Android users in regions other than the UK, Ireland, France and Brazil will soon be able to find and download real-money gambling apps from the Play Store. Google has updated its program policy allowing apps that “enable or facilitate online gambling” in 15 more countries, including the US, starting on March 1st. In addition to making gambling applications available on the Play Store, the change in policy will also allow ads promoting real-money gambling to be served to users in those regions.
The new countries covered by the change are: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United States. Of course, Google has a strict set of requirements developers must meet to be able to publish gambling products. To start with, they must be “an approved governmental operator” and must have a “valid operating license in the specified country for the type of online gambling product they want to offer.”
Their applications must fall under one of these categories, as well: online casino games, lotteries, sports betting and daily fantasy sports. The developers must also implement safeguards to keep underage users out of their apps and must prevent access from countries/regions not covered by their license. In addition, the apps must be free to download and must not use the Google Play’s in-app billing system.
The rules and the types of applications that Google can approve vary per region due to differing laws for each. In the US, rules vary per state, so some will be able to access casino games, for instance, while others won’t.
Here are the types of games allowed in the US and the states where they’ll be available:
Online casino games (permitted in Delaware, Nevada (poker only), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)
Sports betting (permitted in Colorado, District of Columbia (governmental operators only), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana (governmental operators only), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon (governmental operators only), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia)
Lotteries (state-run operators or affiliated contracted operators only in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia)
Depending on the state, daily fantasy sports may be regulated as gambling in the U.S, and all daily fantasy sports apps published in the United States are subject to the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Apps requirements below.