When the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) action-adventure video game was released in 1997, it caught gamers ‘ imaginations around the globe. Since then, it has spawned more than 10 stand-alone games and several expansion packs, racking up over 280 million unit revenues and counting.
HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE THIS HIT THE SHELVES
Unfortunately this exciting and vibrant’ drive it as you stole it’-themed game lately hit the headlines again. This was due to an update in Grand Theft Auto V that provides players access to Los Santos ‘ Diamond Casino and Resort virtual slots, roulette, poker, roulette and horse racing.
This led in 55 nations that, according to Reddit user SlapshotTommy, have apparently banned the new GTA casino:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Arab Emirates
GTA’S DIAMOND CASINO OFFERS REAL CASINO GAMES
They can visit the Diamond Casino and buy casino chips with real money to play virtual casino games as long as players are 18 years of age or older (GTA has an 18 PEGI age rating). Although their chips or winnings can not be converted back into cash and withdrawn, they can be used to buy in-game items from weapons to car equipment and all in between.
As of 2019, the GTA conversion rate for GTA $500,000 is roughly $7, and the greater the deposits, the greater the discount players are provided. GTA has restricted the amount of chips players can purchase each hour to play as a safeguard at Diamond Casino.
Even though it sounds easy enough, the issue is that GTA’s new real-money casino facility has fallen in love with gambling regulators around the globe who think it is online gambling, an activity that is illegal in the above-mentioned nations.
PLAYERS IN BANNED COUNTRIES CAN’T BUY CHIPS
Players based in these countries have reported that although they may enter and walk around the Diamond Casino and Resort, they can not buy chips for use at the tables. This is due to Rockstar Games, the leading US-based video game publisher owning Grand Theft Auto, facilitating a’ regional limitation.’
As the game software automatically picks up each player’s location, they will not be allowed to finish their transaction to purchase chips and play Diamond Casino games if they find that they live in a region where online gambling is limited.
GAMER RESPONSE TO GTA ‘S NEW CASINO GAMES MIXED
They have been blended in terms of player reactions to Grand Theft Auto’s true money’ gambling’ aspect. For example, some gamers have reported that they disagree with incorporating a gambling element into what is primarily a video game.
Other gamers feel that the GTA casino facility could open the door to vulnerable and/or problematic gamblers, particularly as let’s be frank, adolescents are going to play the game despite their age rating, a demographic prone to gambling problems.
Then there are those players who welcome the move, stating it adds a fresh and interesting dimension to GTA and opens up a whole new universe of possibilities for the video game that has undergone numerous incarnations, scenes and situations since its release.
Some players support the move, but don’t agree with how players can make deposits to buy casino chips from the game. They would rather see casino chips awarded through in-game accomplishments alone, with actual cash transactions left out of it.
GTA HAS PERMITTED IN-GAME TOP-UPS SINCE 2013
GTA has enabled players to upgrade their in-game wallets with true cash since the game introduced its’ online mode’ add-on in 2013. It’s probably not been until now, though, that the virtual money scheme in-game has raised eyebrows around the globe.
That said, although GTA is not widely associated with sports, gambling on sports is not new (GTA is obviously not a video game with elements such as some first-person shooter (FPS), online multiplayer battle arena (MOBA), royal battle, fighting or real-time strategy games).
As of 2019, Esports, a sort of contest in which professional gamers play chosen multiplayer video games competitively for economic gain (often in real-time in front of millions of viewers worldwide) is worth more than $1 billion worldwide.
This represents a significant 27 per cent increase over the past year as a consequence of increasing prize pools, media rights sales, sponsorship deals and advertising partnerships, which was ascribed to skyrocketing sports profits.
ESPORTS BETTING EXPECTED TO REACH $8 BILLION IN 2019
To add to this, sports betting has reached mammoth proportions, with $8 billion expected to be wagered this year on this virtual pastime. This figure is anticipated to double in the coming years as the popularity of sports rises and thus becomes much more common around the globe, attracting more betting fans.
One of the reasons why esports betting took off the way it is because it provides a variety of bets to keep gamblers interested. These bets fall into categories that include totals, moneyline, handicap lines, and prop bets.
Total bets, for example, may include complete rounds, complete maps played, complete points or complete kills, while prop bets may include lines such as whether the game will go over 30 minutes, how many kills a specific player will create, whether the game will be paused for more than 5 minutes, or which team will draw first blood and much more.
The transition to the sports arena is unlikely to be made by GTA, of course. But what is noteworthy is how this latest casino game debacle has’ constructed a bridge’ between video games and casino games, whether deliberately or not.