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.
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Just because a problem is not entirely solved does not mean it cannot be tangibly reduced. Multi-millionaires dumping PLEX are unlikely, and if we suddenly got a rash of them there are probably ways of making it a big hassle without removing PLEX outright. Alliance leaders forming a big cartel would only last until the joke got old, because peace is boring. Gambling, on the other hand, tends to spring up reliably where it’s not banned and certainly so in EVE.
More prosaically, I doubt CCP thinks gambling is immoral and I doubt they even share my view that in-game achievement should be restricted as much as possible to in-game methods. They just don’t want to deal with potential legal hassle. So, good riddance to bad rubbish indeed.
Gambling is so popular because so many people enjoy it. The sooner governments catch on to that (many have in the EU, and the US has Vegas), the sooner we can move past this silly outdated notion that its somehow as worthy an evil as hard drugs or actual crimes with a victim.
So, Gevlon won these one too i guess :D
Haha oh yes, and I can’t wait for his “I bet my ticket was the entire reason for this ban, because I’m very important and a top site for EVE Online, but despite so many people asking me, I won’t come back because super-corrupt Falcon is still employed”.
Shocking, I was right. Glad someone over at the Goon forums is keeping an eye on the crazy part of the internet village. Also going to copy/paste this gem here, in case Gevlon decides to Gevlon it at a future date:
“I’m not crazy, of course I don’t claim that I did it all by myself. Gambling would have been eliminated from the whole industry without me anyway. However I do believe that I forced their hand to act now and not among the last MMOs in 2018. You underestimate the vulnerability of CCP in this case. Valve is a big american company with lots of money. The authorities would surely first go after a small foreign company to get a precedent at court and then move to make Valve settle. My documentation about CCP-IWI would be a Godsent for the US authorities who probably don’t even know EVE exists.” – Gevlon 10/13/2016