The historical exclusion of gambling apps from the Google Play Store in most countries is coming to an end on March 1, 2021, and the policy revision will impact players across the globe. Previously, gambling apps were available in just four countries, Brazil, France, Ireland, and the U.K., but the change will extend the option to bettors elsewhere.
15 Countries Gaining Access
The long-awaited change will provide new access to gambling apps in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. The current policy leaves Play Store users searching for gambling apps from outside sources, which removes the certainty that comes from downloading through Google Play. Users downloading such apps from other sources put their device at risk of malware and the issues that come with it. Apple users have had access to gambling apps all along, which may, in part, explain some users' preference for the operating system.
"Gambling" Encompasses a Wide Range of Apps
Many readers will be curious about the range of apps becoming available under the heading of "gambling," and with good reason. Although the language describing the change is all-encompassing, it appears to apply to online casinos, daily fantasy sports betting, lotteries, and general sports betting alongside other options. That said, the Google Play Store's policy change does not change the legality of gambling activities in any jurisdiction. Simply put, users will still be responsible for ensuring that their bets don't violate gambling laws in their locale.
Although U.S. players will have access to the newly available apps, they should be aware of the limitations associated with them based on state laws. For instance, online casino games are allowed in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, while poker is the only online option in Nevada. Sports betting, lottery, and fantasy sports using daily wagers all have rules that vary from one state to the next.
The Qualification Process for New Apps
Skeptics concerned that the policy change will result in unproven gambling apps fraudulently taking users' money can rest assured that the qualification process to get the app into the Play Store is a rigid one. Requiring applicants to provide a gambling license and information on a regulatory authority is just part of an application process that insists that developers provide age verification systems and information on responsible gaming. In short, the process of getting a real money gambling app into the Play Store is one that few would even attempt with an illegitimate app.
Gambling Apps Coming Soon
As mentioned above, access to gambling apps in 15 new countries will be available in a little more than a month, and players have every reason to get excited. While users should verify gambling laws in their area and use the apps responsibly, they can also look forward to a new entertainment source that they can enjoy from virtually anywhere.