PDA

View Full Version : Where will it be illegal to play for prizes?



Xtopher
09-05-2013, 05:28 PM
There are a number of U.S. states where it is illegal to play for prizes on MTGO. I believe the states are: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Washington. Has anything been said as to whether this will be true for Hex as well?

Edit: Thinking about it, I haven't seen any kind of prohibition on other TCG's I've tried lately, but I also haven't entered any events on them where I'm putting up an entry fee or booster packs.

Shadowelf
09-05-2013, 05:39 PM
Cory has said that that they wanted to have tourneys with real cash prizes but it is very difficult from a legal perspective. Maybe this is what he was talking about ? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpwQQVcW-Us check 0:48:28)

Maphalux
09-05-2013, 06:28 PM
This subject has been a thorn in my side for as long as this has been a thing. I'm a Connecticut native but moved to Florida 13 years ago and both have stupid laws about this. Yes, HEX will have the same issues because you have to spend money in order to buy platinum and packs to enter the prize events. CZE is legally bound to not knowingly allow people from these states to opt into prizes.

Florida has the opportunity to pull its collective head out of its ass and change the laws regarding this in 2014 but the chances are slim, unfortunately. And the other states show no signs of changing their tune regarding this issue.

The upside is that it doesn't matter what state you are a legal resident of as long as you are physically located in a state or country where it is legal when you sit down to play with the intention of winning prizes. It is likely CZE won't even bother to check and just have you agree to a disclaimer like Wizards does in order to cover their asses. Your state doesn't really care either, by the way. These laws are more to protect residents from fraudulent "charity" sweepstakes and things of that nature. But, unfortunately, games of skill tend to get thrown under the bus as a result. I played MTGO for years with eligibility turned on, won thousands of packs, and never had an issue.

If people don't want to take that chance, there is a foolproof way around this but I won't detail it because I don't want to be educating people how to break the laws of their state or CZE's TOS. But a smart, crafty, internet savvy gamer probably already knows what to do anyway.

Zomnivore
09-05-2013, 06:51 PM
I think you need to buy politicians and some how account for their monopoly on gambling with state-wide lotteries.

You got to some how account for them already having gamed the system, and also buy them off to get change.

JERKS!

felmare
09-05-2013, 08:47 PM
Maphalux u mean the fool proof way around this is to move to utah or idaho where you can do whatever the eff you want :D

Deathfog
09-05-2013, 10:55 PM
Worst case scenario, plat and packs are an adequate proxy for anything below the range of a major tournament.

keldrin
09-06-2013, 02:02 AM
I really don't understand this. I mean, I can enter magic the gathering tournaments anytime I want to in Texas, and win packs. Just not money. Is the fact that it's online really change this?

Zomnivore
09-06-2013, 08:03 AM
I really don't understand this. I mean, I can enter magic the gathering tournaments anytime I want to in Texas, and win packs. Just not money. Is the fact that it's online really change this?

Lots of states have very heavily enforced gambling regulations. Its just one of those things the government hasn't really ever cooled off of.

Its like the drug war, some of their reasoning doesn't make sense anymore but now there's hard line incentive for them to just continue what they're doing.

You gotta figure away to break outta that system, while still using it to get what you want.

Politics! Its like plumbing but you can't wash the stink off!

jetah
09-07-2013, 01:36 PM
Doesn't Bingo have a play for prizes thing? or am I on the wrong subject?

hex_colin
09-07-2013, 02:45 PM
Maphalux u mean the fool proof way around this is to move to utah or idaho where you can do whatever the eff you want :D

No you just need to think about a Very Practical and Normal approach to connecting computers. ;)

CrimsonSoul
09-07-2013, 04:41 PM
Maphalux u mean the fool proof way around this is to move to utah or idaho where you can do whatever the eff you want :D
Believe he's talking about vpn/proxy to put your ip in another anotherstate

Hibbert
09-07-2013, 05:41 PM
I'd be very surprised if there are any state restrictions on prizes. In MTGO the cards can be said to have some real world value, since you can redeem certain sets for real life cards. In Hex, all the cards, plat, gold, etc. will have no direct real world value aside from the grey market of third party sellers. I might be able to find someone to buy my cards for RL money, but that's not something that CZE is going to directly support(though all indications show they plan to turn a blind eye towards it).

If Hex runs afoul of gambling laws, then just about EVERY online game with an AH, randomized loot, and a secondary market outside the game could be said to do the same. Take Team Fortress 2. The box/key/hat system directly mirrors real life gambling; you buy a key to take your chance at opening a box and getting a rare hat. It's basically like a scratch off lottery ticket. Some of those rare hats go for hundreds of dollars in the Steam marketplace. But Steam doesn't offer a cashout on the marketplace. Some hat barons DO make money on the hat trade, but they do so by gifting games for cash.

MoikPEI
09-07-2013, 05:45 PM
@Hibbs; p. sure OP is talkin bout cash prizes rather than loot. Came up in a twitch stream or panel. They wanna have tourneys for money but there are a lot of legal issues between here and there.

jetah
09-07-2013, 05:49 PM
How would a tournament with cash prizes be any different than SC2, WoW PvP Arena, LoL or other video game tournament.

Xenavire
09-07-2013, 05:52 PM
How would a tournament with cash prizes be any different than SC2, WoW PvP Arena, LoL or other video game tournament.

Gambling laws can be very strict, and they are also inconsistant (like one state in america may do things one way, another state does it another) and internationally it could change as well. So it is not an easy thing to deal with.

