We’re aware of some gamers’ frustration when confronted with this sad reality. There are no dedicated real-money gambling apps for Xbox. We’ll try to spell out the main reasons behind this predicament.
First, let’s see how the Xbox software architecture stands compared to smartphone apps. Once we get this out of the way, we’ll explore the current options casino players have if they wish to gamble on the Xbox console.
Xbox can’t handle smartphone casino app features
Gamers will not find dedicated casino apps for Xbox on Microsoft Store, even though Windows 10 users have multiple options at their disposal. However, you can still use the browser for accessing online casinos.
No operator has provided gambling apps for the console’s operating system because the architecture doesn’t allow the main features commonly seen on Android or Apple.
For example, smartphone software that allows gambling is programmed in such a way that it will enable you to complete your KYC verifications automatically. You can also make payments and cash out inside the app. Android and iOS casino apps also have cross-compatibility with various e-wallet apps, letting you switch between them based on shared dependencies. Although the Xbox One can handle multitasking quite well, it cannot accommodate such features.
Casino apps on Xbox – raising underage gambling concerns?
Besides technical incompatibility, having casino apps on Xbox raises other concerns like underage gambling. Since minors use consoles on a large scale, having such apps may expose them to games of chance too soon.
Underage gambling may be one of the core reasons behind the lack of real casino apps for the Xbox console. However, Microsoft’s policy is rather tricky to pinpoint. Even if you can’t download an app and start playing real money slots or table games, you may still be exposed to gambling in some video games. Examples include Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
Both titles are rated ‘M’, which means they feature highly inappropriate content for children, ranging from drug use and foul language to extreme violence and nudity. So, the fact that children can play a round of in-game poker doesn’t seem like the worst thing parents should worry about.
Microsoft’s policy is not perfect. It requires vigilant caretakers who clearly define what children can and cannot see. Still, as long as parents ensure their children only play games suitable for their age, exposure to gambling won’t be a problem. The reality, however, is that children from all over the world play GTA 5 constantly, even if they shouldn’t, and the age-appropriateness guidelines are not precisely followed to the letter. Given all this data, Microsoft’s unwillingness to accommodate casino apps seems ill-informed.
Gambling on Xbox – players’ current options
Xbox players have a limited array of gambling games, but you may only play for fun, not for real money. The latter part needs further discussion because one title gets very close to a real online casino app.
Four Kings Casino & Slots
It’s interesting to note that the online multiplayer title Four Kings Casino & Slots lets you play various casino games against people worldwide. This title emphasizes the social aspect more than the actual gambling part.
It can be a great way to hone your gambler skills, although some players may want to practice with a smaller amount rather than in-game currency. Although you cannot play for real money, the game accommodates microtransactions for other ends. You can buy unique skins for your character, get limited access to VIP features, and pump up your stack of chips.
That’s the strange thing about it, though. Here you have an Xbox title rated ‘Teen’, which means it’s more benign than, say, GTA V, depicting a totally 18+ casino environment to the most minute details. Moreover, the in-game purchases make it strikingly similar to a real-life online casino.
Gamblers shouldn’t get their hopes too high with this one because many users have complained about apparently rigged odds. Browsing through the reviews page, you may stumble upon a curious review. A Blackjack player applied card counting techniques to beat the dealer on Blackjack, only to be confronted with absurd hands each time they hit the max bet.
That makes us wonder. How could a freemium casino game be listed on the Microsoft Store, but players cannot benefit from a real Xbox gambling app?
If you’re into Texas Hold’em, this title has all you need for an all-around poker game, and it’s available in both single-player and multiplayer formats. The story mode is based in Prominence, a sin city of sorts. Your mission is to battle through the ranks until the final showdown with the town’s founder, the mysterious Mayor. Besides the single-player career, you may participate in multiple daily and weekly tournaments to boost your XP and grow your character.
However, there’s no real money play option here either. And, once again, the ESRB ‘Teen’ rating doesn’t quite fit with the explicit gambling and foul language used every step of the way. The cartoonish graphics may steer one into mistakenly assuming this game is suited for children. Still, in reality, that’s not the case at all.
Like the game mentioned above, Prominence Poker also features in-game purchases. And, here, too, players have complained of unrealistic hands and seemingly rigged play. So, the question remains, why can’t gamblers play real money casino games on Xbox when the main features of an online casino app are there already, albeit in simplified form?
Xbox gambling apps – the round-off
At first glance, the technical incompatibility between the console’s operating system and some of the gambling apps’ features seems like the main reason you can’t find gambling apps on Xbox. However, when we look deeper into the available options that let you play for fun, these games allow in-game purchases and provide a suite of other gambling elements that could fit in a real-money gambling app. Moreover, they are considered suitable for teens, even though gambling is legally permitted only to people aged 18+.
The situation is far from settled. Suppose underage gambling is Microsoft’s primary concern. In that case, the company should probably revisit the ratings for the gambling-themed titles already featured in the Store.