In SoC: E&P, one can pay the pirate gold in order to move one's ships. Who receives that gold? The pirate owner or the bank?


From the Explorers and Pirates rules under the Paying Tribute to the Pirate section (page 11):

The tribute costs 1 gold, and you pay it to the supply.

From earlier in the rules, in the Preparation section (page 6):

Place the resource cards and dice from the base Catan game beside the game board to form a supply area.

So it is paid to the supply, which is commonly referred to as the bank.

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