Grand Theft Auto Online's newest scenario is the Diamond Casino and Resort in Los Santos. And of course the games features a rather one-sided form of gambling where only the house can win.
Players can buy game money which can be used to gamble at the tables of the Diamond Casino. There's no mechanism to cash in any winnings for real money, but presumably it can be used elsewhere in the game. But just like the real world, players
can certainly lose and may be tempted to spend more real money in a forlorn hope of winning their losses back.
Given that loot boxes are causing so much controversy around the world, then this latest venture is surely asking for trouble. Forbes comments:
And in the sense that gambling is the sort of thing that can lead to problematic behavior, it's not hard to imagine how these new mechanics could start causing people with addictive personalities some issues.
Reddit has published a list of 50 countries where online gambling has been banned, and it is speculating that these could lead to the game being blocked in those countries. And indeed there have already been reports of the game being blocked in
several countries, but these reports seem in need of confirmation.
Swiss gamblers will be able to bet online only with an approved monopoly of casinos and lotteries.
The provision of the new Swiss gambling law which restricts online gambling to a few authorised Swiss-based casinos comes into effect on July 1.
Last June 73% of voters approved the overhaul of the country's gambling law despite claims by opponents of government censorship.
A list of unauthorised gambling providers will be published on the websites of the Federal Gaming Commission external link and the Lotteries and Betting Commission external link . Those on the blacklist will be automatically blocked by Swiss ISPs
by means of DNS blocks.
Swiss gamblers signed up with foreign casinos will have to contact them directly for any money due as Swiss regulators have no jurisdiction over them. Or perhaps they will continue to use foreign websites using VPNs or encrypted DNS courtesy of
Age verification for online gambling is set to evolve into full identity verification from 7th May 2019. The other big change is that all verification will have to be completed prior to any bets being placed. Previously age verification was
required only when people tried to withdraw their winnings. There were many complaints that gambling companies would then inflict onerous validation requirements to try and avoid paying out.
I would hazard a guess that the new implementation will quash an awful lot of the TV end media adverts that try and get new members with a small joiners bonus. Now it will be a lot more hassle to join, and maybe there will be less interest in
trying out new websites just to get a free introductory bet.
The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a new set of rules, ensuring that operators implement a new wave of identity checks to make gambling safer and fairer.
Following an open consultation, and to further guard against the risk of children gambling, new rules mean operators must verify customer identity and age before they can either deposit funds into an account or gamble with the licensee, with
either their own money or a free bet or bonus.
Furthermore, the UKGC has clamped down on free-to-play games, stressing that customer must now be age verified to access such versions gambling games on licensees' websites, emphasising that there is no legitimate reason why they should be
available to children.
Changes are also designed to aid with the detection of criminal activity, whilst operators are reminded that they cannot demand that ID be submitted as a condition of cashing out, if they could have asked for that information earlier.
Finally, an increase in identifying self-excluded players was stressed, because effective verification by operators will mean that a customer will not be verified, and therefore unable to gamble, until they provide correct details. These details
will then be checked against both the operator's own self-exclusion database and the verified data held by Gamstop.
Set to come into force on Tuesday 7 May, further new rules come as a result of a number of complaints to contact centre staff, regarding licensees not allowing a customer to withdraw funds until they submit certain forms of ID.
The new rules require remote licensees to:
Verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble
Ask for any additional verification information promptly
Inform customers, before they can deposit funds, of the types of identity documents or other information that might be required, the circumstances in which the information might be required, and how it should be supplied to the licensee
Take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers' identities remains accurate.