After 5 years of speculation, Rockstar is ready to launch a real casino within the Grand Theft Auto Online game. It doesn’t seem certain though if the company manages to retain it for long.
Lately, players of GTA Online noticed an “opening soon” sign outside of a casino in the Vinewood area within the game. The sign was removed this week causing fuss between the players who started querying Rockstar about the possibility of introducing a casino.
Rockstar didn’t let down its players and confirmed that the next update of the game will include a “luxury casino”, by the name “Diamond Casino and Resort”. The GTA: San Andreas game already offers a casino with roulette and blackjack games and the players have the possibility to become the owners of it. The casino accepts an in-game currency and likewise, this is how the GTA Online casino going to operate. Of course, the player deposits and withdraws the in-game’s “fake money” but Rockstar gives the possibility to buy big amounts of in-game money through the acquisition of “shark cards” which are paid in real cash.
This is exactly the detail that might see regulators become alerted over the Rockstar’s in-game casino. Some voices have already stated that even indirectly, real money is involved, so the activity automatically constitutes an act of gambling.
The authorities seem to be ready to clear the clouded landscape of both online gambling and sports betting in the USA jurisdiction. Video games are no exception regarding this intention. Specifically, the in-game features that get unlocked with real money payments and usually give players an advantage over other players are closely examined by the authorities.
Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri state is planning on introducing a new bill, the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act, so that any activity that could attract underaged towards spending real money over in-game features will be considered illegal.
Even though, the GTA is not among these games as it accepts players that are 17 years or older, Hawley stated that there many other video games which take advantage of children’s addiction to gaming. He added that this addiction could prove to be detrimental to youngsters’ health and could lead them to shift their focus from the real world to the one of virtual reality.