Google warms up to more gambling apps on the Play Store

Google Play Store home page on Android and Chrome OS
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google will expand its support of real-money gaming apps in June 2024 for developers in India, Mexico, and Brazil on the Play Store
  • The Play Store's expansion means developers can provide more RMG apps in the countries above, alongside a strong set of rules.
  • Google states it will continue to uphold age-restriction and geo-gating policies while working to make them stronger moving forward.

Google has announced its "new approach" behind real-money gaming (RMG) apps on the Play Store. According to Android Developers, the company will bring expanded RMG support in June for developers in Mexico, India, and Brazil. Such support will include offering more RMG apps (including game types) and operators "not covered by an existing licensing framework" in 2024.

Google's RMG support page currently states it supports Online Casino games, Sports Betting, Horse Racing (where regulated), Lotteries, and Daily Fantasy Sports.

The decision follows after early pilot tests in India and Mexico, which saw positivity surrounding its distribution of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Rummy apps. Also, while Google is expected to expand its RMG coverage to even more countries in 2024, this will not come without a strong grip on its ruleset.

Google states developer policies requiring age-gating that limits RMG apps to adults will continue to remain for such games on the Play Store. Additionally, the geo-gating policy, which only allows gambling apps to be shown in countries where they are legal, will also continue to be upheld.

The company adds both policies will be "strengthened" as support for RMG apps expands further.

On a related note, Google will also work with RMG app developers as it looks to refine its service fee model on the Play Store.

Google Play Store on OnePlus 9

(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

Google widened its range of RMG apps on the Play Store back in 2021 when it expanded coverage to 15 countries, including the U.S. During that time, Google explained, developers of RMG apps must have a valid gambling license for each country, state, or territory they're interested in releasing the game.

Moreover, the app could not use Google's in-app Play Billing system — which is still true, as stated in its support document. This also cycles back to Google's proposed "service fee" for developers of RMG apps. The Play Store requires such games and apps to be free alongside the availability of payment services outside of its own. What sort of fee Google will enact on developers remains to be a mystery and, even more so, how and if that will affect users.

Expanding the Play Store's acceptance of popular gambling apps also brought users more security and safety of mind. Previously, you could only sideload an RMG app directly from the creator's website, which wasn't always the safest thing to do on your Android phone.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.