I ignored him, mentioned in gchat that I find it annoying, and my guild leader said it was bannable.
I thought "Well, the guy should know that" so I unignored and whispered him.
He said he'd talked to a GM the night before, and the GM had said as long as he doesn't scam anyone, he can gamble with them. I called him on it and asked if I'd get the same response if I talked to a different GM. He said yes. I believed him, because if he'd been lying he would have gotten flustered and defensive.
I said my guild leader was sure it was bannable and I'd look into it for my own curiosity, though I found gambling advertising annoying, and had just wanted to warn him if it was bannable. He said okay and we left it at that.
I didn't remember anything about gambling in the rules and penalties I'd gone through for my penalties post, so I went on the official forums and found the following Blue Post by Vrakthris from a week ago (March 26, 2009):
As stated in a previous thread by Malkorix.
Q u o t e:
s are, in and of themselves, not currently against our policies.
That said, we are monitoring the practice and the overall response to it very, very actively.
As I stated in my prior post:
While this practice may not, in an of itself, necessarily represent a violation at the moment, there are activities associated with running an in-game casino which certainly can represent violations; such as spamming or scamming.
Also, if it appears that this practice is being abused or is simply having a deleterious effect on the game play environment, we are certainly willing to revise our stance on the subject. Please remember that our ultimate goal is to provide the best and most fun environment for all our players.
It remains unwise to run an in-game casino, as it is inherently risky. Merely because you can do something does not mean that you should.
orums.worldofwarcraft .com/thread.html?topi cId=15864858843&p ageNo=2&sid=1#30
There are actually a couple of threads about this issue on the first two pages. Here is my response in one of them.
Q u o t e:
As Thunderwulf pointed out, Sli, we have addressed these types of threads already. We are Game Masters though, not Developers or Policy Makers, we are only able to uphold the policies that are currently in place.
If you would like to see our policies change you are welcome to post on our Suggestion Forums with your views.
Game Master, Customer Service Forums - In-Game Support
This is very recent. Back in 2005, Blizzard banned in-game gambling establishments, which accounts for most people's confusion over the validity of the new wave of gamblers. (Thanks to brother-in-law-in-law for the link.)
So, no, casinos and gambling are not bannable anymore in the game, but they might go back. I find them annoying because they take me out of the game environment and provide reminders of one of the least scrupulous forms of making money in the real world. As you may recall, "The house always wins." And it is often those who can least afford it who are taken in.
For every winner in a gambling scenario, there are many more losers. I do not like greed and I do not like taking advantage of people, and gambling provides opportunity for both even when it's conducted without either scam or spam. There is no regulation inside the game for how to conduct a gambling ring, either, so players can offer unreasonably bad odds, odds that verge toward scamming, without real penalty as long as they stand by their word and pay out when someone wins.
To me, gambling is always a scam because the people running it will always have the edge. After all, they designed the game.