Google has updated its rules about distributing gambling Android apps in early August. To be able to successfully upload apps to the Google Play store, developers need to have a valid licence for the specific countries they are targeting and comply with their regulations. These gaming apps also must not use Google payments services, including Google Play In-app Billing. Currently, this change only applies to UK, Ireland, and France, but we expect this to expand to other areas shortly.
Previously, operators have had to distribute their Android apps via their own or third-party channels. However, this has been more challenging compared to hosting apps on the Apple App Store. Not only was it harder for Android users to find relevant gaming apps, it was also costly to promote and maintain them. For example, we’ve had to create a library that would automatically check for new versions, download them and start the install process for the user to run through. As a result, operators and affiliates have underinvested in Android apps, focusing more on iOS products, as well as offering apps of lesser quality for a large number of their customers.
Android takes up nearly 50% of the mobile market share in the UK. This is a huge opportunity for gaming operators to grow their Android app portfolio and user base. It is also a great time to review the UX and functionality of the existing gaming apps to ensure punters can benefit from the latest features and services. It’s worth keeping in mind that Android apps need to follow their own specific design and development guidelines, as well as being slightly different to iOS.
As soon as this change has taken effect, lots of different gambling apps have been uploaded to the Google Play store, including slots, sports betting and casino games. This marks a great development for gaming operators in their Android app distribution initiative and provides a more effective way of reaching that audience.