Some time in 2019, the Grand Theft Auto feature has been released within GTA Online. Quite quickly, the game found itself in the middle of the debate. The game provides its players with the possibility of playing in online casino Canada real money. The players have the ability to buy up to 50k in-game chips every in-game day that are worth 50k of in-game dollars. GTA dollars are not large, 100k is worth $2.99 which means that 50k are worth approximately $1.5. This move has caused a lot of turmoil due to the fact that it is considered gambling. This function has already been disabled in over 50 countries.  The move by Rockstar is quite bold considering the fact that there has been a lot of critique regarding loot boxes and micro-transactions recently. 

The Loot Box Controversy

The problem with loot boxes is that they are paid with money and provide random content no matter the amount of cash spent. Some studies tried to find a correlation between problem gambling and loot boxes. One study found that when companies allow adolescents to buy loot boxes, they are putting them at risk of adopting a specific behaviour that can lead to problem gambling. Belgium has imposed a law that states that loot boxes are gambling and need to be regulated. In the US, as always, since every state has its own regulations, the situation is complex and there is some pressure to make loot boxes gambling. 

Difference between GTA Casino and Loot Boxes

Games that provide loot boxes provide a gambling moment because a random object is received much like a roulette spin or a slot result. Some games only provide design things but no gains or advantages. Others, such as FIFA provide the player with potential advantages but not necessarily. The Ultimate Team mode has loot boxes and they are completely random and some have implied that the more you pay, the better will your player be. GTA’s online casino doesn’t have this type of system. 

Some imply that Rockstar has only provided a fun part through their in-game casino and that potential losses are small. Still, it constitutes gambling and should be regulated even if it costed 1 cent a day.