New GTA Diamond Casino receives heavy criticism

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Published by Robyn Granquist on July 27, 2019 in Industry News

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There has been a lot of excitement among video gamers and online casino players in the past few weeks.
 

In June, Rockstar Games announced that they will be adding in-game casinos to Grand Theft Auto Online.
 

With the excitement came a lot of questions regarding legalities and whether these online casinos would be a breach of gambling regulations.
 

New add-ons cause controversy 

The new casino feature is a dream come true for many Grand Theft Auto Online (GTA) players across the globe. In fact, it is because of player requests that Rockstar Games finally decided to add casinos to the online variant of the game.  

The current debate around this new add-on is whether it meets the regulations of gambling within the video gaming world. This after the United Kingdom Gambling Commission recently confirmed that loot boxes are not yet classed as a form of gambling.  

Loot boxes offer undisclosed prizes in renowned games and have to be purchased with real money. According to the UK Gambling Commission, these boxes are not legally considered a form of gambling but do raise concern.  

Rockstar Games adding a casino to its counsel game is considered as taking it to the next level. The Diamond Casino and Resort will be a popular addition to the game. The add-on will come complete with a rooftop infinity pool, plenty of new fun missions to complete and a virtual casino.  

While the majority is over the moon about the new add-on there are a few concerns over the implications it might have. According to sources players will be able to spend in-game funds on the casino’s slot machines and card and table games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Poker games.
 

Is it a form of gambling? 

Spending in-game coins on the virtual casino is not the main concern, the primary issue is that players are now able to purchase the game’s in-game currency from the GTA online store using real money.  

This money can be spent on all things to help increase their game including cosmetics, vehicles and other goods. With the casino in play, it will also be used to purchase chips to use at the casino. For many this in itself can be seen as a form of gambling. As players will be spending real money to wager in the game.  

On the other hand, the funds won from the casino can only be used for further gaming activity. This could count in favour of the latest game addition.
 

A lot of criticism 

Many game industry experts have welcomed the move to add a casino to GTA but are criticising the developers for allowing real-money purchases of chips for the gambling aspects of the game.  

There is a call for Rockstar Games to rethink this aspect and stop any real money purchases of casino chips for the casino aspect of the game.  

The main concern is that this could be damaging to those with potential gambling addictions. Currently, there are major concerns across the globe about the growing number of gambling addicts.  

It’s unclear how Rockstar Games will attend to the matter but for now, the majority of GTA fans are just excited to have their wish fulfilled.

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