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Google to Allow Real Money Gambling Apps on Play Store

by Glenn Baird - August 5, 2017

After last month’s speculation that the Google Play Store would be allowing real money gambling apps to be downloaded directly onto mobile devices we now have confirmation via their developer policy page that some apps will become available in the UK, Ireland and France.

All gambling apps will have to adhere to stringent application guidelines before Google will give them a place in the App Store. All applicants will need to have a certified gambling licence that allows them to operate in the country that the app is downloaded from. There also has to be assurances that strict measures will be in places to ensure that underage users will not have access to the apps.

Google have also stipulated that operators cannot charge users to download the apps and along with this, all apps must come with warnings about the need to gamble sensibly.

Surprisingly, Google are also looking to soften their approach on the advertisement of gambling sites on their apps. The advertisements can only be viewed on apps that have an age restriction in keeping with the gambling age restrictions in that country.

The full list of requirements found on Google’s developer policy page reads:

• Developer must successfully complete the application process in order to distribute the app on Play;
• App must comply with all applicable laws and industry standards for any country in which it is distributed;
• Developer must have a valid gambling license for each country in which the app is distributed;
• App must prevent under-age users from gambling in the app;
• App must prevent use from countries not covered by the developer-provided gambling license;
• App must NOT use Google payments services, including Google Play In-app Billing;
• App must be free to download and install from the Store;
• App must be rated AO (Adult Only) or IARC equivalent; and
• App and its app listing must clearly display information about responsible gambling.

Whilst gambling apps have been available to download from the websites of operators, the changes won’t necessarily have much impact on the market. However, there will be a scrabble over the next few days to ensure that no one is left behind.

The announcement sees Google overturning the decision they made in 2013 to ban gambling apps from their Play Store.