The newest GTA Online update has finally released its long-anticipated casino, but depending on where you live, gambling in the Diamond Casino and Resort may not be available.
More than 50 countries have banned their residents from accessing the casino despite no real cash value transactions available within the game. The United States, Japan, and western European countries are not on the list of these countries.
For years, fake money gambling in video games has been legal. However, in the case of Grand Theft Auto V, in-game money can be purchased with real money. This creates a grey area that more closely resembles actual gambling.
In GTAV, players can purchase in-game money at $3 for every $100,000 with wholesale discounts. For $100, a player can get $8,000,000 in the game.
Although money purchased or earned in-game cannot be withdrawn directly, there is a black market that deals in GTA goods. Such markets allow players to sell their items or game money to other users for real money outside of the rules and regulations detailed by Rockstar Games.
When the update went live on Wednesday, many players received messages that they could not purchase chips to use in the casino.
Based on a list from Reddit, countries like Belarus, Cyprus, China, and Luxembourg, among others, have banned their players from Diamond Casino.
Players from these countries are going great lengths to circumvent restrictions. Many are using VPNs to adjust their locations, but this could lead to trouble with Rockstar Games or their country’s gambling laws.
A similar issue was addressed in the United Kingdom when the packs and loot boxes in EA’s FIFA were ruled to not be gambling due to the inability to monetize their values.
Belgium, however, deemed loot boxes illegal and banned them under the country’s gambling laws in 2018.
Gambling watchdogs in the UK say they do not actively oversee in-game purchases because monetary value cannot be placed on the winnings. Prizes must be money or have monetary value to fall under gambling registration.
With the United States becoming more open to online gambling, especially related to sports betting, the casino aspect of GTA Online will probably never be restricted. As for the other countries, the final verdict remains to be seen.