One of the most anticipated and criticised features of the upcoming Diablo 3 is the Real Money Auction House (RMAH) where players can buy and sell in game items for real money. The potential to cash out while playing the game is appealing to a lot of players, but may cause problems for some due to the random nature of the loot that drops in the game.
Korea Times reports that this particular feature has met resistance in South Korea as it is entirely random whether the items that drop from monsters in the game will be valuable or not. Gambling in any form is illegal to Korean nationals and if it is decided that the RMAH falls into the gambling category it will not be able to receive a rating in the country and will thus not be sold. There have been instances in the past where games have been denied classification for very similar features (Emperor Online).
Blizzard’s CEO Mike Morhaime refutes the claims, stating that since there’s nothing at stake other than time spent collecting the items put up for sale, the RMAH can not be considered gambling.
(In Diablo III), you’re not risking anything. You’re just investing your time (to win items to sell). It is an important distinction.