Google Play has changed its policies regarding gambling and betting apps and will now make them available in Australia, Canada, and over a dozen other countries.
Previously, only those living in the UK, France, Ireland, and Brazil could access gambling apps via the Play Store. However, starting March 1, Android users in Australia, Canada, the US, Germany, Finland, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, and Sweden will also have access.
From the start of March, developers can list real-money gambling apps in the Play Store and display in-app ads related to gambling.
Google Play Store to Allow Gambling Apps in Australia & Canada – What to Know
To have a gambling app listed in the Google Play Store, developers must first complete a gambling application process and ensure they are complying with national laws. Furthermore, the apps must be listed as ‘Adult Only’ and they should take measures to prevent underage people from accessing the app. Another stipulation is that gambling apps are free and not paid, plus they cannot use Google in-app billing.
What Android-users can expect will differ from country to country and in the case of the US, state to state. Canadian users will be able to download casino apps while Australians will not, for example.
The following gambling and betting apps Google Play will allow in Australia and Canada starting March 1 are as follows:
- Australia: Android users can access sports betting sites, lotteries and daily fantasy sports simply because online casinos are illegal in the country
- Canada: Users based in Canada can access sports betting sites, lotteries, and online casinos which will mainly be government-owned casinos operating in Manitoba, Quebec, and British Columbia while it is not yet clear if overseas online casinos will also become available
Is the Ability to Download Gambling Apps ‘that’ Beneficial?
Many iGaming insiders will applaud the decision by Google Play to expand on the countries which can access gambling apps. It will delight them that more users will have additional methods to access their products. However, for the users themselves, apps are no longer considered the best option for online gambling.
The majority of modern online casinos and sports betting sites use HTML5 to cater to mobile punters rather than mobile apps because the code offers more convenience for both user and platform. Apps need regular updates and maintenance, and to capture a wide audience, mobile casinos need to create a different app for Android, iOS, Windows, and so on. Meanwhile, HTML5 is part of the parcel of a web browser’s code, updates automatically, and works on any operating system.
Furthermore, with HTML5, users do not need to download anything as the casino games are instant play. All players need to do is open their web browser, log onto the casino, select the video slot or live dealer games they want to play, and the game will load into the browser. Effectively the browser app becomes the casino app. Other conveniences include saving space on the user’s device and fewer bugs.
HTML5 also works on all mobile devices with all major web browsers and mobile operating systems. As for the betting platforms, they also use HTML5 for their betting platforms to support betting pages, in-play betting markets in real time, and virtual sports games.
So while Google Play’s move is great news for those that prefer to use apps, this decision will mean little to those that have been gambling at HTML5 casinos and sports betting sites.