Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:00:10
Future changes to Google Play Store policies will allow real-money Android app gambling and betting in 15 more countries, including the US, according to 9to5Google. Currently, gambling apps are only permitted in four countries: Brazil, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
The new rules will be applied to start on March 1st, and they will permit gambling apps in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. Of course, each state will have its own restrictions on the types of online gambling that are legal, with some countries allowing online casinos, sports betting, lotteries, and daily fantasy sports, and some of them being stricter.
The restrictions are also complex. Most countries only allow lotteries if they are run by the government, but some, like the United Kingdom, do not have that limit. And as is often the case, what is allowed in the US varies by state. Anyone looking to release a gambling app should do their legal homework first, given the patchwork of laws and regulations that allow certain types of online gambling in the US.
The changes will not open the floodgates for just anyone to release slot machine apps. Currently, Google requires developers to go through an application process to get their gambling apps on the Play Store, and new policies will not remove that requirement. The application ensures that the developer who uploaded the application has a license to run gambling operations in the country where the application will be sold.
Before this change, users who wanted to use gambling apps on their Android phones had to sideload, a practice that discouraged Google even more with time. iPhone users, on the other hand, have been allowed to download it directly from the App Store.
Of course, it can be said that many of the games and apps on the Play Store today already include a gambling mechanism (any game that includes loot boxes, for example, or apps that lets people bet on Wall Street). Unlike the apps that will be allowed under this policy, the apps will allow apps that are purely made for gambling, using real money. If I could make one request to Google it would be to allow people to hide gambling apps like they are allowed to hide gambling ads.
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Google was not immediately available for comment on the policy change.
Keywords: gambling apps, google gambling apps, us gambling apps, gambling apps play store