GTA Online to offer a real-money casino

GTA Online to offer a real-money casino

Just like many real casinos, a virtual casino planned for Grand Theft Auto (GTA) saw its launch delayed. GTA publisher Rockstar Games has announced that, after a five-year wait, GTA Online will soon offer a real casino. However, whether or not it will stay open is a different story.
Rumors of the casino picked up recently when gamers noticed a change. There is a casino in Vinewood in the game that, since GTA was introduced, has carried an “opening soon” sign. However, that sign suddenly disappeared last week, leaving fans of the multi-player game wondering if the casino was about to open its doors.
Rockstar has responded to the rumors, saying that it is about to roll out an update that will include a “luxury” casino. It hasn’t offered any details on how the casino will operate, but GTA: San Andreas offers a casino that includes roulette and blackjack, and it’s possible that GTA Online’s model could follow suit. If so, it could also be a venue that players could own in the game. It is most likely include in-game currency, but could allow microtransactions that would see players able to top off GTA dollars using fiat through the use of the game’s “shark cards.”
Whether through real money or just for fun, the casino will certainly not be without its detractors. While the gambling industry as a whole may be expanding, as evidenced by an increase in casinos and sports gambling in the US and elsewhere, there is a clampdown on the activity that makes it difficult on operators.
This has spread into video games, as well, with different jurisdictions coming down hard on loot boxes and other in-game offerings. The US is beginning to take a harder look at video games and what they offer, and at least one legislator is going out of his way to control the industry. Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri is planning on introducing a bill, the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act, which would ban any type of microtransactions or other activity that he considers “manipulative” toward children. However, what he fails to realize is that GTA, in the US, is rated M. This means that it is meant for gamers 17 years old or older.
Hawley asserts, “Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits. No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices.”
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