It’s been the bane of many Android mobile casino players’ lives – Google Play Store restricting gambling apps from our favourite iGaming brands and online casinos. While any iPhone and iPad gamers have been able to sit back and relax with iOS casinos easily downloadable from the App Store, it’s been a different story altogether for our open-source fanatics – something that was only highlighted last week by Sky Vegas.
Google Play does not have any gambling apps, you need to go via the website.
The inconvenience of installing and playing mobile casino on Android manually even drove us to write an article explaining how to navigate the somewhat complex process. However, NetEnt Casino has recently been given the welcome news, after far too long, that mobile casino apps are coming back to certain regions’ Android Play Store!
Let’s take you through all we know, and more importantly when you’re likely to be able to start downloading online casino apps for Google-powered smartphones and tablets.
UK, French and Irish Android Players to Get Google Play Casino Apps First
First thing’s first – the initial beneficiaries of this policy change will be players from the UK, France and the Republic of Ireland. At the moment, Google has decided against a worldwide lift on the ban, something we’ll discuss later on.
As Android holds a 50% market share of UK mobile devices, this change of heart opens up huge potential for online casino brands
Applications for Android gambling apps will begin in August 2017 for the given regions, however Google is insistent that the proper security procedures and checks are made before release. With that in mind, it’s probable that Android iGaming apps from top-of-the-range online casinos will be on Play Store by mid-August at the earliest. We’d happily be proven wrong, though!
Why You’ll Benefit from Google Play Store Downloads
While the change is certain to be received positively by Google gamblers, it’s not exactly as revolutionary as mobile casino coming to Android.
There are sure to be a few of you questioning why you should download casino apps for Android as opposed to using optimised websites. Or else, why using Google Play Store is advantageous.
While the former is a whole different ball game requiring its own full-length piece, the latter can be answered quickly. Here are a few reasons why downloading mobile casino apps through Google Play Store is better than installing manually:
Updates – Google Play Store prompts you when app updates are available to download, which isn’t always the case with standalone versions. Keeping software up-to-date is incredibly important, and you’ll be able to do so in a matter of seconds.
Accessibility – We’ve all been there. Searching around the web for mobile casino apps on Android and coming up short is no embarrassment, as they’re not exactly advertised on the front page 99% of the time. Play Store changes all that, with a nifty search bar (and hopefully a real-money gambling section in future!) making it easy.
Protection – While we’re not suggesting that online casinos make dodgy apps available to players, there’s always risks when selecting the Allow Unknown Sources option under installations. Why? As we’ve mentioned above, certain Android apps aren’t exactly clear, so crooks and thieves may well jump at the chance to offer a neat-looking package with sinister intentions.
What Exactly Does Google Offer with App Security?
Part of the reason why you shouldn’t expect real-money wagering apps to be present on Google’s Play Store before mid-August is due to the safety precautions in place. The already rigorous methods will be ramped up a notch according to the American search giant, “due to the complexity and sensitivity of gambling apps”.
This refers to the many safeguards that must be in place to protect Android users, such as being compatible with laws and regulations, preventing underage gambling, promoting responsible gambling, and preventing unauthorised access from outside regions.
Only apps from regulated online casinos with gaming licenses will be accepted.
Interestingly, Google states that none of their Payment Services may be used within the gambling apps. So, anyone hoping or expecting these policy changes to see Android Pay make its way into internet casino payment services are sadly mistaken.
Will the Rest of the EU and World Be Granted Play Store Casino Apps Too?
Despite NetEnt Casino welcoming this news with open arms, it has to be said that we’re slightly disappointed this policy change is limited to just the UK, France and Ireland. With the recent abolition of roaming charges making EU mobile casino even more appealing, it would have been the icing on the cake if Google’s U-turn had been Europe-wide.
However, all hope is not lost. Google included a quick point suggesting that they’re open to a wider change in future:
“At a later date, this policy change may be expanded to new regions and countries”
But in the meantime, British, Irish and French players can finally look forward to a hassle-free experience when downloading gambling apps on Android.