However, for the moment this is just a temporary measure that has been taken in a few countries as an experiment. The countries where mobile users can now play for money on their phones or tablets are the UK, Ireland and France.
The relaxing by Google of their previous rules on gambling apps came into force at the start of August. There are still some strict controls in place for an app to be allowed onto the Play Store, though.
The Restrictions and Requirements
An example of the restrictions in place during this trial period comes with the fact that these apps need to be free for users to download. They also must have all of the relevant licences and permissions from the country’s gambling authority. In addition, the developers must prevent under-age users from accessing the app.
The full list of rules for app developers on the Google Play Developer Policy Centre includes preventing use in other countries and the clear listing of information about responsible gambling on the app and its listing. Developers also have to mark the app as Adult Only and can’t use Google’s payment services.
There has been no exact date given for when this experiment is scheduled to end, although a Google spokesperson said that the gambling apps would be rolled out “over the next few weeks”, so it will be worth keeping an eye on the latest casino news for updates on this issue.
Of course, mobile users have always been able to gamble on their Android devices by visiting the site of the casino, bingo or bookmaker that they are interested in using. Yet, this breakthrough is likely to mean that more people are tempted to give some games a try while on the move.
With research showing that close to half of the people in Britain gamble once a month, it is clear that this is a market that is of interest to gambling firms. Only 17% of those who gamble do so online currently but the use of mobile devices for wagering rocketed by 10% between 2015 and 2016.
If we further consider that the market share of Android in the UK is also close to half then there are plenty of people out there who will be getting to see gambling apps on their devices for the first time just now.
Another change that has been brought in by Google at the same time is the acceptance of gambling related ads on other Play Store apps. These can now appear on other apps as long as they comply with the country’s advertising standards and licensing requirements.
A big issue with gambling app adverts in the past was how to restrict them to only be seen by users over 18. The new relaxing of their rules comes with the caveat that these adverts have to be restricted from appearing on the mobile devices of younger users.