It seems that some Red Dead Online Poker players have found themselves entirely incapable of enjoying the activity of Poker in certain regions. While concerns about loot boxes and gambling have caused the formation of an FTC workshop and even a US Bill seeking restrictions on the practice, this apparent ban in some countries is taking things to the next level.
"Thank you for contacting Rockstar Support.Several of the Redditors report that they are unable to accept invites from friends to play Red Dead Online Poker or interact with the tables in game. Poker tables are currently available in Blackwater, St Denis, Tumbleweed, Smithfield and Flatneck Station according to the game's Features page.
We certainly understand your concern regarding not 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."
Strangely, a portion of the Redditors stated that they're able to purchase or participate in other games that involve gambling, some of which allow the ability to spend and win real-world money. They point out that the Red Dead Online Poker system doesn't allow you to bring in any real-world money or take any out; it's a closed system that only involves in-game currency.
While Poker (and Blackjack) was a feature of the single-player campaign, it took some time for the feature to make it to Red Dead Online. The current speculation for the delay lies in Rockstar Games likely having to reach out to local governments to see whether it is or is not legal in individual nations. Several fans are certainly upset about the ban on Poker in some nations (especially where it's legal), so hopefully we'll see this policy reversed in the markets where it makes sense.
What do you think of the Red Dead Online Poker ban in some countries? Do you think Rockstar Games are correct in banning it or have they been overzealous with their approach? Let us know in the comments below!