The latest patch for Red Dead Online added more guns, missions, and gambling, but the last point on that list is inaccessible for a number of players. Enthusiastic card-sharks have been sharing that they can't sit down at the table due to regional laws and regulations regarding online gambling.
Players who live in certain regions are reporting being unable to interact with poker tables, see the icon, or accept friend invites to play. The message they're receiving from Rockstar support says that this is due to local regulations regarding online gambling:
"Thank you for contacting Rockstar Support.
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."
It's not clear the extent to which this is spread, with players reporting it from areas like Poland, Argentina, and the Middle East. Several have indicated that they have access to various poker software already, outside Red Dead Online. Poker matches in Red Dead Online also use the in-game cash currency, which doesn't seem able to leave the game's ecosystem, thus eliminating a way for players to involve real-world money in the virtual gambling.
Especially cruel is the fact that players can actually see the tables where poker is being played, but are unable to interact with them. When reached for comment, Rockstar pointed us towards a blog answer on their site, which says certain features may 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."
If you can currently access poker and want some tips for playing, you can check out our guide for poker in Read Dead Online here.