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Google Play Policy Changes Will Extend Gambling Apps Across More Countries

New policy changes on Google Play will enable gambling apps to be available in its store in more countries effective March 1, extending availability to the U.S. and 14 other countries, 9to5Google reported on Thursday (Jan. 28).

Just four Google Play stores worldwide make gambling and betting apps available — Brazil, Ireland, France and the United Kingdom. The games include lotteries, sports betting, daily fantasy sports and casino games. Google Play is further updating its policies to allow global developers the ability to create sustainable businesses that keep consumer safety in mind.

As soon as the new Play Store policy goes into effect, DraftKings said in a statement to Google9to5 that it would bring its Sportsbook & Casino app to the U.S.

Currently in the U.S., online casino games are only allowed in Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Sports betting is only allowed in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia. 

Each country decides what kind of online gambling is legal, with some allowing everything from online casinos and sports betting to lotteries and fantasy sports. Google warns that “attempts to bypass the certification process” and “repeated or serious violations” will result in full removal of apps, the article said.

Google Play Store requires gambling app developers to go through an application process to make sure the company is cleared to run a gambling operation in the country where the app will be sold. 

Digital casinos and online gambling have escalated since the March 2020 lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. The crisis coincided with what was expected to be a pivotal year for the digital gambling industry.

Earlier this month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the revenue stream from online gambling will help the state close a $16 billion budget shortfall that has bedeviled the state in the wake of the pandemic.

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