Rockstar Games, makers of the hit video game Grand Theft Auto 5, have confirmed they will finally open an online casino inside their fictional city of Los Santos.
The Los Santos neighbourhood of “Vinewood” has featured a casino with a banner saying “opening soon” ever since the game was first released in 2013. GTA5 fans are now expecting, at last, for their online personas to be able to gamble with in-game currency.
The Grand Theft Auto online casino explained
The open play online universe of Los Santos is one of the most popular multiplayer gaming platforms in the world. Although players can band together to execute pre-defined “missions,” most players spend time walking around, stealing cars, and shooting things fairly randomly. Almost all game-play takes place outside or on the exterior of buildings. Only a very few buildings, like gun stores and convenience stores, have interiors players can access.
The new GTA casino is expected to change this, and add an entirely new facet to the game. New players often struggle to find cash for buying better guns and cars – robbing those convenience stores is a common tactic. Now the presence of a casino could add a whole new way for players to get more in-game currency.
There has been much speculation that an online casino – even one that doesn’t use real money – could fall foul of gambling regulators around the world. The UK’s Gambling Commission prohibits online casinos from publishing “demo games” that allow the general public to play slots without money. They argue these games could be accessed by young people who could then get hooked on video slots.
The speculation of regulatory problems may based on a misunderstanding of what Rockstar have in mind, however….
The GTA5 casino – a theory
So far Rockstar are keeping the details of their plans quiet. The only confirmation they have issued so far is a tweet which says, “Opening soon: A luxury casino in the heart of Vinewood… “
The tweet does not say the casino will include games of chance that player can access. Maybe it will, but don’t forget this one vital fact:
GTA5 is a crime simulator. It lets players act out all sorts of robberies and assaults they would not dream of in real life. A casino that players could rob, or that could be a setting for other criminal acts would be a pretty good addition to the Los Santos gaming environment.
Just because a building has the name “casino” on it does not mean players will be able to gamble there. Of the two buildings players can regularly enter now – the gun store and the convenience store – only one of them performs its stated function. You can buy (virtual) guns at the gun store. The convenience store exists only to be robbed.
It would be a huge letdown if the Grand Theft Auto casino finally opened and it was only a larger, more complex version of the convenience store. But a lot of players might be happy with that. And even without gambling the casino could still include features that would be a good addition to Los Santos.
We don’t know when the casino will open, but it is widely believed it will take place in late June or July. Some online sources say it will happen tonight!
There is also speculation that this will be the last major update to GTA5 before Rockstar launches GTA6.
If we’re wrong and the Grand Theft Auto casino is a full, online gaming experience we will be sure to tell you on Casinos We Love. Stay tuned!