Google is relaxing its developer policy regulating real gambling apps on the Google Play Store, with the Alphabet-owned company confirming the change by updating its official policy center to reflect the new rules. It's currently unclear when the change took place, though it's understood to be several days old at most, with all of its provisions being effective immediately. The Mountain View, California-based Internet giant is hence now allowing real-money gambling apps on the Google Play Store in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France. Developers looking to offer real mobile gambling services in those countries will need to obtain all of the necessary licenses from local regulators, in addition to complying with all relevant laws. In practice, the apps are expected to subject their potential users to a strict vetting process in an effort to prevent underage gambling and will be required to display all of the standard warnings about gambling addiction.
While Google is now willing to allow real gambling apps in limited markets, the company is still seemingly looking to distance itself from their developers as much as possible. This state of affairs is largely reflected on the fact that gambling apps won't be able to access the company's mobile payment services and related solutions, meaning developers will be unable to allow users to obtain gambling credit through in-app purchases (IAPs). The tech giant is also mandating that all real gambling apps are free to download from the Play Store and will be inspecting the licenses of their developers to ensure their legitimacy.
Google is simultaneously relaxing its guidelines for gambling ads shown in Android apps on the Play Store, with the firm revealing that such advertising will be subjected to the same rules as the actual real-money gambling apps. Additionally, it will automatically be hidden from underage users, meaning that developers who don't impose an age restriction on their apps will be unable to monetize them by advertising gambling services. The change in Google's Play Store developer policy now puts the company on par with Apple as the Cupertino, California-based tech giant has been allowing real-money gambling apps on the iOS App Store for years now, also subjecting them to comparably strict rules.