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The Role of Casinos in the Grand Theft Auto Universe

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Since its launch in 2013 up to February 2024, Grand Theft Auto V has sold a whopping 195 million units and is classified as one of the best selling games of all time. The next game is the series, GTA 6, is due to be released in December 2024 and gamers worldwide are looking forward to it with excitement. 

The game’s popularity has been driven by a great gameplay experience. The freedom of the game, as well as the multiplayer options and storyline modes give the game a huge variety which was unseen in other games before the series was launched. Side missions, minigames, and other features such as casino themed activities were added over the years to grow the scope and possibilities in the game. And while most of the best online casinos offer live games, the novelty of being able to take your GTA character into a casino has proven to be hugely popular with gamers.

Casinos have evolved from featuring in missions to becoming a fully accessible and playable part of the game. Below we will look at the role of casinos in the Grand Theft Auto series. 

Evolution of casinos in GTA

As mentioned previously, casinos have featured regularly in the GTA series. The first time players came across a casino in the series was the Funabashi Casino in Grand Theft Auto 2, although this was just featured as part of a mission. It was not until GTA San Andreas that players could access and play inside a casino. The game featured thirteen casinos overall, while three of these could be accessed and games could be played inside. The casinos featured blackjack, roulette, video poker, slots, wheel of fortune and inside track betting. 

In GTA IV, there were casinos, but they were inaccessible. In 2010 an expansion of the title called Episodes From Liberty City was released and gamers saw a return of casinos to the series. In the next expansion, The Lost and Damned, we saw a new casino game called Hi-Lo in which the player had to guess if the next card dealt would be higher or lower than the previous one.

GTA V featured Vinewood Casino, which looked to be under construction. In 2019 the online version of the game saw the “opening soon” signs removed, with construction props added. The Rockstar Games Twitter account then announced that a new casino was opening in Vinewood, with casino themed content to be included.

On July 18, 2019, an official trailer of The Diamond Casino & Resort update was uploaded, which revealed the features and layout of the casino. Some big changes were made to the casino to turn into a fully functional casino floor and hotel. An official website dedicated to the casino was also released, providing more in-depth detail about the new facility and its many features and infrastructures.

As well as featuring minigames, such as Lucky Wheel, Blackjack, Roulette, and 3-Card Poker, the new casino offered the opportunity for GTA to provide add-on options for gamers, where GTA money could be converted to gambling chips for use in the games. This added an authentic feel to the casino and proved to be popular with players.

Role of casinos in GTA

Considering the general theme of the GTA series, it comes as no surprise that casinos fit right into the GTA universe and are a hit with fans of the games. A game about fast-paced robberies and slick backgrounds makes it the ideal setting for casinos and gambling. They also give another avenue for missions to go down and have been a major part of some of the most memorable storylines in the series.

A good example is the Diamond Casino Heist in GTA online. In this heist, players rob the vaults in the casinos, with Georgiana Cheng as the queen pin of the operation. She wants to take control from the Duggans with the help of her team. The team itself has interesting roles and it is remembered as one of the best missions in the game. 

Future of casinos in GTA 6

While it can only be speculated right now if GTA VI will have accessible and playable casinos, it would be a popular feature if it is included. Since GTA has historically had casinos in the games in some form or another, it would add a nice touch of mini games in addition to the broader storyline of GTA heists. This gives gamers more options within a single game can also keep them coming back to the game. 

There have been numerous leaks relating to GTA VI, and if Reddit is to be believed, casino gaming is already planned, with several games to choose from. These include slots, blackjack, Texas Hold’Em Poker, Roulette, Baccarat and Dominos, among others. It is also speculated that GTA VI could include a more immersive gaming experience. With the fast growth of AI and virtual reality gaming, the potential of the new casino features in GTA VI is causing a lot of excitement in the GTA fanbase.

Hope you liked this one. Keep gaming 😉

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