Rockstar restricts Red Dead Online’s poker minigame due to regional gambling laws

    
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Last week, Rockstar gave Red Dead Online players the opportunity to settle down with some friendly games of poker, but it would appear that this new activity isn’t in the cards for players in some regions thanks to regional gambling laws.

After some players noticed the minigame’s absence and reached out to Rockstar to find out what was up, the studio responded that “poker won’t be available in countries where online gambling is restricted or illegal.” Despite the fact that RDO’s poker games use in-game currency rather than premium currency, which means that “winnings don’t have an actual real-world value,” Rockstar seems to be taking preemptive measures to protect itself from any legal entanglements further down the line.

Considering the ongoing kerfuffle over other gaming-related conflicts with local gambling laws, particularly recent developments regarding the legality (or lack thereof) of loot boxes — which have been deemed illegal in Belgium and highlighted as a concern (though not banned) in France, Ireland, the UK, and the United States — it’s understandable that Rockstar is choosing to play it safe. Nevertheless, this is a particularly interesting case in that it is one of the first instances of concerns over gambling laws resulting in the exclusion of a feature that is not directly monetized.

Source: Gamasutra
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drew who

If there is no real world monetary value to what people win in game then to me this is no different than playing Gwent in the Witcher 3 . Nothing like the loot boxes in other games .

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Winnings don’t have a real world value, but can you buy game currency? That’s the issue. If you can’t, I wonder if that means Rockstar is considering letting you do so in the future. If it remains virtual and you can’t pump any real money into the gambling in any way, there is no reason to worry and pull the mini-game.

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Adam Russell

In many games currency buying isnt allowed but there are illicit sites where you pay money and then in game someone hands you in game currency. I dont see how that can be prevented.

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Adam Russell

Is the currency completely insulated from online plat sales sites, or is it like many other mmo’s that say you cant convert to $’s but really you can.

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McGuffn

People will associate anything with gambling these days. Even poker.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Yeah, except for the fact that virtual poker using game money and not real money is fine and doesn’t fall within the gambling laws.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

When they mentioned Poker as a mini game before launch, many of us immediately tagged the feature for dismissal because of the ‘gambling in video games is predatory’ climate we’re in. Surprised it took this long. Funny when people can pick up any mobile device or login to any casino website and gamble on a host of other casino style games and pay real money for chips (currency) already.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Except this is virtual gambling which is a whole different thing. You’re not pumping a bunch of real money into it to gamble with.

And no, people from the regions where online gambling is outlawed certainly aren’t supposed to be able to log in to casino websites and gamble. Unless they are changing up their IPs to fake where they are playing from.