Lack of French oversight relating to Mahjong gambling
I found a site thanks to one of my feeds that was talking about legalized mahjong gambling (at http://skill-games.pro talking about http://www.gameduell.fr/mahjong.html and http://www.skill7.fr/Jeux-de-plateaux/Mahjong/#/help ). OK, so I check the site itself, and it is saying that you can gamble on solitaire Mahjong (commonly called Shanghai, Taipei, since it’s anything but Mahjong). Let’s do some basic investigation!
Il faut distinguer le mahjong qui se joue « en réel » de celui qui est pratiqué en ligne. Dans les parties non virtuelles, il se pratique à quatre joueurs, avec des pièces appelées tuiles et avec des règles relativement élaborées que nous ne détaillerons pas ici. La version online du mahjong consiste en une pyramide de tuiles que l’on doit retirer par paire similaire.
Dans sa version « de terrain » ce jeu mêle tout autant tactique et calcul que psychologie et chance en fonction des règles jouées. Malgré l’ancienneté de ce jeu, ça n’est que très récemment que les règles officielles se sont diffusées largement à l’Europe et au reste du monde. C’est en 2002 qu’a eu lieu le premier Championnat du Monde de mah-jong organisé et géré par la Japan Mahjong Organization. Et à partir de 2005 la règle officielle chinoise s’est imposée comme référence en Europe. En 2006 la World Mahjong Organization (WMO) édite le Green Book qui pose définitivement les standards officiels.
It is important to distinguish Mahjong that is played “for real” from mahjong played online. In non-virtual games, it is played with 4 players, with pieces called tiles and with relatively elaborate rules that we won’t discuss in detail here. The online version of Mahjong consists of a pyramid of tiles that must be removed pair by pair.
In its “on terrain” version, this game intricately combines tactics, calculations and psychology as well as luck according to the rules played. Despite the age of this game, it has only been recently established that official rules have spread largely across Europe and to the rest of the world. It is in 2002 that the first World Mahjong Championship was run and organized by the Japan Mahjong Organization. And in 2005, the Chinese Official rules has imposed itself as the reference in Europe. In 2006, the World Mahjong Organization (WMO) published the Green Book that definitely sets the official standards.
Ignoring the point that they are definitely playing fast with the facts concerning the elaboration of organizations, and that we at osamuko.com recommend you play exclusively riichi mahjong (we prefer with open tanyao, but without isn’t necessarily bad), what was done here is as follows: they took the legalization of gambling for skill games like mahjong and basically said “we’ll apply it to something completely different.”
I do not know the laws in France, nor what’s really allowed in spielotheques (places with Video Lottery Terminals, or slots, and the like) but they have insulted the game of Mahjong by allowing gambling or redemption games to use the good credit built by Mahjong’s worldwide ambassadors: Tenhou, the EMA, Mahjong Montréal, ReachMahjong.com and of course, us here at osamuko.com. This creates a dangerous precedent which is tantamount to legalizing betting on single die rolls because “Craps is legal”. One card Baccara or Poker.
We will defend the right to exist of web portals offering Mahjong for money (like the MahjongLogic network) but this skill games travesty is impossible to support. If it is legal in France/Europe to offer a game so denatured from the original, we at osamuko.com recommend that you unplug your computer and go meet a Mahjong organization in your country (like Tri Nitro Tiles or Kasu)… and if it isn’t, that the French/European government assumes responsibility to regulate such gambling dérapages.