Q: Online marble race with bidding entry and paid power-ups legal?
Presume an online livestream of a digital marble race. There are no stakes for winning besides a score for the player on a small leaderboard visible on-screen at all times. Viewers may enter the race by sending a chat message during the setup for the next race. It's first-come first-serve (up to 25 viewers may enter a race by interacting as described before), which starts some arbitrary number of seconds after the last race finishes. Each marble in the race is named after each viewer who has entered. Further, the top 5 donators during the period since the start of the last race are all guaranteed entry into the next race. Would this be legal? Specifically, the act of guaranteeing admission into the race to the top bidders alongside the free first-come first-serve players. Second, would including the option to have paid power-ups be legal? That is, allowing users to donate money to have stronger gravity, slow other players, etc?
A: I am not aware of any specific California law that directly addresses this specific scenario. However, hosting an online marble race with bidding entry and paid power-ups could potentially raise legal and regulatory issues related to gambling, contests, and online gaming. It's advisable to consult with a legal professional who specializes in gaming and entertainment law to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
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