Due to laws in over 50 countries, the latest update to Grand Theft Auto 5: Online, which introduced a casino to the Los Santos landscape, has been banned. The reason for the ban is just part of a long-running issue with gambling in video games and whether they should feature in online portions of games.
The Diamond casino runs on in-game currency that requires the player to spend real money through micro-transactions. Due to the nature of this financial transaction, it is considered by 50+ countries as a form of gambling. Gamers affected by the ban will still have access to the casino, but will receive a message informing them of their inability to partake in any form of gambling upon entering the casino. Although players can earn in-game money through playing in a traditional manner, this can be a laborious process. Instead, players are able to buy ‘shark cards’ that come in several denominations, giving player’s a lump-sum of cash.
To find out whether you are affected by this ban, a helpful list of countries has been compiled on Reddit. There are less legal means to get past the ban like VPN’s, but this could land any user in trouble with Rockstar Games or even their own country’s legal system. Rockstar isn’t the first developer to be affected by this ongoing debate on the status of Lootboxes & gambling in video games; Electronic Arts has been fighting legal battles with the country of Belgium.