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Google Softens Stance on Gambling Apps in 15 Countries – Including the USA

Man Holding SmartphoneA whole world of possibility opened up for millions of online casino gamers today when Google announced they were relaxing their rules on the downloading of gambling apps from their Google Play store in 15 countries.

Now, publishers can freely add their apps to the Play store even if they contain gambling content, and this will surely open so many doors to those operating in the industry.

The USA is perhaps the most considerable of the nations that have been added to the list, which also includes Canada, Australia, Germany, Norway and Spain. They will join the UK, Ireland, France and Brazil in already welcoming casino apps in their version of the Play store.

“We’re updating our real-money gambling, games and contests policy so that more developers around the world can build sustainable businesses, and in a way that helps keep consumers safe,” a statement on Google’s support pages confirmed.

The relaxation of the rules allows real money wagering apps to be published, and so as of March 1 operators will have a significant number of new customers to satisfy. This could include casino gaming, sports betting, poker, lotteries, daily fantasy sports or a combination of the lot, depending on the laws within those individual nations.

All gambling apps must have measures in place that prevent minors from being able to access them, and any app in the store that is available for download to Android devices must not be ‘paid for’ or use Google Play’s in app billing service.

The full list of countries where you can download and play real money betting apps now includes:

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

While the floodgates have metaphorically opened, it might be a while before a raft of new casinos are available to download. All publishers have to go through an application process and are vetted by Google’s number bods, and that can take weeks or even months to get over the line.

Just some of the process will include proof of licensing within the country, and that could create an intriguing headache for offshore casinos and betting sites that rely on ‘soft’ licences from Curacao and the like.

Lawsuit Claims Apple are Benefiting from Illegal Gambling

Apple Phone on Black Desk

Meanwhile, Google’s tech nemesis Apple is having quite a different time of things as far as their App Store is concerned.

A lawsuit filed in the state of California claims that the firm ‘hosts, facilities, and benefits from’ an illegal gambling enterprise via social casino apps, which allow users to pay for in-game currency with real money – circumnavigating some of the laws against online wagering in many US states.

The complaint claims that because Apple facilitate the network by which these apps can be downloaded, they are ultimately complicit in them – and take 30% of the revenue made. “By utilizing Apple for distribution and payment processing, the social casinos entered into a mutually beneficial business partnership,” the writ alleges.

The class action, which is believed to have been filed by a pair of gamers who spent more than $15,000 each on social casinos, also points out that some $6 billion in the United States alone was spent on virtual casino chips in 2020….