Gambling is a bit of a tricky topic, one in which nobody can win (pun intended).
So here’s our stance:
With the next patch, dropping on May 5th, there will be an explicit rule making it clear that gambling and games of chance are not allowed, to avoid any confusion. However, considering the fact that this kind of activity is considered illegal in certain jurisdictions, we already consider it a violation of our T&C, particularly §13.1 (Users are obliged to…(…)comply with applicable laws and all rights of third parties when using the Services.), and have to step in.
Addendum May 05:
As a follow up to the above statement, some players have asked us whether someone could get around the “no gambling” restrictions by turning their games into “games of skill” instead of chance.
First of all, there are many games that contain chance and skill elements. If these games are run in a professional manner and targeted at the wider community, in particular if we suspect that they are an attempt to work-around the no gambling provision, we would absolutely consider them to be in violation.
More importantly, please note that the definition of RMT plays an important role in this as well:
4.5.1 Users are prohibited from selling, purchasing, renting, leasing, offering, accepting, disseminating or copying Virtual Benefits, including Virtual Currency, within and/or outside the Game – in whatever form – to/from third parties unless expressly permitted by these Terms and Conditions or the Game Rules. An in game-system provided by the Game or by Sandbox Interactive to trade Virtual Benefits of the Game constitutes such an exception. In this case, the transfer of Virtual Benefits from one User to the other is only permitted if the transfer takes place – no matter if within or outside the Game – either without any form of consideration or with consideration if the consideration consists solely of Virtual Property or Virtual Currency of the Game and such is transferred within the Game itself or via a function provided by the Game. The acquisition of Virtual Benefits in exchange for any form of consideration other than Virtual Property or Virtual Currency of the Game is expressly prohibited.
What this clause does, effectively, is putting a barrier between the in-game economy and the real world economy. You cannot pay real cash for in-game stuff, and you cannot pay in-game currency/items/etc for real world stuff. This covers goods and services. This means that if somebody would like to offer certain types of games to the Albion community – even if those would be pure games of skill such as chess – he could not charge any sort of direct or hidden in-game or out of game fee for this.
Finally, per the Terms and Conditions, it is also not allowed for users to “advertise services or products provided by themselves or third parties, in particular so called “Gold Sellers””. While this is mostly aimed at Gold Sellers, it is deliberately phrased wider than that and covers all sorts of advertisement. Hence, if somebody creates an out of game “mini-games” website with a commercial vibe to it and uses in-game or in-community means to try and maximize their traffic, we would step in here as well.