Decentral Games has opened another casino in the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland! Tominoya has as its theme ancient Japan, and the casino itself is a large, graceful building decorated with Torii gates and a large cherry blossom tree providing shade in the central courtyard:
The Tominoya casino features two games of chance: slot machines and roulette tables. Here is a quick video demonstration of how the latter works:
Here are a few more pictures of the action at the roulette wheel!
Each user starts by default with 1,000 PLAY to wager on roulette. To make a submission, record a video of your Decentraland avatar dancing on one of the tables in the casino and post it to our #competitions Discord channel before 8:00pm UTC May 3rd. Make sure the video shows your PLAY balance as this will determine the winners.
If you follow us on Twitter and retweet the announcement for the competition, we will add an extra 1,000 PLAY to your submission! The five players with the highest balances will win the prizes below including wearables and MANA.lances will win the prizes below including wearables and MANA!
Here are some of the limited-edition avatar wearables you can win:
Decentraland opened its doors to the general public on Feb. 20th, 2020. If you need step-by-step instructions on how to get started in Decentraland, here they are. You will need to set up an avatar account in Decentraland, linked to a crypto wallet like MetaMask, and have some MANA in order to gamble (although there is a demo version available for you to try out).
To visit the new Tominoya casino directly, just click on this link. (There is no separate client; everything runs in the web browser.)
Don’t forget to register for the upcoming Decentraland Game Jam, where you have an opportunity to win a share of 2,500,000 MANA cryptocurrency tokens and 200 LAND virtual land parcels, prizes worth an estimated US$275,000 in total value. You don’t need to own any land to take part in the contest, and they’re even offering training sessions all next week (online via Twitch and at various real-world locations) on how to use the Decentraland SDK to create contest entries.
Although the blockchain-based virtual world Decentraland (DCL for short) is still in closed beta test, with countless users impatiently waiting for their chance to be admitted, the first casino has already opened! So this evening I decided to pay a visit, take some photos, and even play the slots!
The demo is now accessible to core community members and is hosted on our site and viewable in a Chrome browser. We felt this was the best means to gain valuable feedback on gameplay, scene design, on-screen UI, and overall experience. After testing and optimization, we will deploy this casino scene to 19 parcels of LAND at the entrance of Vegas City, Decentraland.
In this closed beta demo, the default gameplay is in fake PLAY currency with no blockchain interaction. It may take a few seconds for the scene to render and the games to be playable. The Free-to-Play version serves as a taste of the Decentral Games experience, without the need to register an account with us. However, in the on-screen UI gameplay box found in the lower right hand corner there’s a toggle that allows the user to switch to the MANA Payout and ETH Payout gameplay.
(For those not familiar with the terminology being used here, LAND is the name of the 16m-by-16m virtual parcels of land in Decentraland, MANA is the cryptocurrency used in DCL, and ETH is, of course, the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Gambling using MANA and ETH are not yet available, but the company says they will be available soon.)
Here’s a few more shots of the casino interior, which is decorated in a luxurious gold-and-white Art Deco style with many grand staircases throughout:
The box in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen pops up automatically when you enter the casino grounds, and it helpfully informs you how many credits you have left, what your current bet is, and how much you have won:
Here’s a look at the slot machines, located at the main entrance of the casino, next to a soaring spiral staircase:
As you can see from this short video clip I recorded, they are actual working slot machines (I won 25 credits on the pull just before this one!):
To comply with online gaming legislation, the MANA and ETH Payout versions will require age and location verification. We will also request authorization to transfer MANA on behalf of the player. Although an early implementation of this process is currently offered on our site, we are still optimizing its ease of use. Please just test our Free-to-Play gameplay for now.
Using the link provided above, I did a quick check and Decentral Games is clearly screening out Americans, although it’s not clear what other countries will be banned from gambling. The company adds:
We’d like to give a big thanks to the Matic Network and Decentraland teams who have been very supportive throughout development. If you don’t yet have access to the closed beta and you’d like to join the community dialogue, join our Discord channel, direct message us on Twitter, or reach out to email@example.com to request access. We’d like to welcome any feedback the community may have regarding improvements to the slots game or suggestions for new games to build in the future.
For more information on Decentral Games, here is their website. It would appear that the company is planning to produce more types of gambling games than just slot machines, including roulette wheels:
I was actually very surprised to see this already up and running in Decentraland! And this is not some cheap-looking low-poly building; it is a very attractively-designed virtual casino, one of the nicest builds I have yet visited in-world. One thing I will say: there are a lot of people who have a lot of incentive to make DCL work, because they invested millions of dollars of their hard earned money into it. And obviously, gambling is going to be one way to monetize the outrageously expensive LAND which some people have bought.
But I do wonder if Decentraland is going to land up looking more like a gaudy, low-poly, crypto-crazed Las Vegas strip, with nothing but gambling sites everywhere you look. Not to mention the impact on people who are susceptible to gambling addictions, who might find it hard to stay away when the casino is as close as their keyboard. I guess we’ll see how this all plays out.
One thing is certain: you can bet on interesting times ahead 😉
Carl Fravel (whom I first met in Sansar, but who has since moved on to become a sort of unofficial ambassador for Decentraland), responded to me when I commented on the Cryptovoxels Discord this week that the creators behind Decentraland have not really paid attention to the history of Second Life, and the problems and scandals that SL has encountered in its 15-year history.
Now, Decentraland may be able to skirt around this by setting up in a jurisdiction where online gambling is allowed. However, you can bet that the FBI will get involved again if it is found that American citizens are gambling in Decentraland. They’re probably going to have to set up some sort of system to block users from certain countries; have the developers (and the people who contributed virtual land to the Vegas City district) stopped to consider this?
Second, “banks” and get-rich-quick schemes. Linden Lab was forced to ban “banks” in Second Life after reports of scammers making off with people’s investments (for more details, see number 10 on this list). Originally, Linden Lab’s excuse was: hey, we just host the software, and residents should avoid deals that sound too good to be true. But then, they were essentially forced to implement a ban after a story appeared in the MIT Technology Review. And, if Decentraland does not take steps to ban financial get-rich-quick schemes on its platform, it is likely that scammers with lofty promises will also descend upon it and set up shop. The world of blockchain/cryptocurrency is full of stories of people taking advantage of other people’s greed and ignorance. Remember what happened with BitConnect?
Third, ageplay. Linden Lab was forced to confront a public relations disaster when the news media reported that pedophiles were using the platform to engage in sexual roleplay with child avatars (see number 4 on this list for more details). The resulting scandal led Linden Lab to enact and enforce a strict ageplay ban.
To this day, when “Second Life” is mentioned, sexual roleplay tends to be the first thing that the general public thinks of; Second Life’s reputation has been pretty much tainted by that association ever since. Decentraland needs to think about this beforea scandal hits, and set up similar bans, and a means of enforcing them.
Fourth, intellectual property and copyright issues. I have already written about this at length here and here. Go read those blogposts. I suggest that Decentraland put a report mechanism in place, as well as a procedure for dealing with DMCA filings. It will happen.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.