Google’s Play Store Now Allows Gambling And Betting Apps

Google Play Store has recently updated its policies to permit gambling and betting apps across various countries. Google Play has updated the policies in about 15 countries that include Australia, Canada, Germany, Belgium, the US, and more. This update will enable app developers to design and develop real-money gaming apps, in-app ads relevant to real-money gambling, various sports apps, and more on Google Play in the entitled countries.

Till now, Google permitted gambling and betting apps in only 4 countries such as the UK, France, Brazil, and Ireland. The latest update is significantly not applied to India. The reason is that gambling apps are completely illegal in the country. As per the latest news, the new policies will be implemented from 1st March 2021 and also applicable in 15 countries. It includes the US, New Zealand, Germany, Australia, Colombia, Finland, Mexico, Belgium, Japan, Romania, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Denmark, and Spain.

Google's Play Store Now Allows Gambling And Betting Apps
Google’s Play Store Now Allows Gambling And Betting Apps

However, there are few state-specific limitations in the case of the United States. Google said, ‘We’re updating our Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests policy so more developers around the world can build sustainable businesses, and in a way that helps keep consumers safe.’ It is essential to emphasize that the developers disclosing gambling or betting app in any of the eligible nations must go through some application process and perform some legal work. This procedure is totally different from how developers normally release a game or an app on Google Play Store.

Before the new update, Android users in most of the newly eligible nations who are willing to install a betting or gambling app on their devices had to sideload them as Google didn’t offer an official channel to download such apps. Originally, Google Play permitted real-money gambling apps in the UK, France, and Ireland in August 2017. Further, Google provided access to gambling apps in Brazil. However, it was only constrained to the ones accepted apps published by the government bank Caixa Economica Federal.

Despite Google has broadened gambling and betting apps access to various countries across the globe, the update is not available and applicable to India. Several state governments in India have banned a lot of apps that enable users to gamble. Moreover, some of the apps such as Paytm, Paytm First Games were also blocked from Google Play Store on a temporary basis in the recent past for ostensibly permitting sports betting and daily fantasy sports. 

Google is streamlining its Google Play Store policies on gamified loyalty programmes available across different apps in response to the feedback acquired from developers in India and worldwide markets. The specific update is intended to offer more clarity on policy requirements for loyalty program disclosures and features, said Suzanne Frey, the Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy in a blog post.

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