Google Play Follows Apple in Banning Real Money Gambling

Google has recently revised its stance on applications conducting real money gambling, found in the offering of its Play store. The company will no longer allow such apps to be downloadable from the platform, similarly to Apple’s App Store.

Google Play Says No

According to the latest decision from Google, the Play store will no longer offer applications that include real money gambling. In a memo sent to third party developers, the company announces that they discontinue providing apps with “content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries, or games of skill,” as long as these programs offer cash income or other value through gameplay. Parties now have 30 days to remove such apps from the store, otherwise they will be banned.

Most recently, Apple revised its policies regarding the App Store in a similar way, when ruling that gambling applications would have to be available free of charge and could be downloaded in countries only where their use is legal. The company also forbade in-app purchases of credits for use in real money gambling, which means players would be able to play in regulated markets but not to make deposits, as reports.

All this follows Apple’s action in this July, when they withdrew the real money poker apps of PokerStars and 888Poker in Australia, where real money online poker is illegal. Google did not follow suit back then but now they have revised their entire policy on the matter. While it is unclear if these changes would affect operators that offer platforms for real money gambling without being providers themselves, the native clients will likely be offered exclusively through the rooms’ websites, since users remain free to install apps manually from third party pages.

96 of the top grossing 100 applications at Google Play are free, while they make up 77% of the top iPhone and 69% of the top iPad applications in the App Store. The latter still boasts twice as much in revenues than Google Play but the Apple store has been growing at a much slower rate of 15%, as compared to Google Play’s 67%, in the past six months.