
  • Are at least 19 years of age
  • Do not reside in a prohibited state listed below
  • Are not connecting from a prohibited state
KBnote.png Note: If you believe you meet all requirements for access, but are still unable to enter a Skill Gaming Region, please try resubmitting your current billing information and re-logging into Second Life as a first step toward troubleshooting.


Please review the list of prohibited states below and your account status to see if you can participate.

Prohibited states and countries

Residents of the following states and countries may not participate in Skill Gaming in Second Life:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee

Online gambling (i.e., gambling games of chance such as poker, blackjack and slots) is legal where I live. With this new system in place, can I gamble in Second Life?

No. Approved games of skill will be permitted on Skill Gaming Regions, but this does not change our policy forbidding gambling (wagering on games of chance) in Second Life.


Will regions on the Mainland be able to get the Skill Gaming Region designation?

No. Not all Second Life users will be able to access Skill Gaming Regions and we do not want to block residents from accessing any region on the Mainland, so we do not plan to permit the Skill Gaming Region designation for any portion of the Mainland at this time.


What does Linden Lab consider a skill game?

“Skill Game” refers to any game: 1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play; 3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars; and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law.


I own a region and would like it to be converted to a Skill Gaming Region. What do I need to do?

  • Submit a support ticket and pay the applicable maintenance fee.
  • Skill Gaming Regions will begin rolling out in late July, 2014.
  • Once your region has been designated a Skill Gaming Region, you will need to become an approved operator if you would like to operate games of skill on that region. For more details, please review the Skill Gaming Policy and application.
  • Note: Skill Gaming Regions cannot be located adjacent to non-Skill Gaming Regions.


Why will a Skill Gaming Region be more expensive than a regular region in Second Life? What is the additional cost?

  • The maintenance costs for these regions will be higher due to the greater degree of ongoing administrative work associated with administering our rules concerning Skill Gaming in these regions.
  • Maintenance fees for Skill Gaming Regions will be $345/month. There shall be a $100 fee associated with the conversion of an existing Full Region to a Skill Gaming Region.


I want to operate approved games of skill in a Skill Gaming Region. What do I need to do?

  • Apply to become an approved operator.
  • Due to processing and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program, there is a one-time nonrefundable application fee as well as a quarterly license fee (waived through December 31, 2014, upon approval of your application) for those designated as approved operators. We will maintain a public wiki page of approved operators.


I already create games of skill that offer Linden Dollar payouts. What do I need to do to ensure I am following the Terms of Service?

  • Stop making, selling, or operating games of skill that have not been approved through the Skill Gaming application process and apply to become an approved creator. You may resume skill gaming activities, subject to our Skill Gaming Policy, upon approval of your application.
  • Due to processing and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program, there is a one-time nonrefundable application fee as well as a quarterly license fee (waived through December 31, 2014, upon approval of your application) for those designated as approved creators. We will maintain a public wiki page of approved creators.


I already operate games of skill that offer Linden Dollar payouts. What do I need to do to ensure I am following the Terms of Service?

  • Stop operating games of skill that have not been approved through the Skill Gaming application process and apply to become an approved operator. You may resume skill gaming activities, subject to our Skill Gaming Policy, upon approval of your application.
  • Due to processing and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program, there is a one-time nonrefundable application fee as well as a quarterly license fee (waived through December 31, 2014, upon approval of your application) for those designated as approved operators. We will maintain a public wiki page of approved operators.


If I would like to become an approved creator, will I need to provide a reasoned legal opinion from an attorney licensed to practice law within the United States of America?

  • Yes. Additionally, each reasoned legal opinion submitted by an applicant must be prepared by a credible licensed attorney whose identity, legal experience, and standing to practice law are known to such applicant.


As a resident, how can I tell that I am following the rules - i.e. that the region I am playing in is a Skill Gaming Region and the game I am playing is an approved game of skill run by an approved operator?

