Tech giant Google has announced that real-money app downloads will be permitted in a range of new markets. 

Real-money app downloads have been allowed through the Play Store in the UK since 2017, along with a handful of other countries – including Ireland.

App developers in the new countries on the list will need to participate in application processes and standards set out by Google. 

In which new countries will real-money app downloads be allowed? 

In addition to the UK and Ireland, real-money app downloads had previously also been available in France. In Brazil, players had been able to download state-licensed apps for lottery and horse racing. 

Players in Australia and New Zealand will now be able to download real-money apps. The same is also true for individuals in the US and Germany, as well as Canada. 

Real-money app downloads through the Play Store will also be permitted in all three Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Norway, and Sweden – as well as neighbouring Finland. 

The other countries where Google will enable real-money app downloads are: Belgium, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Romania, and Spain. 

The new Google market allowances will come into play from 1st March 2021. 

What must developers do to get their app included on the Play Store in these countries? 

On its website, Google said: 

“Subject to restrictions and compliance with all Google Play policies, we allow apps that enable or facilitate online gambling in the following countries in the table below as long as the Developer completes the application process for gambling apps being distributed on Play, is an approved governmental operator and/or is registered as a licensed operator with the appropriate governmental gambling authority in the specified country, and provides a valid operating license in the specified country for the type of online gambling product they want to offer.”

All app developers looking to launch a real-money app on the Play Store are required to have a licence in the jurisdictions they’re offering their services to. Besides holding a permit, they must also comply with all gambling laws in their markets of choice. 

Every gambling app will need to be classified as ‘Adult Content’ on the Play Store to deter minors. 

On Apple’s App Store, gambling apps are subjected to certain app design and user experience (UX) guidelines. But it remains to be seen if this will also be the case for Google’s Play Store. 

What gambling apps are allowed on the Play Store in the UK? 

As outlined in the article mentioned above, the following gambling apps are allowed in the UK – provided they meet Play Store guidelines. 

  • Online casino games;
  • Online sports betting;
  • Lottery games;
  • Daily fantasy sports.

Google has also detailed in the same article what is and isn’t allowed, along with examples of regulatory violations.