Grand Theft Auto Online Gambling Controversy

Rockstar Games’ latest update for Grand Theft Auto Online is the Diamond Casino and Resort. The casino has finally arrived in Los Santos, which was part of the GTA 5 map for about six years. The update will bring new shopping opportunities, first-class entertainment, table games, penthouse suites, and a new co-op mission. The latest update does indeed look like it will bring a lot of new features to the game, but it also looks like there are some issues with the gambling feature.

GTA Online has the ability to gamble in the casino with real money. That does spark some controversy if the game is going to abide with U.S. online gambling laws. There has been some debate going on in gaming regarding loot boxes and monetization. GTA Online’s Diamond and Casino just went above and beyond with its online, virtual casino experience. The latest update will have players gamble with in-game chips to use on new outfits and missions. These in-game chips are purchased with real life money! Just like gambling in real life, players can win more chips when gambling in the game by placing wagers. The only thing that sets gambling apart is that there is no way of withdrawing in-game chips for real life money. It’s because of that logic that GTA’s online casino gambling is allowed. Even if GTA’s online gambling is allowed, it’s still making headlines due to the monetization.

Outside of the U.S. there are strict laws regarding the gambling feature. Reddit users have compiled a list of countries that have restricted the gambling feature. The list contains around 50 countries — including Costa Rica, Cuba, Bahamas, China, and many more. It looks like some people report on being able to get around restrictions by using VPN’s (Virtual Private Network). However, there are also reports of some people feeling the consequences of getting bans … So use at your own risk.

Even if other countries are opting out of the online gambling feature, the U.S. doesn’t look like it’s part of disabling it. In fact, the U.S. has been embracing online gambling with four states now offering legal online casino gambling. Nevada is known for gambling in its land-based casinos, but has earned a lot of money from online casino gambling. It’s not a surprise as the U.S. is quickly becoming one of the most lucrative online gambing markets in the world. The competition is high — so much that there are many different outlets to choose from.

Remember though, the gambling in GTA Online may look like it is a form of online gambling. Even if players are able to purchase chips with their real life money, those players will not be able to withdraw their winnings back into that real life money. Everyone is entitled to what they spend their money on, even if it is towards an online currency that may have value upon purchase, but no real life value upon retrieval.

Written by
Jon “Onetrackpunk” Layola is an Amateur Vlogger/Film Maker on YouTube and Podcast Host for One Track Gamers and The Onetrackpunk Show.

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