More MMO "Racism" ! (AKA the Arena Team Blues)

So I found an article over on the Official Warcraft boards to be interesting. Some arena teams are a little pissed off due to some of the recently announced rules:

Most of the rest of the applicable stuff is in the thread itself, but I did also find this interesting:

Ouchie.

I know that the first section is because of various states/territories and their contest rules, but still, it is kinda ouch if you had a nice team all put together. So far, at least 4 or 5 of the current top teams are affected. :( The one poor Druid in The Challenge should just move, Delaware is a tiny state! :P

Awesome. Do those states have anti-gambling laws or something? The no mods rule is a decent one IMO.

Not sure if it’s a gambling law as much as a rewards law, not sure what exactly applies here. There are tons of legal issues to get around just for varying types of community contests, and some states have fairly strict rules (like Rhode Island).

There’s all sorts of funky stuff - you also can’t do random giveaway contests in places like England, because it’s considered a lottery (and governed as such).

Quebec is also quite different from the rest of Canada in terms of contests.

So I imagine it’s their way of managing and distributing the rewards that could be the issue since it’s really not gambling.

— Alan

There are all kinds of state variations on rules governing contests, raffles, gambling, etc. If you can win a prize, there’s probably a law covering it. If you have to buy a ticket to win the prize, there is almost certainly a law covering it. If you can wish cash, there is definitely a law covering it.

Even charitable raffles and the like are governed by these things, but most turn a blind eye to it when it’s a non-profit organization that doesn’t promote the event significantly.

you also can’t do random giveaway contests in places like England,

You can as long as you don’t require that you purchase something to enter. So you get wierd shit like “Does this bag of crisps have £10 in it?” type competitions with little notices saying “No purchase required, send us an SAE and we’ll open a bag of crisps for you and tell you whether you won or not”.

Right, but considering it’s an MMO, a purchase to enter is already a given (I’m assuming that’s how it’s interpreted).

— Alan

I think the biggest issue with this, which I forgot to mention in the first post, is that Blizzard sprung these on the teams about halfway through the season. So many of the teams are pissed/scrambling because they didn’t know that players in certain states were ineligible. The main thing with the outlawing is because Blizzard is flying people to the tournament and paying for their hotels, which constitutes a prize in those states outlawing it.

IMO they should have researched all this shit before they announced the tournament, not halfway through the season. It doesn’t seem well thought out at all. :\

Has the tournament advanced yet or are people still in the qualifying stages of just getting the highest 5v5 ranking on their battlegroup?

Right, but considering it’s an MMO, a purchase to enter is already a given (I’m assuming that’s how it’s interpreted).

I think it’s only concerned about competitions where it is down to blind luck whether you win or not. You can construe the crisp packet example as a pure lottery, you just happen to get a tasty snack even if you lose.

As far as I know stuff like this (or a pub quiz for that matter) is fine as there is an element of skill involved once you’ve paid your money to enter. I’m sure there is probably some wierdy law floating around somewhere to cover an event/company of this size, but amateur gaming leagues, net based or otherwise, chucking [cash] prizes out aren’t uncommon.

Paying to enter, element of skill, rewards for the winners. Sounds like gambling to me.

How is this different from any TCG tournament?

It’s not but thanks for playing anyway.

— Alan

What differentiates this from, say, the World Series of Poker? I’m obviously not even close to a lawyer here.

What differentiates this from, say, the World Series of Poker? I’m obviously not even close to a lawyer here.

Presumably you’re not taking money from the other contestants? Beats me, it’s not a lottery which the crisp bag promotion is. How giving the sunday league under 10s football team a trophy at the end of the season if they pay membership to someone differs from a casino is a distinction I’m not really in a position to make. They kind of feel different to me but how they differ technically I don’t really know.

Maybe two football/WoW/CS/Pub Quiz teams, without knowing anything else about them have an equal chance of winning whatever competition they are in whereas most casino games stack the odds in favour of the organisation running it? I guess technically Poker should probably be exempt as the casino only facilitates the game and takes a cut of the bank? (I don’t know much about poker but I don’t think you’re playing against the bank as well as the other players are you?)