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GTA Online’s casino, the Diamond, opens next week with new missions

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Activities include gambling, horse betting, criminal enterprise

Grand Theft Auto Online’s long-awaited casino, the Diamond Casino & Resort, opens to players on Tuesday, July 23, and it’s coming with a set of story-based cooperative missions.

(Virtual) gambling activities include (three-card) poker, blackjack, roulette, slot machines, and good ol’ Inside Track Betting, whose outrageous horse names (scroll down here) thousands of GTA: San Andreas fans will fondly recall. The story stuff unfolds once players take ownership of a Master Penthouse atop the building. The posh suite is customizable, and it also confers membership in The Diamond family, which comes with a set of missions.

According to a post on Rockstar Newswire, that involves helping the Diamond’s owner, Tao Cheng, and the resort staff “protect their investment from the clutches of a corrupt family of Texan petrochemical magnates.” The missions are a series of co-op jobs that pays out awards for every completion, and players who hose the whole thread will get a brand-new vehicle. Additional work is available from the mission-giver Agatha Baker, the Diamond’s operations boss.

The Truffade Thrax, a supercar in Grand Theft Auto Online Rockstar Games

The gambling pays out with “a variety of prizes,” so it doesn’t sound like people are playing for in-world cash. This is probably because that currency can be bought for real money. There’s a Lucky Wheel in the lobby doling out freebies like chips, cash and clothes, with a luxury auto as a jackpot. The first one available is the Truffade Thrax (pictured above). Those who want to buy their new look straight up can visit the Diamond Casino’s store.

How much does the Penthouse cost? They’re like $4.99 at the 7-Eleven, right? Oh, not that Penthouse. Well, Rockstar’s not too clear on what the gating is, but it sounds easy as they want everyone playing these new missions. Moreover, those who link their Twitch Prime accounts with their Rockstar Games Social Club accounts will get the joint for free, plus $1.25 million in-world bucks and a 15-percent bonus on purchases of Shark Cash Cards. More perks are coming soon, says Rockstar.

The Diamond has been an enormous, inaccessible, under-construction lot in GTA Online for most of the past six years. Some teaser tweets last month got everybody hyped for the grand opening, and the inclusion of Eddie Murphy’s egregiously awful 1985 pop hit (produced by Rick James!) is just the cherry on top.