Tech behemoth Google will allow real-money betting apps on its Google Play Store in several countries starting from the 1st of March. The company continues to relax its formerly strict anti-gambling stance.
Google disclosed updates to its Google Play Policies on Thursday. It is expanding the number of nations in which gambling-related ads, real-money gambling apps and daily fantasy sports apps are allowed.
As of the 1st of March, real-money gambling apps will be permitted in Belgium, Australia, Colombia, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, Romania, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and the United States.
While real-money policy of Google covers online casino, lotteries, sports betting, and DFS, some restrictions are market-specific for the above countries.
The section of United States is like a minefield, adhering to the specific online betting regulatory regime of each state – or lack of it. Developers are mandated to get licenses in every state they want to distribute their apps. They also cannot go outside the product lines that are covered by the license.
Betting operators must also submit all applications for their apps to be shown on Google Play and any attempt to evade the certification process or serious or repeated violations of the laws will lead to the apps being deleted from the store.
Google Play apps will also be allowed to show in gambling-related ads under several restrictions. Relaxing app ad rules follows a 2020 update to the gambling policies of Google that allowed users of both its YouTube video platform and search engine to opt-out of getting betting ads.
Confusion over the gambling policies of Google led to a dustup with Paytm – a top payment processor that found its app locked out India’s Google Play store. This happened last September because it was offering a contest where users can collect online stickers that can be redeemed for Paytm Cashback.
Google’s change in position comes the same week that Apple was taken to court in California for sharing social casino apps on its App Store. This had a toll on the company’s revenue as it fell 30 percent. The suit accuses Apple of going against state laws that limits slot machines to land-based tribal casinos.
A similar lawsuit in Washington against Big Fish Games – social casino developer – led to its parent company Aristocrat Leisure to pay a $155 million settlement last May.