The long-awaited Diamond Casino and Resort update for Grand Theft Auto Online won’t let players in more than 50 countries access the in-game gambling features due to local laws.
Players have collaborated on Reddit (via PCGamer) to list the countries that restrict the new update, which include China, Greece, Iceland, North Korea and Poland. Frustration is rife among the commenters, because some have waited years for the iconic casino to be fully functional. Reports say that people can enter the Diamond Casino building, interact with other players and buy penthouses, but if they try to gamble, an error message states, ‘This feature is not available for you.’
The issue lies in that the casino will let you buy in-game currency, with real money, so that you can bet on mini-games like blackjack or horse racing. This muddies the question of whether it counts as real gambling or not, which has gotten developers and publishers into hot water with governmental bodies before.
The day before the GTA Online Diamond Casino went live, the UK Gambling Commission held a hearing on loot box mechanics and how the video game industry should do more to regulate skin betting on secondary sites. Some players have successfully bypassed the restrictions by using VPNs, but a subReddit moderator warned, ‘Know your country's laws. Using a VPN to get around the law may result in bans or consequences from Rockstar, or even legal consequences from your country if you are caught. Use at your own risk.’