Google Halts Experiment to Expand Real-Money Games on Google Play Store


Google announced today that it has paused its global experiment to allow new types of real-money games on the Play Store, citing challenges in regions without a central authority to approve such apps. The company had initially planned to permit real-money apps in India, Brazil, and Mexico in June, but India’s pilot program for fantasy sports and Rummy apps began in 2022 and Mexico’s in November 2023.

Although the pilot program apps in India will continue to operate on the Play Store, Google will allow no further expansions of real-money gaming apps in markets without a central licensing framework. In a statement, a Google spokesperson explained that “expanding our support of real-money gaming apps in markets without a central licensing framework has proven more difficult than expected and we need additional time to get it right for our developer partners and the safety of our users.”

Google’s commitment to real-money games remains strong, but the company wants to create a suitable framework before proceeding. They also plan to finalize a new service fee structure for these games, which will require more time.

In its statement, Google notably avoided referencing India’s central licensing framework, suggesting a reluctance to confront regulatory issues. Last year, India’s IT ministry halted the formation of a self-regulating body for the gaming industry, potentially delaying the definition of rules for real-money games.

Ivan Mehta
Ivan Mehta
Ivan covers global consumer tech developments. He is based out of India and has previously worked at publications including Huffington Post and The Next Web.

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