Gambling apps are coming to Australia via the Google Play store

Google announced on the 21st of January that will be making some changes to its policy on gambling and betting android apps. This was a good thing to hear from the company that has heavily restricted having gambling apps on its platform. Google announced that it would be making gambling and betting apps available in more countries. Before now, these apps have only been made available in four countries around the world. These countries include the UK, France, Brazil, and Ireland. These countries have on their play stores casino games, lotteries, and daily fantasy apps.

 

It is definitely good news that Google itself has decided to provide these apps in its play stores. However, dedicated gamblers have always been able to install these apps directly on their mobile devices using APK.

APK (Android application package) allows users to sideload the apps that are not available or banned from the app store. However, there are certain risks that come with installing an Android app this way. The most obvious one is that the app hasn’t been verified by google hence it could contain malware. If you were to run into a problem using the app, you can’t report to the google play store and ask for help.

Despite this, many gamblers still sideload the online casino apps to play real money casino games. Now, Google is providing a safer path to the installation of such mobile apps for android devices.

 

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Google’s Statement

Google announced that it will be updating its real money gambling, games, and contests policy. The tech giant claims it’s doing this to help developers around the world create and build sustainable businesses. As well as, Keeping consumers safe from bad faith developers.

The company stated starting March 1, developers will be able to make betting and gambling apps available to consumers in 15 more countries. These countries include:

    • Australia
    • Colombia
    • United States
    • Spain
    • Romania
    • Norway
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Germany
    • Japan
    • Canada
    • Belgium
    • Sweden
    • Mexico
    • New Zealand

Application Process

Gambling and betting is a very sensitive matter in our society. Knowing this Google has created a gambling application form for developers to fill. As well as, requirements that must be met before their apps are available on its platform.

Some of the requirements include:

The app shall comply with relevant laws and industry regulatory requirements for each country in which it is distributed.
Developers must have a legitimate gambling license for each nation or country/territory in which the app is distributed.

Google says the apps are to be rated “Adults Only” to prevent under-age android users from using the app. Also, users in a state or province in which gambling is restricted or illegal be prevented from accessing the app. The app must be free to download and cannot have access to Google play’s in-app billing system.

Google warns developers that if they try to bypass the application process by providing fraudulent information or repeated or serious violations will lead to the complete removal of apps from the Google Play Store.

What Does This News Mean For The Online Casino Industry?

This is great news for all casino operators around the world. For years now, online casinos had to either optimize their site for mobile devices or ask players to sideload their app. Now with their app in the Google play store, there is even more money to be made.

You might be thinking how? That’s easy to answer. There are about 1 billion consumers on the google play store. This is a massive number of potential customers for the online casino operators. We think this will be a huge success for online casinos and Google itself.

What Does This Mean For Aussie Online Casino Players?

Well, we know Australian players love their pokies. This means we will finally get the ability to truly play on the go!. Since these are apps and not websites we should be seeing very quick load times and quick processing. This also means that software developers will have an easier time optimizing their game for apps over mobile websites.

However, only Android users can rejoice to know that their favorite online casino will be just a tap away. For IOS users, we have no information on whether Apple will be following Google’s lead in this respect. But we do believe that it’s only a matter of time, as the online gaming industry has seen enormous growth over the years. With such a huge market share even Apple cannot ignore it forever.

Concerns

There are a ton of concerns when it comes to making online casino apps available to over 1 billion consumers almost overnight. One of the biggest concerns is that this will lead to an increase in underage gambling.

There has been a huge spike in the number of underage gamblers and the addition of casino games to the play store could exacerbate the situation. Google has said that it will have special measures in place to prevent younger users. However, it is usually so easy to bypass those age restrictions on other google platforms so we don’t think it will be any better here.

Other concerns include:

Easy Access

People are worried that kids and adults alike already spend so much time on their phones either scrolling through social media or whatnot. Now if we add the ability to make money, some individuals may never put their phones down. This could be very detrimental to their physical and mental health.

Reduced perception of the value of money

Many scientists and researchers have claimed that when people are playing games on their phones it leads to players forgetting that they are spending their hard-earned money.

Addiction

In a society where almost every app wants you to check it every day. Becoming addicted is much easier than people think. Many users of social media are in denial of their addiction. Therefore, there is a lot of worry about players getting easily addicted.

Also, making casino games so readily available could be a trigger for addicted players already getting help.

Conclusion

This is great news for anyone who enjoys playing casino games for fun or professionally. The industry is looking to increase its market share with this opportunity. Although there are a lot of concerns it seems like it doesn’t bother Google or developers.

We are looking forward to March to see the first developers to provide a ready android app completely approved for the play store. Remember to stay safe and always gamble responsibly!

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Henry Brown-avatar 04.06.2021
Gambling apps are coming to Australia via the Google Play store
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