GTA Online's New Casino Won't Let Players In Some Countries Gamble

The most recent Grand Theft Auto Online update added a large new casino into the game, allowing players to buy chips, gamble and win big or lose everything. This casino has been teased in GTA Online for years, and many players were excited to jump online and finally play some blackjack with all the GTA dollars they’ve earned over the years. When some of those players arrived at the casino they discovered most of it was inaccessible due to gambling laws in their countries.

Players in Iceland, Iran, Peru, and Vietnam, among other countries, say they can’t access a lot of the casino, reporting that they could enter the building, interact with other players and buy a penthouse but could not virtually gamble. When they try to, an error message appears on screen: “This feature is not available for you.”

GTA Online’s casino functions like a real casino in many ways. Players use in-game money to buy chips, then use those chips to gamble at slot machines and table games. They can also bet on horse races. While players can’t cash out their winnings into real-world money, it seems the online casino is too close to the real thing for some governments.

Image: Rundur, Reddit

For many players who have been waiting for years for the casino to finally open, this is extremely frustrating. And as pointed out by some players, there are folks who are running into this message even though, if the accounts are accurate, they live in countries that allow online gambling. But gambling laws and legal restrictions are messy and complex.

Another issue is the fact that these gambling mini-games exist in a video game, which means they might face different restrictions and regulations than traditional gambling. There is also the possibility that Rockstar is just being overly cautious in countries that have stricter gambling laws.

We reached out to Rockstar about all of this but have not heard back yet.

On the GTA Online subreddit, players have put together a partial list of countries where the casino’s games and card tables are blocked.

Earlier this year Red Dead Online ran into similar issues. After Rockstar added poker to the game, players in Argentina and other countries discovered they weren’t allowed to play poker online with other players. Rockstar pointed players toward this support page. The page states that some features are not available to some players for various reasons, including “regional restrictions.”

Some fans have decided to use VPNs to bypass their countries laws and Rockstar’s bans. But this could be illegal in some locations and could lead to your account being banned if caught, so be careful.

Unlike the Red Dead Online poker ban, which only affected one small part of the update, this gambling and betting ban in GTA Online locks away a large section of the new update, effectively making the casino an empty shell and a waste of space for many players. Players can still buy a penthouse and gain access to the new missions added in the last update, but these penthouses can’t be fully upgraded to include private blackjack tables or slot machines, due to the regional restrictions.


Comments

    Isn't it great? Real-world restrictions overlapping with videogame worlds ... as long as the children are safe.

      Phew, I was really worried the kids wouldn't be able to gamble safely. Glad that's sorted...

    Do people still buy in-game currency with real money to gamble at the casino? If so I'm wondering if that also has something to do with this stance. It wouldn't be a good look if headlines came out with "My 13 year old son spent $500 at in game casino!" or some shit. (IB4 "Why is a 13 year old playing GTA 5" because we all know it happens...)

      The money you can spend at the casino is only money that you can earn in game. You can't buy it with real money.

      You can buy chips with GTA$ but there's a daily limit from what I understand.

      No surprise you can't cash out your chips though, they aren't about to give folks a way of making money that doesn't involve grinding of opening their wallets.

        A big reason most companies only allow one-way transactions is two-way tends to trip money laundering regulations and compliance for that is way harder. I wouldn't blame Rockstar for not allowing cash-out, but that doesn't excuse their Shark card nonsense either.

          I don't mean cash out your GTA$ for real money, I mean cash out your casino currency for GTA$.
          I get that in some systems it can allow for real world money laundering but at least for GTAO you can't really do anything that you can't already do without the casino (Account selling still happens) and having a one way system clearly doesn't change the gambling aspect so it's really just greed.
          It's just another money sink and avoiding anything that threatens the grind vs microtransaction equation, much like why they never gave us the in game stock market in online mode, can't have people making a set amount of money outside of the alloted time frame.

            Can you not turn the chips back into GTA dollarydoos? That's news to me, and honestly I do find that a bit of a surprise.

              No, apparently I was wrong, chips can apparently be converted back in to GTA$ I misread the mechanics, my bad.

                Ha, well you could have told me anything and I wouldn't have known, I haven't touched GTAO in years. I'm considering doing another single player playthrough, but the online game is terrible.

                  I have played in a while either, I really had to go looking for the info because everyone's getting hung up on the gambling aspect and just saying you can't turn the chips into cash which I took to mean GTA$.

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