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Google lifts ban on Gambling Apps in some countries

Google lifts ban on Gambling Apps in some countries

Published on by kirk

Today’s NetEnt news item is an exciting one! For years, Android users have been unlucky when it comes to gambling games thanks to strict constraints the tech giant Google imposed on its app store. At present, the platform only hosts gaming apps in Ireland, Brazil, the U.K and France. That led casino game enthusiasts to sideload apps, a process that comes with a degree of risk. Thanks to the policy’s changes, NetEnt fans will soon enjoy their favourite games directly on their mobile devices via official downloads from the Google Play Store.

Updates to Google’s support site states that: “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.”

Does this mean that anyone will be able to access real-money gambling apps? Not quite.

What do the changes mean for players?

Google might be relaxing their restrictions for many, but the changes are not effective globally. The company states: “We’re expanding the number of countries in which developers can publish licensed real money gambling apps to include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States (in addition to the existing permitted countries: Brazil, Ireland, France, and the United Kingdom).”

Fifteen countries will now have access to apps previously restricted via Google-sanctioned gambling apps, while residents in other countries will see no policy change. That is because Google is dedicated to adhering to local governing decisions set out by individual countries. In regions where gambling is not lawfully permitted, the app store will continue to restrict such games. Additionally, access to real-money gambling apps will be subject to state regulation even in countries with loosened restrictions.

Note that not all gambling games and contests will be allowed. Apps must apply for approval and meet specific requirements to be distributed via the Google Play Store. There are four main categories under which these apps might be placed:

  • Daily fantasy sports
  • Sports betting
  • Lotteries
  • Online casino games

Google’s policy changes will come into effect on the 1st of March, 2021 however, keep in mind that new gambling apps will go through the application and approval process outlined above before they go live in the Google Play Store.

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