  • Check the setting of the region to verify that it is a Skill Gaming Region.
  • Skill Gaming Regions will appear in our Destination Guide (unless the owner requests its removal) and we will maintain a list of the approved operators (including their approved skill-based games).


If I operate or play a game of skill that offers Linden Dollar payouts before the new Skill Gaming Region designation is available, am I breaking the law or violating the Terms of Service?

We cannot provide legal advice or analysis of your activities under applicable law. Our revised policy will become effective in Second Life on September 1, 2014.


How will the system know if I am eligible to access Skill Gaming Regions?

When you attempt to enter a Skill Gaming Region, a check will occur behind the scenes to confirm whether the activity is permitted in your jurisdiction and if you meet the age requirements for this activity. You can check the list of prohibited jurisdictions and age requirements here. It is your responsibility to know which jurisdictions are prohibited and to refrain from activity in a Skill Gaming Region if you fail to meet the requirements. Attempts to circumvent our entry restrictions will be a violation of our Terms of Service and may result in termination of your account in Second Life.


How do I know if I am eligible to access Skill Gaming Regions?

The easiest way is simply to attempt to enter a Skill Gaming Region. You can check the list of prohibited jurisdictions and age requirements. It is your responsibility to know which jurisdictions are prohibited and to refrain from activity in a Skill Gaming Region if you fail to meet the requirements.


Since Linden Lab is approving games of skill, their creators and operators and designating Skill Gaming Regions, does that mean Linden Lab is liable if I get cheated? Does it mean Support will help me if I have problems with an approved gaming machine?

No. If you have problems with an approved gaming machine, please contact the creator and/or operator of the game and then notify Linden Lab by filing an abuse report. As set out in our Terms of Service, Linden Lab assumes no liability for your activity in the Skill Gaming Regions.


I do not want to ‘operate’ a game of skill that offers a Linden Dollar payout as a business; I just want to play it myself / with my friends. Can I still do that?

Any game of skill that offers a Linden Dollar payout is subject to this policy.


When I become an approved operator, can I share ownership of a skill game with a group?

No. Each inworld object implementing a game of skill may only be owned by a single approved operator; group ownership of such objects will not be allowed.


I am an approved creator, and other people have contributed elements to my skill game (provided a texture I used, for example). Do they all need to be approved creators?

  • No. The resident whose account is listed in the “Created By” field of a skill game object will be deemed the creator of the skill game. This resident will need to become an approved creator through the Skill Gaming Program application process in order for such skill game to become approved under the Skill Gaming Policy. This resident will also assume responsibility for the work of any other resident who may have contributed elements to the skill game object and shall supply a reasoned legal opinion for such skill games.


I previously bought games of skill from someone who is planning to become an approved creator. Can I use them? Will Linden Lab reimburse me for my purchase?

  • Creators will need to update their games to comply with our revised policy. Accordingly, you should contact the applicable creator to find out how you can update to the approved versions of your games and apply to become an approved operator. Upon approval of both applications, you may begin operating only the approved versions of the games.
  • Linden Lab will not be responsible for reimbursing residents who have previously purchased games. If you have any questions about your previous purchases, you should contact the applicable creator directly.


How can I tell if the games of skill I have created or purchased are subject to and/or in violation of this policy?

If you have created a game of skill that requires or permits Linden Dollars to participate and provides a payout in Linden Dollars, you are subject to this policy. If you wish to operate or sell such a game in Second Life, you will need to apply for approval. If you would like to verify that a purchased game of skill has been approved by Linden Lab, please check the list of approved creators and their approved games of skill.


As an approved operator, how can I issue a refund due to technical difficulties related to region or server problems?

