Space Cadet Online - Eve Online Player ramblings

It starts with an Alpha

October 14, 2016

Since CCP's dev blog announcing that they were adding clone states into the game, the community has had lots to say on the matter. Then came the announced changes to the EULA. Which seems to have generated a lot of focus on one area, 3rd party Gambling sites are now banned from EVE Online - everyone has forgot about the kids already.

"As we move toward the introduction of alpha and omega clones, there are a number of changes we need to make to the EVE Online End User License Agreement in order to ensure that it stays up to date with the new access paradigm that will introduce free access to EVE Online."

The kids are the future

Then some things happened in America, thanks guys. CS;GO skin betting was in the spotlight, involved in court cases, dragging Valve into the courts as well. Gambling commissions are pretty well written up, regardless of country of origin; all gambling commissions have age restrictions and guidelines, and they have immense powers in law.

There are those that are falsely claiming that gambling with toy money, for more toy money is illegal under the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) - and that isn't the case. However if you could legitimately then turn said toy money into real currency and anyone was able to do this, this then conflicts with the UKGC's protection of children, not to mention the other breaches they could pursue; Licensing, advertising, compliance, area of operations etc.

Mixing gambling and younger audiences is not anything new in the UK. Nearly every single football league in the UK has teams sponsored by some form of betting / gambling / payday loans companies. Family days out to a football match or race-course bombards kids with adverts, slogans, and stunts. They just can't gamble for real money. It's that simple.

Noisy gamer did a good bit of research on his posts into this matter, while Greedy Goblin has made a post claiming his success over threats to report CCP to various GC's for endorsing gambling websites, but he did not read the 200+ page of the UKGC's Gambling Act 2005. In my day job I work with-in a licensed premises and deal daily with the gambling act. It is a laborious and long document and understanding it and working with-in it allows me a unique perspective on the matter. You have demonized EVE gambling and betting, and cloudied the water for absolutely everyone. EVE betting and gambling in its current format is NOT illegal in the UK, and it's simply about the ability to make real money. Neither of us are lawyers though.

RMT busting is always great to read about and is CCP's way of protecting themselves, and its users from ever facing similar legal actions; CCP do NOT make or support any avenue available for anyone to "cash out" at all. They actively track and monitor RMT activity, and take action. CS:GO Skins transactions are usually facilitated within Valve Corporation’s Steam Platform - which is how Steam got involved in legal matters. The logical reaction by CCP has been to update the EVE EULA and cover many areas including the new age restrictions.

"As of the launch of EVE Online: Ascension, the hosting of, and participation in any form of third party gambling service that utilizes in game assets, currency, or the EVE IP will be strictly prohibited."

Anticipating a wave of Alpha clone players, and because of the few bad apples in the community - everyone is subject to the changes, the bad guys got banned, asset stripped and shut down, but even the good guys have to shut up shop soon. CCP have to protect themselves because people like Greedy Goblin exist. This EULA change has universally exempted CCP from gambling site involvement completely. It may help reduce loads on the RMT investigation teams over time, and keeps CCP clear of any GC investigations.

Games of chance

The worst terminology to appear in a game EULA, because what is EVE if not entirely a game of chance. Players will eventually have to start populating null space to fatten their wallets, taking the chance that someone else doesn't come blow them up. Events in-game that put player v player such as tournaments, or corp run events with rewards could be seen to skirt on the boundary of the announced EULA changes.

All 3rd party betting and gambling is going as soon as EVE gets Alpha Clones. I feel that this specific exclusion of gambling with-in EVE via 3rd parties has been long overdue, but please CCP, allow us to keep our games of chance in-game. Reword this section at least?

We can reward each other with-out gambling activities, as long it is all done for in-game activities and participation. Ideas are already being formed and I am looking forward to seeing what comes of this drama.

Go Back

I would not be surprised if disputes like this are the inevitable growing pains of any new kind of entertainment. Gambling originally was unregulated, and over decades, if not centuries, evolved into a business governed by lengthy laws. MMOs and other online games are now going through the same painful process, and it will be a while before the dust will have settled.

Or in other words: what happens on the Internet, is /real world/. And laws are getting ready to catch up.