Grand Theft Auto V players in over 50 countries have been blocked from participating in the game’s “Diamond Casino” update, in which players can enter the virtual casino to socialize with others and gamble to win in-game currency, due to stringent gambling laws.
The GTA V went live just yesterday, July 24, but the players in question soon received notification that they didn’t have permission to launch the new mode.
The update’s in-game cash can also be purchased using real-world money, and these microtransactions may very well replicate real-life gambling a little too closely, it seems.
points out that multiple Reddit users have been reporting the issue on the GTA V forum, most of them saying that while they are able to physically enter the in-game casino, they are blocked from participating in any of the activities within it.
“I launched and headed straight for the new building, and wanted to buy myself some chips for the games,” one Reddit user wrote. ”’Your account does not have permission to complete this transaction’ after I tried to pay for my chips … I tried buying the High Roller penthouse but it was locked for no apparent reason.”
On the GTA Online Reddit forum, users have begun compiling a list of countries that have been experiencing the blocks, which has reached 54 countries so far.
This will surely re-spark a larger conversation about in-game microtransactions—earlier this year, U.S. legislators even began to get involved in the issue, proposing a ban on loot boxes and pay-to-win mechanics.
International governments have been paying closer attention to in-game purchases as of late, too. In 2018, the Netherlands started enforcing a ban on lootboxes, and just last month, U.K. parliament heard a defense from EA regarding their microtransaction policies (which they defended, referring to them as “surprise mechanics”).