Grand Theft Auto Online opened an in-game casino through its latest free update and developer Rockstar Games says that ribbon-cutting has caused players to flock to the game in a way they haven't seen since Online’s launch in 2013.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Rockstar wouldn’t offer exact player counts but specifically noted that the Diamond Casino update ushered in the highest single day and full week player numbers the online mode has seen since the mode launched.
The update hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing, however. Grand Theft Auto Online players pulled together online to note that a number of countries, seemingly over 50 at this point, have restricted access to the new features offered in the in-game casino, likely due to the varying legality of online gambling from region to region.
While the chips used in Grand Theft Auto Online’s casino can’t directly be purchased using real-world money, players are able to buy Online’s regular in-game currency through microtransactions, and then turn around and buy chips with that in-game cash.
That extra step adds a small layer between actual money and the games of chance now found in Grand Theft Auto Online, but Red Dead Online notably faced similar restrictions on in-game gambling in some countries last despite having an arguably wider gap between microtransactions and gambling minigames.