There was a time in EVE’s history when there were casinos which were not excluded in the EULA. Players would send money to a casino corp, they would play on a different site, and then if they won they would be given ISK, if they lose the casino keeps the winnings.
If everyone is honest, the players scratch their risk taking itch (If you want risk, why not try solo PVP instead of blobbing into gangs? But whatever, I guess people like roulette or cards of whatever). The casinos get ISK.
The problem is asking random people on the internet to be honest has a much lower success rate than asking random strangers you meet face to face to be honest. I can see this system was ripe for abuse.
First of all, I doubt European regulators would check these sites like they do with regular gambling sites. So the house would be free to lie about the odds. And that’s on the low end of the abuse of this system.
Even before I finished reading the article which described why CCP changed the EULA to ban them, I already guessed casinos would probably be used for real money trade. A player could bribe a casino to make sure his character won and boom, illegal RMT right here, and totally undetractable.
On top of this, there doesn’t seem an obvious way to combat the abuse other than not allowing the practice altogether. CCP would only have information on the game side of things, they don’t control the gambling sites. To be it’s no surprise they eventually put their foot down on this practice. Oh and seeing Valve find out CS GO was involved in money laundering also probably made their decision easier.
That does leaves me with some questions. The first is, why did CCP think it was OK at first? The fact that they didn’t ban it immediately suggest to me they thought they could prevent RMT without banning the casinos.
Another is that apparently before they had enough, they actually banned some casinos for the practice of RMT. They were essentially playing wack a mole. But how did they even wack a first mole? With information only on the game side and everything else out of their control, it seems to me the devs would have little information and this would be untraceable. CCP eventually got tired of the wack a mole game and banned the practice, probably for the better since the game of wack a mole couldn’t be won.
So to recap on questions:
Before the practice was banned why did CCP think they could allow it while still preventing RMT abuse?
How did they catch anyone at all if the gambling sites were out of their control?