Red Dead Online Poker Not Available Everywhere Due to Gaming Laws

Rockstar Games removed the beta tag from Red Dead Online, so the multiplayer online game is updated and its bugs are fixed. Players in certain regions might not think so, though. In some regions, players won’t be able to play virtual poker on Red Dead Online.

Rockstar disabled the poker feature in some states and countries, due to concerns about local gambling laws.

Obviously, Red Dead Online is primarily a Wild West game. The player’s avatar is a gunslinger in an Old West setting, but enjoying a game of cards in the saloon is part of the fun.

Certain gaming authorities consider the game’s poker feature a form of gambling, though. The outcome of the poker game includes randomization. While the money in the game isn’t useful in real life, it is useful inside the game environment.

Betting on “Things of Value”

Because that same equipment can be bought and sold with in-game purchases, some jurisdictions consider it to be a “thing of value”. If a randomized game allows play for a thing of value, then a good case can be made (by lawyers) that it’s a form of gambling.

Rockstar Games simply turned off the feature in locations where that might be a problem. Rockstar hopes the decision avoids trouble with state and national law enforcement agencies.

If you log in to Red Dead Online and can’t play poker, then it’s probably not a bug. Instead, it’s most likely a decision by the game publisher.

Rockstar on Red Dead Online’s Poker Game

One fan of Red Dead Online sent an email to Rockstar Games, asking about its poker game. That fan posted the reply to the Red Dead Online subreddit: “We certainly understand your concern regarding not being able to play poker. We appreciate your interest in using this feature in the game.”

“We are sorry to let you know that the availability of Poker in Red Dead Online is dependent on regional laws and regulations and may not be available to all players. In short, poker won’t be available in countries where online gambling is restricted or illegal. We apologize if this had caused any inconvenience.”

Red Dead Online Argentina Blocks Poker

Players in certain countries are outraged by the decision. For instance, on that same subreddit, a player from Argentina said he faces a block on poker, even though his home country allows such gaming. The player noted many other video games allow poker-style virtual betting.

It is possible Rockstar did not focus on poker play in the beta version of the game. Over time, the company might loose restrictions on the game within a game. If so, regions like Argentina might find the block lifted in the months ahead.

Red Dead Online Poker Ban

No assurances exist. And in countries where online gambling is banned, players can expect a block on Red Dead Online’s poker gaming. That includes a large swath of the United States.

Another poster to the Red Dead Online subreddit posted a reply from Rockstar to his question. The company stated, “Certain features are not available at all times or for all players.”

“This can occur for a number of reasons including regional restrictions, game design, or the incompatibility between features you are interacting with.”

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for more than a decade. He worked for Small World Marketing for years, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. He's covered US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com since 2014.

Milen Stefanov Becomes a WPT Champion in Florida

How To Play Against Better Players Than You

Former WPT Champion Dennis Blieden Pleads Guilty to $22 Million Theft