Today, Google Play announced an upcoming policy change that will allow gambling and betting Android apps in more countries. These applications are currently only available in four stores around the world.
At the moment, “real money gambling apps” are only available in the Brazilian, Irish, French, and UK Play Stores. They include online casino games, lotteries, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports.
Previously, those on Android downloaded an APK directly from a gambling service’s website and sideloaded. There are inherent risks involved with this method, and today’s move provides a safer path for users in many more countries.
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.
Starting on March 1, developers can make gambling and betting apps available in 15 more countries:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States
In a statement, DraftKings said that it would bring its Sportsbook & Casino app to the US when the new Play Store policy goes into effect. Broadly, there are state-by-state limitations:
Online casino games (permitted in Delaware, Nevada (poker only), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)
Sports betting (permitted in Colorado, District of Columbia (governmental operators only), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana (governmental operators only), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon (governmental operators only), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia)
Lotteries (state-run operators or affiliated contracted operators only in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia)
Depending on the state, daily fantasy sports may be regulated as gambling in the U.S, and all daily fantasy sports apps published in the United States are subject to the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Apps requirements below.
Given the “sensitive nature” of gambling and betting, developers have to complete a Google Play application process and meet other requirements before their Android apps appear:
- App must comply with all applicable laws and industry standards for each country in which it is distributed
- Developer must have a valid gambling license for each country or state/territory in which the app is distributed
Applications are to be rated “Adult Only” and “prevent under-age users from using.” Additionally, users not in an approved state/territory must be prevented from accessing. The app has to be free to download and not use the Google Play In-app Billing system.
Google warns how “attempts to bypass the certification process” and “repeated or serious violations” will result in full removal of apps.
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