Grand Theft Auto Online's Diamond Casino update finally went live yesterday, but players from various countries are discovering the update isn't available to them due to local gambling laws. Because the casino lets you spend real money to buy in-game cash to spend at the casino, Rockstar Games has presumably restricted these features to countries where online gambling laws are less strict.
"I launched [the game] and headed straight for the new building, and wanted to buy myself some chips for the games," wrote one redditor. But after trying to complete the transaction, they received an error saying their account wasn't allowed to complete the purchase. "After contacting support I received a quick reply that because of my region I cannot enjoy the gambling related content in the new DLC."
That redditor isn't alone. Others quickly noticed features related to the update were inaccessible and started making a list of every country where the casino isn't available. It currently spans over 50 countries, including some obvious entries like North Korea and China (where GTA5 is only available because of a loophole). But in the comments, users from countries like Portugal and Argentina are expressing their frustration, while others are questioning why this update would be banned in so many countries when lootboxes—which is effectively the same thing—are allowed.
The good news is that others have discovered that a VPN can be a temporary work around—at the risk of being banned by Rockstar if they decide they don't like players doing that sort of thing.
Still, considering how ubiquitous lootboxes are in most every multiplayer game these days, that GTA Online's new update would be restricted in so many countries is disappointing.
"My VPN isn't good enough for gaming so I'm left to stare at everyone playing the new content and enjoying this update which I was personally hyped towards," wrote one redditor. "It sucks to be left out for this god damn reason."
We've reached out to Rockstar for more clarity about what's happening and will update this story if we hear back.