New Policy Will Allow Sports Betting & Casino Apps in Google Play Store

  • Google’s policy change on March 1 helps all newly legalized sportsbooks increase access
  • Timed with COVID-19 & online surge, new change especially assists mobile-only books
  • Stock prices at DraftKings, Penn National & others zoomed with a major announcement

Google has made a groundbreaking change that should help all sportsbook and casino gaming websites increase their opportunities. They have released information that their stance will now allow sportsbooks to be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

The change had somewhat of a split effect. While iOS users can simply download mobile sportsbooks from the Apple App Store, Android users would need to download these sportsbook apps via third party methods or download them directly from the sportsbook’s website.

But in the net effect, Google will now make legal sports betting easier access for those in the mobile market and wagering online, allowing these sportsbooks to be quickly accessed via the Google Play Store.

Major Market Effects from Announcement

As expected, stock prices zoomed-in involving several of the major companies in the sports wagering sphere including DraftKings Sportsbook, Penn National Gaming, theScore, and others. Coinciding with the dominance of online wagering in several legalized US states due to the continuance of COVID-19, the timing was obvious.

Commenting on the stock surge Aubrey Levy, theScore’s VP of Marketing & Content said:

This is a significant development for all sports bettors on Android and unlocks a huge market for mobile-app only sportsbooks like ours.

Resulting from Google’s announcement, TheScore’s stock price rose 7%, DraftKings experienced a 6% increase, and Penn National shares saw a 4% increase as mobile/online wagering is the primary source of sports betting in many markets. In December’s record-breaking almost $1 billion dollar month for New Jersey, online wagering accounted for 88.5% of the handle.

This Google good news is also timely for Michigan and Virginia, who came live online last week. It is expected this will be a further catalyst to talks involving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia, among other states looking to introduce mobile wagering legislation in 2021.

Previously, Google Play Store has only allowed content and services that support online gambling apps in 11 European countries including the UK, Ireland, and France. A partial policy in Brazil that is dictated by their government.

Many Detailed Google Restrictions

The change takes effect on March 1. The gaming app must comply with all applicable laws and industry standards for each country in which it is distributed, according to Google’s Developer Program Policy for Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests. In addition, Google’s policy stipulates that a developer must have a valid gambling license for each country, state, or territory where the app is offered.

Among the several requirements include preventing under-age users. The app must NOT be purchased as a paid app on Google Play, nor Google Play In-app Billing.

The app must be free to download and install from the Store. The app must be rated AO (Adults Only) or IARC equivalent. The app and its app listing must clearly display information about responsible gambling.

The most serious app restrictions target responsible gaming and to prevent mobile/online wagering to be accessed by underaged users. A restrictive area that has been elevated in new US state legislation and highlighted by the American Gaming Association.

When asked for comment, Google was not immediately available to respond involving information on the policy change.

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Larry Gibbs

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.

Email: [email protected]