All Magic: The Gathering Staff, Tournament Organizers & Retailers Will Now Require Background Checks

Author Thumbnail BY Jake Vyper - January 12, 2018

Photo: WPN

There's been a lot of buzz on social media of people criticizing the Magic: The Gathering community for allegedly having sex offenders work as judges in official events. Now, Wizards of the Coast is taking action. Today, the company has updated the Wizards Play Network Terms and Conditions to reflect their shared commitment to fostering inclusive and safe gaming environments. 

In a statement made on its website today, Wizards of the Coast said that all WPN stores will receive a link to updated Terms and Conditions via email next week, and that email will include instructions to review the new Terms and submit the agreement by February 9. 

Here are the updated sections: 

Section 5b: To protect players of all ages, to the extent permitted by applicable law, you agree to conduct background checks to meet your obligations under Section 15 on your Staff as well as those you engage with that interact with the public

Section 5h: You will refrain from violating the WPN Code Conduct and you agree to display in your Retail Store and/or Event Locations, player and community policies as designated by Wizards from time to time.

Section 15: You will not employ or otherwise engage Staff or other individuals who interact with the public on your behalf who (i) appear on a sex offender registry (or its international equivalent), and/or (ii) have been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for a violent sexual offense or a crime against children.

Here's what Vice President of Global Brand Strategy Elaine Chase said in a statement: 

Recently, a few former judges and players had their sex offender registries posted to social media. In accordance with our policy, the majority had already had their access to Magic organized play suspended indefinitely, and are not active in the Magic community.

We learned, however, that an individual reported to the Judge Conduct Committee was inadvertently not decertified by Magic Judges nor reported to Wizards. You can read more about that here. However, once this was brought to our attention, Wizards immediately coordinated with Magic Judges—an independent community-run organization that operates and manages the judge community and its Judge Conduct Committee—to address the situation. That individual has now been indefinitely suspended as a player and the Magic Judges decertified the individual’s status as a Magic judge. When Wizards learns that a DCI member or a Wizards Play Network (WPN) retailer is on a sex offender registry, we take immediate action to remove them from organized play and our promotional programs. We have a zero-tolerance policy. Sex offenders have no place in the Magic community.

As part of our commitment to safe and inclusive spaces, tournament organizers and retailers will be explicitly required to conduct background checks for all staff (as permitted by applicable law). This includes CFB Events' Grand Prix, local store events like Friday Night Magic, and professional events like the Pro Tour and World Magic Cup as well as convention play run by Wizards.

We remain committed to working with tournament organizers, local game stores, and the Magic community to foster safe and inclusive environments. The proper channels for reporting misconduct are as follows: report judge misconduct to the Judge Conduct Committee at, and retailer or player misconduct to 

You read the entire Wizards Play Network Terms and Conditions here

There's been a ton of controversies in the Magic community lately, and I'm glad that Wizards is quick to respond to what people have to say. 

What do you think about these changes to WPN's Terms and Conditions? 

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Jake Vyper is a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Author, Social Media Manager, and Founder of
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