And so gambling in EVE has been banned. Along with that, bans have been handed out to individuals associated with the gambling sites who sold ISK for real money. Right now EVE Reddit (generally an anti-goon place) is rejoicing, as are of course Goons (who lost the Casino War because most of EVE was paid to fight us via casino-made ISK).
I’m glad CCP banned those who they caught selling ISK for real money. That has long been against the rules, and it’s CCP’s job to enforce the rules they created. It’s news-worthy today because of the association to the gambling sites, but these bannings aren’t anything new in terms of policy.
I’m not as happy about the banning of gambling in EVE, because it not only has a rich history in the game, but because it also puts a new limit on the sandbox. Betting on the alliance tournament was fun, and as Jester pointed out on Reddit, a lot of community events were funded or greatly assisted by gambling websites (which is good business for them because the publicity ultimately helps them), and with all of those now banned, we won’t be seeing as many events as we once did.
There is also the reality of how much this actually changes things. One of the main problems Goons had with the Casino War was that there was no in-game way to fight IWI (the gambling site that paid everyone to fight goons). The reality however is that if someone with the means still wants to use outside funding to influence the game, they still can. How do you stop a billionaire in the real world dropping 500k in PLEX to do what Lenny did? They aren’t breaking the rules, and you can do just as much about that situation as Goons could in the Casino War.
Ok, lets say CCP removes PLEX, so you can no longer convert real money into ISK legally. Does that fix the ‘problem’? Nope. Case in point, this story about a $75,000 bounty put on a wormhole alliance to evict them. How do you stop someone outside the game contacting another player and saying “I’ll give you X amount of real money if you declare war on this group”? You can’t, just like you can’t stop the leaders of, say, the top four alliances in the game saying “fuck it, we are all going to ally now and fully control the game to kill it because we can”. With enough motivation, ability, and the means, the players can do just about anything in EVE, which is why the sandbox is as awesome as it is. Banning gambling goes against that, without really solving the problem people perceived as existing.
TAGN post about the topic, with links to others.