Google Presses Play on iGaming: To Accept Real Money Apps From August

Google is softening its formerly impenetrable stance on gambling.

Paradigm Shift

Famously banning gambling and betting apps since 2013, the Google Android app store is relenting; somewhat, according to reports on a UK tech site.

Google’s uncompromising organization-wide ban on real-money play has been lifted.

No Gaming Policy

As the world’s dominant mobile platform holding approximately 50% of the smartphone market, Google’s Android operating system not equipped with real-money gambling capabilities like its rival Apple’s iOS due to the general Google policy ban.

Limiting Operators

This left all Android users to relegated to downloading apps direct from gambling sites, which delayed updates and limited exposure for online operators via the massive Google channel.

Degree 53’s Heads Up

However UK-based digital agency Degree53 reported on Tuesday that Google was emailing gambling operators to alert them to prepare for a cataclysmic break shift in Google Play’s gambling policy.

Regional Google Play

Degree53’s Andrew Daniels revealed Google’s email message to gaming firms that beginning in August 2017, “Google will accept applications for the distribution of gambling apps within the Play store in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland” with the possibility of “further expansion of the policy change…to new regions and countries.”

Failed Options

A feeble attempt to compensate for the lack of availability of gambling apps via Google Android was Betcade, a one-stop shop for developers to list real-money gambling products for Android, an experiment which barely lasted a year.

First Winds of Change

The first cracks in Google’s restrictive policy began to emerge in 2015, when Google initiated what it called a “closed, limited pilot” program permitting real-money daily fantasy sports betting apps in the US Google Play store, the first time any real-money betting apps were available via Google and outside the sites themselves.

Outlook

The loosening of restrictions by this massive US-based global brand is another sign that policy shifts towards online gambling are clearly afoot back in the US.