Applications will officially open on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017, and the blog post announcing the move reads in part:
As we blogged back in the Summer of 2014, gambling is strictly prohibited in Second Life and operating or participating in a game of chance that provides a Linden Dollar payout is a violation of our Terms of Service.
However, games of skill are legally permitted in many jurisdictions, and we’ve seen that many Second Life users are interested in playing such games for Linden Dollars. We updated our gaming policy in Second Life at that time and opened applications for Skill Gaming. Skill Gaming applications will reopen on January 3, 2017, for those who wish to become authorized creators and/or operators of Skill Games in Second Life.
Skill Gaming is covered by the Second Life Skill Gaming Policy, which in turn is supported by a Skill Gaming FAQ.The latter will have a link to the Skill Gaming Application form, once applications have re-opened on January 3rd, 2017.
In short, Skill Games are games which, in the Lab’s words:
1) whose outcome is determined by skill and is not contingent, in whole or in material part, upon chance; 2) requires or permits the payment of Linden Dollars to play; 3) provides a payout in Linden Dollars; and 4) is legally authorized by applicable United States and international law.
All Skill Games in Second Life must be created and / or operated by Lab approved Skill Gaming Creators (SGCs) and / or Skill Gaming Operators (SGOs), and must be located within Skill Gaming Regions. The latter must be Full regions, which cannot be located on the Mainland, and cannot be located adjacent to non-Skill Gaming Regions. They have an increased maintenance fee (tier), which (at the time of writing) is US $345 / month. Existing Full regions meeting the criteria above can be converted to Skill Gaming Regions for a one-off fee of US $100 per region.
The Skill Gaming Policy sets out all requirements in full, and should be read, along with the FAQ, by anyone wishing to become a Skill Gaming Operator and / or Creator, or who wishes to access Skill Gaming regions and participate in the games on offer.
The first round of Skill Gaming applications in 2014, took somewhat longer to come into effect than the Lab had planned, and several applicants experienced some delay between submitting their application and receiving confirmation of acceptance (or refusal). In the end, some 45 SGOs, five of whom are also registered as SGCs, and between them, they provide 44 skill games in Second Life.
In August 2016, and as a way of introducing Second Life users to Skill Gaming, Linden Lab introduced Gaming Islands. These can be accessed either directly or via the Portal Parks and provide information on what Skill Games are, the kinds of games user might encounter, how and where they can be played – and why, in some instances, users may not be allowed to access the regions where they can be played.