Generally though, most gambling laws only care if you pay something to enter with the chance of winning more than you paid. Which Hex more than likely would fall under.

Xtopher
09-07-2013, 06:26 PM
That's an interesting point about MTGO's redemption cash-out and a possible link to why MTGO is not allowed to be played for prizes in certain states. I hadn't considered that possibility.

I understand cash prizes are a big problem, but I'm curious about just playing for booster prizes. I'm in Cali, so I'm okay, but I have friends that want to play that live in states that aren't. AFAIK, WotC doesn't follow up on policing whether people are breaking the laws in their states, so I don't expect CZE to be any different, in that regard.

ShadowTycho
09-07-2013, 08:56 PM
legally cryptozoic could say that all its transactions and agreements are handled in a specific location before hand. then you would be agreeing to comply with that area's ordinances and statues leaving cryptozoic in the clear if you then violated ordinances and statutes where you live.

credit card companies do this, as often the percentage rate that you are charged for money on a card violates local usury laws, for instance, the state of new york will not recognize any financial transaction with a interest rate higher then 16%( 5-513) and actually has it be a felony to charge 25% interest or more(N.Y. Penal Law 190.40) but if you get a credit card with a 21% rate(pretty standard iirc) then the contract for that card says that it will run all of the legal proceedings through a court in in the district of columbia which has its rate set at 25%. in this way you can be charged a felonious rate and at the same time the card company is not criminally liable and the contract is valid.

Almost any legal transaction can be done this way online, and provided that the court which is given jurisdiction in the contract finds buying in to prizes like this a legitimate and legal practice, crypto should be fine. they also will probably do this just so they cant be forced to fly all over the country(and i say country not world because international suits are laughably ineffective) to defend themselves should a problem arise.

Lafoote
09-08-2013, 07:31 PM
It just seems that anyplace you can play MTG tourneys(which is everywhere), you could win a court case in favor of playing MTGO(or hex) should the need arise. I wouldn't think a Poker suit could be similarly won because it is only legal to play in casinos and paramutuals. Mtg can(and has) be played for prizes(including cash) everywhere. Just to help the point, Hex could have a LAN event(a la darkmoon faire) in each of the "difficult" states. Then it could be argued that there is no difference between that event, which was allowed, and everyday online Hex play.

Deathfog
09-08-2013, 07:51 PM
Any state with restrictions covering cash prizes, specifics vary wildly by state, would require an exemption (not likely) for this game or games of this nature, a change in the law, a stated non-enforcement policy covering this again, a federal law or court suspending or overturning the law, or a state appeal/supreme court ruling against it.

Talking about it in forums doesn't change laws on the books.

Xtopher
09-08-2013, 08:02 PM
It just seems that anyplace you can play MTG tourneys(which is everywhere), you could win a court case in favor of playing MTGO(or hex) should the need arise. I wouldn't think a Poker suit could be similarly won because it is only legal to play in casinos and paramutuals. Mtg can(and has) be played for prizes(including cash) everywhere. Just to help the point, Hex could have a LAN event(a la darkmoon faire) in each of the "difficult" states. Then it could be argued that there is no difference between that event, which was allowed, and everyday online Hex play.

When you mix the internet and commerce across state lines into the equation, it can make it very different (legally speaking) from a MtG tournament at a brick and mortar store.

Lafoote
09-08-2013, 08:38 PM
When you mix the internet and commerce across state lines into the equation, it can make it very different (legally speaking) from a MtG tournament at a brick and mortar store.

Quite true, but once you establish the game itself is not gambling(which has been established), remaining issues SHOULD be solvable. I'm neither a lawyer nor a legislator, but this seems more an issue of laws lagging behind technology, than an example of states protecting residents from fraud or organized crime.

Xtopher
09-09-2013, 12:35 AM
Quite true, but once you establish the game itself is not gambling(which has been established), remaining issues SHOULD be solvable. I'm neither a lawyer nor a legislator, but this seems more an issue of laws lagging behind technology, than an example of states protecting residents from fraud or organized crime.
We had a long discussion about this over on the MTGO forums some time ago. When I took the time to look up the gambling laws for some of the states in question, the ordinances were very broad and by their legal definition of gambling, MTGO was considered such. I agree with you, these card games are not gambling in the common usage sense of the word, but when you have legalese redefining the meaning of words (kind of like key words on Hex cards), common sense kind of flies out the window.

Zarien
09-09-2013, 12:38 PM
legally cryptozoic could say that all its transactions and agreements are handled in a specific location before hand. then you would be agreeing to comply with that area's ordinances and statues leaving cryptozoic in the clear if you then violated ordinances and statutes where you live.

credit card companies do this, as often the percentage rate that you are charged for money on a card violates local usury laws, for instance, the state of new york will not recognize any financial transaction with a interest rate higher then 16%( 5-513) and actually has it be a felony to charge 25% interest or more(N.Y. Penal Law 190.40) but if you get a credit card with a 21% rate(pretty standard iirc) then the contract for that card says that it will run all of the legal proceedings through a court in in the district of columbia which has its rate set at 25%. in this way you can be charged a felonious rate and at the same time the card company is not criminally liable and the contract is valid.

Almost any legal transaction can be done this way online, and provided that the court which is given jurisdiction in the contract finds buying in to prizes like this a legitimate and legal practice, crypto should be fine. they also will probably do this just so they cant be forced to fly all over the country(and i say country not world because international suits are laughably ineffective) to defend themselves should a problem arise.

This^