By Euro Weekly News Media • 15 March 2021 • 10:56
Many have been anticipating the move for a long time but as of March 1st, Google will now allow sports betting and casino apps on the Play Store.
Affected countries include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, USA and the UK.
The lifting of the ban means that anybody who wishes to download the Bet365, Unibet or any other Android sports betting app can do so directly from Google’s own app store – the same place where they obtain most of their other apps.
The news comes on the back of a booming few years for the online gambling industry which has no doubt been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the shift from offline to online gambling as physical betting venues around the world continue to close.
Google’s policy update has been welcomed in Spain where the use of Android smartphones is more widespread than their Apple counterparts.
Betting on Android: A Paradigm Shift
Before sports betting apps were allowed on the Google Play Store, bettors had to download Android betting apps directly from the website of their chosen operator via a link to the App’s APK installer file.
This created much confusion in countries like Australia where Australian betting apps are more popular than mobile betting websites.
For example, many fake betting apps using recognizable names like “Bet365” and “Unibet” populated the Google Play Store leading users to wonder if these Android apps even existed at all.
Thus, removing this barrier and giving users the option to get gambling apps directly from the Play Store is an action that will facilitate access to safe and legal sports betting, without the possibility of downloading fake apps or malicious software.
Many betting companies from Australia, and around the world, are yet to list their apps on the Play Store but the change is likely to come quickly.
Currently, Google requires that all apps that want to be listed on the Play Store fulfil certain requirements such as having licences in the countries where they are offered, prevent minors from accessing the apps and include information about responsible gambling.
As such, those interested in online betting via mobile can now do so with greater assurance, improved access to their bookmakers of choice, their bonuses and their live betting platforms. These operators will, in turn, benefit from being able to offer more up to date products to customers that may have previously been beyond their reach.
The Mountain View-based tech giant has assured the public that its objective is not to make money through this change. Sports betting apps must be free to download, and Google will not take any commission for subscriptions or deposits that users make.
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