Linden Labs announced today that “casinos” in Second Life will be shut down, effective immediately.
Casinos were up until recently at the top of the “Popular Place” search listings (which are, to be sure, heavily gamed by paying people to loiter), and were popular for much the same reasons casinos in real life are: you can blow a lot of money with the hope of winning. Since the L$ is easily converted to $, this has long been thought a possible legal liability for Linden Labs.
Currently the casinos in SL are still going strong. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s any attempt at an active enforcement (something Linden isn’t exactly known for) and if so, how this will effect the stupendously high “$ traded in Second Life” figure proudly advertised on Linden Labs’ front page. (Second Life Insider does a good job at tracking that on a day-by-day basis, so that’ll be where to watch for that.)