Google pauses expansion of real money games in Play Store

Google says it is monitoring developments.
Google says it is monitoring developments.

The tech giant says it needs “more time to get it right”.

Brazil.- Google has delayed indefinitely a change of policy that would have allowed an expansion of real money games (RMG) in its Play Store to Brazil, Mexico and India. The tech giant had told app developers in January that it would allow the expansion depending on ‘user safety criteria’.

It said it had received positive feedback from developers on its RMG pilot programmes and that the move would present “new business opportunities to developers worldwide while continuing to prioritise user safety”. It also extended a grace period for daily fantasy sports and Rummy apps in India to June 30, when its new framework was due to be introduced.

However, the company now says it has halted the proposed change in policy. It said: “Expanding our support of real-money gaming apps in markets without a central licensing framework has proven more difficult than expected and we need additional time to get it right for our developer partners and the safety of our users.”  It said it would continue to closely monitor market-by-market developments.

As a result of the delay, Google has deferred its grace period for RMG apps in India to allow existing apps offering DFS and rummy games in India to remain on Play indefinitely.

In Brazil, the new gambling regulator SPA is to publish final ordinances to establish the framework for regulated sports betting and online gambling in the country. It is still hoped that the market will launch this year. Meanwhile, a bill to legalise land-based casinos has been resurrected. President Lula da Silva has said he will sign the bill if it receives congressional approval.

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