Subject to the requirements below, approved operators who wish to issue legitimate refunds due to technical difficulties may place a scripted object (each a “Refund Object”) in its Skill Gaming Region for the sole purpose of issuing such refunds. Each approved operator who wishes to issue a legitimate refund through a Refund Object shall:

  • Place the Refund Object in its designated Skill Gaming Region;
  • Ensure that “[slgaming-refund]” will be included as a prefix in the root object name field of each Refund Object;
  • Ensure that the “llTransferLindenDollars” Linden Scripting Language function will be used for all outgoing Linden Dollar transactions for each Refund Object; and
  • Ensure that the amount of each refund issued to a resident through a Refund Object shall correspond to the amount of a payment received from the same resident (i.e., multiple refunds to the same resident must be issued separately, each in the amount of the original payment).


Are “freeplay” games in Second Life subject to the Skill Gaming Policy?

Freeplay games, in which the sole payment required or permitted is a nominal Linden Dollar payment for the sole purpose of triggering gameplay and is immediately and automatically refunded without conditions of any kind, are not within the scope of the Skill Gaming Policy.


Application process:

What information will I need to provide in my application to become an approved creator?

  • The two part application process will include providing the following information. For more details, please review the Skill Gaming Policy and the application.
    • Basic account information, such as the information described here.
    • A reasoned legal opinion from a credible attorney in good standing, which describes in detail the operation and legality of the games of skill you are submitting for approval;
    • A sworn affidavit or declaration that 1) certifies the facts set forth in the application and legal opinion; and 2) attests compliance with Linden Lab’s requirements.
  • The information that you provide as part of the application process will be subject to our Privacy Policy.


What information will I need to provide in my application to become an approved operator?

  • The application process will include providing the following information. For more details, please review the Skill Gaming Policy and the application.
    • Basic account information, such as the information described here.
    • A complete list of Skill Games that will be operated and all Skill Gaming Regions in which you wish to operate approved Skill Games.
    • An attestation that: 1) You will comply with all game controls, parameters, and settings implemented by the creators of each Skill Game; 2) the application contains a true and correct list of all Skill Games that you will operate (and will be updated as necessary to ensure it remains complete); 3) the application includes a true and correct list of all Skill Gaming regions in which you intend to operate Skill Games; and 4) you will comply with all Linden Lab requirements, which shall include but is not limited to, the Skill Gaming Policy, Skill Game Guidelines, and applicable United States and international law.
  • The information that you provide as part of the application process will be subject to our Privacy Policy.


Why is there a fee to apply to become an approved creator or an approved operator?

  • There is a one-time nonrefundable application fee due to process and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program.


Why do both approved creators and operators need to pay license fees?

  • There are administrative and compliance-related costs associated with evaluating the applications and the ongoing management of this program for approved creators and operators. Accordingly, fees will be required for each type of participation.


If I am not approved, will I receive a refund?

  • No. The application fee is non-refundable.


Why is there a quarterly license fee to be an approved creator or an approved operator?

  • A recurring quarterly fee will be charged due to processing and compliance-related costs associated with maintaining this program.


When I become an approved creator, will I need to pay an application fee every time I add to the list of games I have created?

  • No. The application fee will be a one-time assessment.


When I become an approved operator, will I need to pay an application fee every time I add to the list of games I have created?

  • No. The application fee will be a one-time assessment.


How long will Linden Lab take to review my application?

  • We will do our best to process applications expeditiously, however we make no representations or guarantees about how long a particular application may take. By supplying all of the requested information in as clear and comprehensive a format as possible, you can help us process your application more quickly.


Can Linden Lab advise me of whether I will need to submit my game for approval through the Skill Gaming Program application process?

  • As Linden Lab does not have full access to every game’s operational functions and does not exercise control over such games, we are unable to provide an opinion of whether a specific game would be subject to our Skill Gaming Policy. Each creator and operator of games will need to evaluate whether their game(s) would be subject to, and, upon approval, in compliance with, this policy. To the extent that a resident believes that their game(s) would be subject to and, upon approval, in compliance with our Skill Gaming Policy, such games (and all supporting documentation) will need to be submitted to Linden Lab for evaluation and approval through the Skill Gaming Program application process. For more details, we recommend reviewing the Skill Gaming Policy and Skill Gaming Program Terms and Conditions.


