Google to Expand Real-Money Gaming Apps Support on Play Store

Google is set to boost the availability of real-money gaming (RMG) apps on its Play Store. Anticipated to roll out in June 2024, this expansion will assist developers in India, Mexico, and Brazil. With this move, Google aims to offer a wider selection of RMG apps and provide support for operators who have not yet been covered by an existing licensing framework.

Key Takeaways:
– Google plans to broaden its support for real-money gaming (RMG) apps in June 2024 for developers in India, Mexico, and Brazil.
– The tech giant will continue and strengthen its current age-restriction and geo-gating policies.
– Google’s expanded support will include more RMG apps and operators not covered so far by an existing licensing framework.
– The tech company seeks to refine its service fee model on the Play Store, with details yet to be unveiled.

Google’s Expansion Path

Currently, Google’s support for RMG apps extends to multiple categories. These include online casino games, horse racing (where regulated), sports betting, lotteries, and daily fantasy sports. This list is likely to grow with the expected expansion in 2024.

Google had earlier conducted pilot tests in India and Mexico. The positive results, especially for daily fantasy sports and rummy apps, prompted Google to consider extending the RMG framework to other countries in 2024. However, this expansion won’t occur without stricter enforcement of Google’s rules for such apps.

Age-Restriction and Geo-Gating Policies

Currently, Google places constraints on RMG apps via its age-gating policy, which restricts access of these apps to adult users. The company will not only continue to uphold this rule but also vows to enhance it for better compliance with this expansion.

Similarly, Google’s geo-gating policy will remain intact. This policy permits RMG apps to display only in regions where they are legal. With its expansion plans, Google assures that these policies won’t be compromised but rather bolstered.

Working with RMG App Developers

Part of Google’s expansion plan includes collaborations with RMG app developers. The company intends to refine its service fee model on the Play Store. This move could ensure a fair pricing structure for developers who intend to deploy their apps.

Evolution of Google’s RMG Apps

Google first expanded its RMG app range in 2021, extending coverage to 15 countries, including the U.S. Developers then – and now – are required to hold a valid gambling license for each region they target. They also can’t use Google’s in-app Play Billing system, a rule that might stay the same for the foreseeable future.

While Google hasn’t revealed its service fee for RMG app developers, it insists on keeping these games and apps free of charge on the Play Store. The tech giant plans to offer payment services outside of its own. However, details of how this fee will impact developers and potentially players are yet to be disclosed.

Safer Gambling Apps

By allowing more RMG apps on its Play Store, Google brings safer and better-regulated gambling apps to its users. This policy change will also offer greater user protection and peace of mind, as users previously had to download RMG apps directly from less secure creators’ websites, creating potential risks. With Google’s updated policy, users can look forward to a safer, more diversified, and regulated Play Store.