Google has expanded its testing of apps that allow users to gamble – and lose – real money, but won’t allow that money to be processed using the billing systems it has struggled to impose on other app developers.
The search, advertising, and mobile operating systems giant already owns a file Policies To allow gambling apps if they are government approved and fall into the following categories:
- online casino games;
- sports betting;
- horse racing (as it is regulated and licensed separately from sports betting);
- the lottery
- Daily fantasy sports.
In July 2022, Google began a beta release of digital versions of the arcade claw machines – players pay for the chance of a prize with a frustratingly inaccurate gripping device. This pilot was introduced only in Japan and will last for a year.
Google announced Wednesday that it will allow Indian developers to offer daily fantasy sports apps and multiplayer versions of the Rummy card game.
Google knows for sure – like mentioned from indian port Media Nama – That some Indian state governments have tried to block the Rummy website. another indian port, Hindusshe has mentioned 17 suicides linked to online gambling in India.
This may be why one of Google’s conditions for the beta is that apps “must not be purchasable as a paid app on Google Play, and do not use in-app billing in Google Play.” (Google used the letter “NOT”.)
It is not clear if Google has banned the use of its payment systems because it does not want any involvement in gambling, or to ensure that the applications use only virtual currency that cannot cause losses in the real world.
If the first scenario is Google’s incentive, then denying developers access to its payment systems is a great situation. Google has mostly struggled to ensure that developers cannot escape its financial network. Regulators around the world have come to consider Google’s requirements to use these systems a monopoly. South Korea has passed legislation to enforce more options, and Google announced earlier this week that it will allow more payment options — but it still takes the 4% of transactions on the Play Store made by alternative means.
The company also coined the Indian pilot as an exploration of “potential updates” to its policies. The company probably won’t like what you’re learning, and it pulls the plug.
But for a year from September 28, Google Play India will host such apps – and Google risks accountability if they are found to be malicious. ®