GTA Online’s Real-Money Casino Is About to Open Its Doors



Staff member
May 3, 2008
Online gambling is going strong, as we all know already. New online casinos and sports betting sites are being launched all the time, and the industry is one of the fastest-growing ones that have ever existed.

But of course, all of this comes at its cost. There are many regulators who keep a close eye on these gambling sites and continuously question their operations. Different laws are being introduced all the time that ban games or some parts of games that are considered dangerous for the underage players.

Amid all of this, GTA Online is opening its casino’s doors. After a five-year wait, Rockstar Games, GTA’s publisher announced that the virtual casino on GTA Online is finally getting launched. However, whether it will stay open, considering all the tough restrictions, is yet to be seen.

The GTA Online Casino Is About to Open

Naturally, the first ones to notice and start the rumours of the casino opening were the players of GTA Online, the multi-player action-adventure game which has been a hit video game since the day it was first developed and launched by Rockstar North. After the players realized that in a casino in Vinewood the ‘opening soon’ sign has been removed last week, they started suspecting something. The multi-player game fans started wondering if their dream was about to come true. Ever since GTA was invented, this casino had the sign and suddenly, the sign disappeared.

So, once Rockstar Games heard the rumours, it immediately responded. In the statement, the game studio said that there would be an update on the ‘luxury’ casino soon enough. Other than that, there were no details as to how the casino will operate, even though it is possible to have roulette and blackjack tables, just like the casino in GTA: San Andreas. If that's the case, that would mean that players could actually own the casino in the game. Most likely, the casino will offer in-game currency, the GTA dollars. Players would be probably able to top their accounts of using fiat currency via the ‘shark cards' and make microtransactions.

If that happens, this casino feature will be classified as a loot box. Loot boxes are heavily criticized all over the world, in the UK in particular. Regardless of the fact that GTA in the USA belongs in the M category of games, meaning it is only allowed for players aged 17 or older to play it, there will probably be many restrictions and the feature will actually have to go through many audits. On the other hand, if the casino will be available for players to place bets with fun money, then, it would only be a just fun addition to the game. Players are, of course, hoping that the betting will be available with real-money. How cool it would be to go through the GTA streets, walk into a casino, and play a round or two with real-money bets? You’ll be getting two in one, you’ll be playing your favourite video game, plus, you will get a chance to join a casino!

The Tricky Part

As mentioned, this casino opening won’t go without trouble. Considering the regulations and laws, it has become very difficult for operators to find their way in the industry, let alone a video games studio with a naïve idea to make their game cooler.

In fact, different jurisdictions are actually coming down hard on video games, those games that provide players with loot boxes and other in-game features that could actually be bought with real-money. For instance, in the US, the regulator has been going through video games, looking at one after another, trying to find irregularities and ban them altogether, if there were such irregularities.

More precisely, the Missouri Senator Josh Hawley plans on introducing a brand new bill which would ban any type of in-game microtransactions, called Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act. He considers these activities manipulative towards kids, asserting that video games and social media prey on user addiction, alluring kids and drawing their attention from the real world, extracting profits from fostering addictive, compulsive habits. Hawley stated that no matter the business model’s benefits to the tech industry, one thing was clear: there was no excuse for exploiting children and those vulnerable from addictive habits through such practice.
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