It should come as no surprise that player spending in Grand Theft Auto Online has seen a significant boost since Rockstar launched its major casino focused update earlier this year.
In a recent conference call, Take-Two Interactive (the parent company of Rockstar, 2K, and Private Division) noted a 23 percent rise in recurrent consumer spending in the months following the arrival of GTA Online’s Diamond Casino & Resort.
The exact amount of money being spent in total – or as a per player average – was not specified though Take-Two CEO, Strauss Zelnick, lauds the update as a major success, “delivering record player engagement across daily, weekly, and monthly active users in July, and then again in August.”
Since Grand Theft Auto V launched back in 2013 and went live with its massively popular online multiplayer the GTA community had been waiting for Rockstar to renovate the once dormant Los Santos casino.
Players can visit the new resort, taking part in a number of table game such as Poker, Blackjack, and Roulette, as well as betting on horse races, playing slot machines, and other gambling activities.
Bets are all paid for using in-game GTA dollars, of course. However, when the casino was first unveiled, it caused an immediate controversy with many pointing out that despite the lack of real money gambling, GTA Online players could spend cash in exchange for virtual currency.
This step in between means that, technically, Rockstar isn’t running an actual gambling service – that, and the fact you can’t draw money back out. Still, it’s a pretty murky area and as a result the casino is restricted in some countries. Funnily enough, the update launched around the same time that the UK government began looking into loot boxes and their potentially harmful effects.
For those who aren’t interested in risking their hard earned GTA dollars, the update also introduced a new series of story missions with new items to unlock including vehicles, property, and flashy threads for your online avatar.