USA - Developers of the very popular and oft-controversial video game “Grand Theft Auto V” recently announced that a new luxury casino would be coming to the online version very soon.
The announcement could not have come at a worse time, as gambling content has been a hot button topic. There are concerns that young people would be swayed by this kind of content, thereby making them vulnerable to gambling problems in the future.
The Grand Theft Auto series of games is one of the most successful franchises in the history of video gaming. The latest version is Grand Theft Auto V, which was released in September 2013. Sales reached record levels during its release as it reached a whopping $1 billion in the first three days. It is the third most sold video game in history, behind only Tetris and Minecraft, respectively.
The game has online and offline aspects, which the developers keep on updating. A recent announcement that a new luxury casino would be coming to the online version in the future has stirred the pot up.
It appears that players would be able to actually possess and operate the casino just they could with car dealerships and nightclubs in the game and they will also be able to play at these said casinos. Rockstar, which is the developer of Grand Theft Auto, also worked on the successful Red Dead Redemption franchise wherein players can engage in card games such as poker in the multiplayer mode of Red Dead Redemption.
There are already casinos in the offline version of Grand Theft Auto and a lot of fans have been clamoring for this to come to the online version. Regulators however, will be keeping an eye out for this development.
While there would be no issues regarding underage gambling because the game mandates players to be at least 18 years old, there might be issues with gambling regulations in specific regions.
This is because players can utilize real-life money to acquire in-game currency on Grand Theft Auto. While Rockstar would most probably have considered this element when formatting the online casino, it would still likely attract the attention of both politicians and regulators.
The gambling aspect of particular video games has been a hot topic of late. Loot boxes have been a divisive part of a number of popular titles. These are packages that can be bought within the game itself and will give the player certain items when opened, ranging from new weapons to weapon skins and emblems.
These items vary in their rarity. Therefore, when a player makes use of real money to purchase a loot box, it is similar to gambling. Many of these games also let players sell in-game items for real money and many of the titles with loot boxes are available to underage players, which has raised eyebrows amongst regulators. As a matter of fact, different countries have already issues bans on specific games that offer loot boxes, arguing that it gives teenagers and children the ability to gamble.