Due to the changing policies in the Google Play Store recently, the gambling and betting feature in Android applications using real money has become available in 15 more countries. Before the new policies, this feature was only available in Brazil, France, Ireland, and the UK.
Each country has its own restrictions on online gambling or betting. The types of mobile gambling that concern these limitations; It covers online casinos, sports betting, lotteries and some of the daily fantasy sports. Although Apple has been allowing gambling and betting on the mobile platform for a long time, this change for Android seems to change the mobile gambling market drastically.
Changing Google Play Store policies do not currently cover real-money gaming applications, Google’s strict control on this issue is still in place. For example, third-party apps that allow any video game of a team to compete in a skill-based competitive tournament are not yet allowed.
Are users adequately protected?
Sideloading apps are possible on both iOS and Android devices, although not easy to install for the average user, this process is fraught with security risks. Android phones do not allow sideloading by default, this problem can only be overcome by manually installing apps or enabling this feature from another Android app store.
As Google does not include real money game apps in the Play Store, users who manually install “sideload” apps are potentially vulnerable to exposure to trojans, malware, spyware, click fraud, and phishing code hidden in unofficial apps.
Although in 2020, Google warned its users that side-loading could be harmful, the fact that it does not pass real-money gaming applications through an audit process like Apple makes users very worried.
What will be the future of gambling applications?
While Google hasn’t explicitly stated that skill-based tournaments may be allowed on the Play Store, if they want the market to grow and are closely following a fierce competitor like Apple, perhaps they will consider real money gaming. Thus, the Play Store, which opens to play games for real money, will be a great opportunity and blessing for the already growing market.
Moreover, if Google continues to lag behind what is acceptable and leaves users vulnerable to opaque and unpopular policy decisions, they will have no choice but to do so.