The Grand Theft Auto series is one of the top-selling games worldwide. GTA 5 will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, and has been the biggest success of them all. The top selling console/PC only game of all time, it was also the fastest to hit $1 billion in sales. It topped the gaming charts not only in the US but also in key gaming markets like Australia, where it was comfortably the biggest seller of 2013 and remained in the top five for the next four years. 

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A six-year wait for the casino to open

One of the stand-out features that makes this incarnation of Rockstar’s flagship title so popular in Australia is the Diamond Casino. When GTA 5 was first released, players will remember that the developers tantalized us with the sight of this gambling and entertainment complex under construction. They made us wait for six years before finally opening its virtual doors in an update that was released in July 2019. 

Why is this so important to Australian gamers? Quite simply, it is one of those rare examples where the stereotypes are true. Australians have a passion for casino games that is unequalled the world over, and since the events of 2020 in particular, online gambling in Australia has skyrocketed in popularity. Playing the pokies, blackjack and roulette online in Australia for real money is one thing. Playing them in the virtual environment of Los Santos was always going to capture Australian imaginations, too. 

After all that waiting and killing time drifting, it is no surprise that Diamond Casino took on a major role in the GTA 5 story arc once it opened for business. So whether you’re playing the game from Australia or elsewhere, here are our tips for getting the best in-game value from GTA’s Diamond Casino. 

Diamond casino heist – some strategy tips

The most important single mission relating directly to the Diamond Casino is, of course, the heist. It first appeared in a December 2019 update, just a few months after the casino opened. The great thing about GTA is there is no right or wrong way to go about missions. The following tips are not cheats or spoilers, and you might have equal success taking a different approach. 

Also, there is so much variability in the conditions and security patrols that one player might execute the heist perfectly one day, only for another to try an identical and be taken down in seconds. 

Duly caveated, the first major decision you face is which arcade property to buy as a front. The one in East Los Santos is the closest to the casino, so probably makes most sense, but it is not a major factor. Whichever one you choose, you need to go to the basement and meet Lester to start planning the heist. Note that you can do all the planning and the preparation missions alone, but you will need to team up with three other players for the heist itself. Ideally, these should be friends you trust as opposed to random players.  

The biggest question is whether to take the aggressive approach, the big con or silent and sneaky. A straw poll among players suggests that silent and sneaky is the most popular. The downside is it takes more preparation, but if you’ve got a reliable team that works well together, it makes a lot of sense. The Big Con is a good fall-back option and demands less prep work, but also delivers marginally lower rewards. 

Generating in-game income at the Diamond Casino

The great thing about the Diamond Casino is that it doesn’t follow the basic axiom of casinos in the real world. Don’t worry about the house edge here, in the fictional world of Los Santos, the Diamond Casino guarantees a good pay day and should be your first port of call if you need to bolster your balance. 

When you pay the $500 membership fee, you are handed 5,000 gambling chips. Whenever you visit subsequently, go first to the cashier, and you can claim 1,000 each day. 

The horse racing game is good for steady income. Forget the long shots, look for a race with an even-money favorite and nothing else shorter than 5-1. Back the favorite and you’ll double your money more often than not. 

If you want to try to win big, the Deity of the Sun slot game has the highest jackpot. Obviously a win is far from guaranteed here, but it hits with pleasing regularity compared with the real world, so is definitely worth a few spins!

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