After settling for $700 Million in a Play Store antitrust case back in December, Google moves on to accommodate the growing demand for real-money gaming (RMG) apps. In this regard, Google Play has announced a significant policy shift, signaling a broader acceptance of this genre on its platform. This shift, initiated in 2021, saw the onboarding of a wider range of RMG apps in markets with existing licensing frameworks. Now, based on successful pilot programs and positive feedback, Google Play will support an even wider array of RMG operators and game types, extending opportunities to developers globally.
The initial pilots in India, focusing on Rummy and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), yielded insights that have influenced Google Play’s decision to broaden its support for RMG apps. Beginning in June, developers in India, Mexico, and Brazil will have the opportunity to offer a more extensive variety of RMG experiences to users, with plans for further expansion into additional countries in the future.
Google Play to support more RMG apps this year, including game types and operators not covered by an existing licensing framework
Developers participating in the Google Play Pilot Program for RMG apps in India will benefit from an extended grace period until June 30, 2024. Following this period, developers can continue to distribute RMG apps, beyond DFS and Rummy, in compliance with local laws and the updated Google Play policy. Similarly, the pilot program for DFS in Mexico will conclude on June 30, 2024, allowing developers to broaden their offerings to Mexican users within the bounds of legal and policy requirements.
While opening up opportunities for developers, Google Play emphasizes that user safety remains a top priority. Existing developer policies supporting user safety, including age-gating and geo-gating to limit RMG experiences to adults and legal jurisdictions, will remain unchanged. Google Play will also continue its efforts toward user safety and transparency through expanded developer verification mechanisms.
As part of the policy update, Google Play will evolve its service fee model for RMG to reflect the value it provides and sustain the Android and Play ecosystems. Collaborating closely with developers, Google Play aims to ensure that the new approach aligns with the unique economics and various earning models within the RMG industry.
Further details on the updated policy and expansion plans are expected to be shared in the coming months, offering developers a clear roadmap for their involvement in the evolving world of real-money gaming on Google Play.