Google Play Store to Support Gambling in 15 Countries
Search engine behemoth Google has decided to allow gambling apps to be downloaded in 15 countries. Previously banned in certain territories, including the USA, players in these countries will now be able to download gambling-related apps from the Play Store.
New Countries Joining UK, Ireland, and France
Google’s decision to allow gambling apps to be downloaded in some countries comes after changing the Developer Programme Policy.
At present, gambling applications are allowed in France, the UK, and Ireland via the Play Store, with players in Brazil allowed to download apps specifically for lotteries and horse racing.
However, customers in 15 more countries will be allowed to download gambling apps from March 1st, available to those in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the USA.
Conditions Attached to Downloading Gambling Apps
While these 15 countries are now allowed to sell gambling-related apps via Google, not everything is permitted.
Only sports betting apps and those attached to the state lottery will be allowed in the German market. This comes even though poker and online slots are currently allowed there under the country’s transitional regime.
Conversely, up in Norway, there will be no restrictions on which operators can sell apps in the Play Store. This comes, although currently, only Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping are the only legally permitted gambling providers in the territory.
In the United States, unsurprisingly, the Play Store will conform to state law rather than federal law. So, any states currently allowing sports betting via mobile will offer apps in the Play Store. As well as this, casino apps only are allowed in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, while it will be poker alone sold in Nevada.
Fantasy sports, a genre that has exploded in the US alongside the sports betting revolution, will be regulated in some states where governors believe it to be a form of gambling.
Apps Subject to Rigorous Selection Process
Each app that is ultimately sold in the 15 new countries via the Play Store will have to go through a sturdy selection and vetting process.
Developers of the apps must complete an application, each app then needing to comply with all laws within each country. Naturally, the developer will also be required to hold an up-to-date, valid gambling operator’s license.
Given previous problems and the ease with which apps can be downloaded, safeguards must also be in place to stop children from using gambling apps. Any gambling-related apps must be free to download, not qualifying for Google Play’s in-app billing facility.
As per all current gambling-related apps, any new Play Store titles must display information regarding responsible gambling.
UK Once Again at Odds with Europe
With many of the predicted downsides of Brexit very much coming true, this new ruling from Google, in a sense, once again puts Britain at odds with other territories.
At a time when US states are modernising by legalising sports betting, and Google are opening up gambling apps to new territories, Britain is heading in a backward direction.
While responsible gambling has been championed by the British, it is now allowing non-elected people to influence how the gambling industry is run, the latest call being for anyone losing just £100 in month to have to share personal, financial information with their operator to prove they can afford to gamble. A huge backward step.