GTA Online players in more than 50 countries are missing out on the new virtual casino games.
Earlier this week, we lauded the launch of
Grand Theft Auto’s long-awaited in-game casino. After years of
speculation and anticipation, the virtual gambling den finally opened
its doors to the population of Los Santos.
The new GTA Online Diamond Casino &
Resort is all we could have ever hoped for, and then some. It
features an array of playable casino games (for in-game currency, not
real money), loads of accessible resort amenities, a purchasable
penthouse suite property, and of course, lots of new criminal
endeavors (a.k.a. missions) to keep the game interesting.
What no one (accept its creators) realized upon release of the update was that, depending on where a player lives, their experience within the new GTA Online casino might be different than someone elses. Specifically, some players will be able to partake in the casino games, and some players will not. Which experience you receive is based entirely on the gambling laws of your local jurisdiction.
50+ Countries Miss Out on GTA Virtual Casino
According to a multitude of reports,
legislative gambling restrictions have prevented the full unpackaging
of the content update for players in more than 50 countries. Where
most of us have been given free reign to utilize all of the resort’s
many amenities, in some areas of the world, all are accessible except
for the casino games.
For the most part, it doesn’t change the way
the game plays out. There is never a requirement to gamble to
complete a mission or progress the game. However, the Lucky Wheel
does offer a chance to win one of the game’s Legendary Motorsport
vehicles, like the rarest and most expensive of them all, Thrax. But
it’s not the only way to get this Adder-like sports car. You could
also pay over 2 million in-game currency for it.
Why the Ban on GTA Online Gambling?
The ultimate question is whether GTA V’s
Diamond Casino actually constitutes gambling. It is just a video
game, right? Yes, and no. GTA Online is an ongoing social experience
in which players can continuously use real cash to purchase items or
in-game currency. In this way, those who can play the casino games
are capable of buying casino chips with real money.
It’s not really gambling because a player
cannot reverse the exchange process, converting in-game currency back
to cash. But the elements of gambling are all there, and the ability
to get something special – those legendary vehicles – for far
less than the usual purchase price – can be tempting.
If one were tempted enough to continue buying
GTA currency and playing the games until they won that car, then yes,
it could constitute not just gambling, problem gambling. So in
jurisdictions where there is an outright and explicit ban on all
forms of gambling, Rockstar Games felt the need to omit the playable
casino games from the update.
Countries Where GTA V Casino Gambling is Banned
Rockstar Games did not publish a list of
countries where the virtual casino games are not available. However,
a Reddit user has been steadily compiling
a list based on local laws and responses from global players.
At present, there are 56 countries on the list. They include (at time
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Malaysia (reportedly works for some, not
United Arab Emirates
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