If you don't want to read much further, here is how Runescape does it...
1. Offer virtual prizes only.
2. Create a barter system where players can exchange real money for virtual currencies.
Combined these two work like this...
Virtual prizes are not counted as gambling by bodies such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
So by itself this is enough to sustain a gambling operation in Runescape.
However there is a problem. Not every player has access to a credit card to buy gambling spins/tickets/keys or whatever the gambling game requires. Children fall into this category. Runescape is aimed at the 13+ age market.
But what if players could buy an item from Runescape and exchange it with other players for ingame currency. In Runescape that item is called a Bond.
Every Bond in Runescape has been bought with real cash. They can be exchanged to other players for ingame items, and those other players can use them for gambling spins or other items such as extra membership time.
This allows players without access to credit cards to play Runescape as members and to gamble, if they can make enough ingame currency to keep buying Bonds from other players.
Which means if a player was to get addicted to gambling then it's easy enough to feed the addiction, just keep playing Runescape. No money required. Yet Runescape makes money.
Of the $130 million Runescape made last year, about $30 million was from this gambling.
Runescape is operated by Jagex Ltd. of Cambridge UK.
Jagex Ltd is owned by New York investment bankers; Insight Venture Capital, Spectrum Equity and The Raine Group.
Runescape has had over 200 million accounts made.
It's worth noting that Runescape only banned gambling between players after Runescape had introduced Squeal of Fortune (now Treasure Hunter), because obviously the player run gambling competed with Runescape's gambling.
Dearest Jo, we monsters love our Massively Monstrous Online Role Playing Games, it gives us a chance to play at being human. To pretend at emotions and loves we can never know.
Grief is not possible for us, but an eternal conflict is quite within our experience.
We expect this conflict to have a resolution much more quickly than that though. Next year sometime.
We have caused a lot of damage to Runescape in the last year or so, and for that we apologised to Mod Ash. It's not mere coincidence that our bans and some turbulence in Runescape's gentle journey coincided.
I'm sure Runescape will dismiss our ravings as those of a harmless ex player, a lunatic fringe of one.
They would be right, apart from the harmless part. I don't need to be we. But I do have support, which helps. And with a little necromancy I'm getting more.
Last year I began chatting to US casinos and lobbyists about online gambling and the threat it posed to them. This is all recorded in my posts or aticles or emails. Jagex I told too.
And by sheer coincidence things happened.
Somewhere in all those posts, articles and emails are clues to the other things I do.
I'm a gamer Jo, everything we humans do, we make a game of, in my view.
When Jagex banned us, they tossed us the ball and asked us to play hard. Without a clue to who we were. First thing we did was destroy the ball and make up our own rules.
Thanks to you I've made a little record of my thoughts over the last few months and tried being more public and positive. It appears I may be rusty at positivity.
Thank you Jo, we monsters do appreciate the odd human spirit, if only in spirit.
Fargrist The Fringed
I have to say that I admire your tenacity. Jagex broke my heart when they ruined my game. I fought long and hard, then grieved and moved on. You kept the banner well and truly raised. Still right there with you in spirit. <3
The UK Gambling Commission replied...
They want me to show that people can turn virtual gold into real money.
I replied (and put the emails at the end of this article).
Not sure how best to show them. They would know if they played MMOs but how to show a newbie that the industry to turn gold into dollars is a thriving and real one?
That's about it!
The tears of the taxed are liquid refreshment for the Taxation Torturers (a variant of Dementors)
I reserve that for the Tax department and it is always real! (heheh)
I organise the Wed. night bowling which just wrapped up for the year. We are scraping along barely making profit, but it's profit. It's interesting considering it as a problem, how to grow the club.
I'm confident I can do that, the major fun will be in seeing how it grows.
When you get to a meeting about lawn bowls it is like you have never lived. You become the unborn, a variant of undead.
Did you ring or write? Voice is better for an emotional impact. A few quavers, a cracked word or two, uneven breathing. It helps remind them that there are people out there, not just voters.
I play lawn bowls but have never lived as I haven't been to a meeting.
I tried tear jerking?
Ah, you need story telling skills Jo. I told them a tale of magnificent despair such as to make your tears wash your eyes from your head.
Then giggled like a malevolent child when they dropped the fine. heheheheheh
Time for my monthly lawn bowls committee meeting now. You haven't lived if you haven't lived through one.
Fargy - they fine you! I have already been fined. Never think that they don't catch up with you, Jo