Should I designate existing Second Life accounts as my proposed Creator and Operator Accounts? Alternatively, should I create new Second Life accounts to serve as my proposed Creator and Operator Accounts?

  • No. Upon approval of each Creator or Operator application, Linden Lab will create new accounts with the proposed Creator and Operator Account names submitted by the approved applicant through the Skill Gaming Program application process. Each new Creator and Operator Account will be assigned an [SLSGC] or [SLSGO] surname, as applicable.


What should my reasoned legal opinion include?

Not surprisingly, skill games in Second Life are creative, diverse and complex. We are proud of that variety, but it unfortunately makes our job in assessing your legal opinions more difficult. For that reason, we are providing some guidance as to what we expect each legal opinion submitted in support of a skill game to include. If you already have submitted a legal opinion that does not meet these criteria, please supplement it accordingly and resubmit.


  • Each opinion should include a discussion of both federal and state laws and their applicability to your games, including a state-by-state analysis of the legality of the operation of your games in each state from which a resident may access a Skill Gaming Region. Mere citation to statutory sections or excerpts of statutory language does not suffice.


  • The opinion should include a detailed description of each game that is submitted for review. That description should include a step-by-step description of game progress or gameplay. Please explain each step individually and whether it involves any element of randomness, chance or any other variable not known to the player. Please also include a video or screen capture of each material step in progress of the game.


  • Your description of gameplay should make specific mention of all features or tools that introduce elements of uncertainty to the game, including (but not limited to):
    • Random number generators; and
    • “winks”, “toppers”, “sploders” or other multipliers.


“Uncertainty” here means any outcome not known to the player, even if not “randomly” determined. You should expressly address whether these features impact game outcome or the amount of any prizes won and, if so, explain why they should not be regarded as interjecting a material element of chance for purposes of gambling laws.


How much time will I have to complete my application?

We strongly recommend completing your application as soon as possible. Additionally, the following deadlines will apply:


  • Upon receipt of our request for additional materials in connection with Part I of the application, you will have five (5) business days to submit all such materials.
  • Upon receipt of Parts II and III of the application, you will have ten (10) business days to submit all outstanding information, such as Parts II and III of the application, any requested additional documentation, and a reasoned legal opinion in support of your submitted games of skill (if applicable).

Failure to comply with these deadlines could result in the cancellation of your application.

Skill Game Add-ons

Do I need to be an approved creator to sell add-ons to approved operators?

No; however, you will need to abide by the Skill Gaming Policy and Skill Game Guidelines.

I am an approved operator and would like to use add-ons with my game. How will I know if I can use an add-on with my approved skill game?

Should you wish to use an add-on with your approved skill game, it is your responsibility to review the add-on requirements set forth in the Skill Game Guidelines. Subject to additional requirements as set forth in the Skill Game Guidelines, a compliant add-on will: 1) have an outcome that is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) include “[slgaming-addon]” as a prefix in the root object name field; 3) use “llTransferLindenDollars” Linden Scripting Language function for all outgoing Linden Dollar transactions; 4) have programmatic controls implemented to ensure compatibility with an underlying game; 5) include parameters that are set such that it is capable of being won by a reasonable proportion of skilled players; 6) display all information needed by players to determine prize size and eligibility; and 7) display all information needed by players to compete for the add-on prize effectively.

Is there a list of approved add-ons?

Because add-ons do not require express approval, Linden Lab will not maintain a list.

How can I tell if an add-on is subject to an/or in violation of the Skill Gaming Policy?

Should you wish to use and add-on with your approved skill game, it is your responsibility to review the add-on requirements set forth in the Skill Game Guidelines.

I am an approved operator and would like to transact with the creator of a compliant add-on. Does the creator need to be added as an Associated Account?

As with any other ongoing Linden Dollar transactions on your approved operator account, the recipient of such transactions will need to be approved as an Associated Account.