What just happened? Android users will soon be able to access real-money gambling and betting apps on the Google Play Store, rather than having to sideload them, following a change in policy. Currently, such applications are only available in four countries worldwide, but they will be expanding to 15 more locations, including America.

Right now, only Android users in the UK, Brazil, Ireland, and France can access real-money gambling apps on the Play Store. According to 9to5Google, this will change on March 1 when they'll be permitted in 15 new locations: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.

The types of apps allowed on the store vary from country to country. They cover casino games, lotteries, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports. When they come to the US, what is and isn't allowed will be decided on a per-state basis.

9To5Google published the list of state-by-state limitations:

  • Online casino games (permitted in Delaware, Nevada (poker only), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania)
  • Sports betting (permitted in Colorado, District of Columbia (governmental operators only), Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana (governmental operators only), Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon (governmental operators only), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia)
  • Lotteries (state-run operators or affiliated contracted operators only in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia)
  • Depending on the state, daily fantasy sports may be regulated as gambling in the US, and all daily fantasy sports apps published in the United States are subject to the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Apps requirements below.

Developers wishing to release a gambling app on the store will have to go through a stringent application process ensuring they comply with each countries' laws. They must be "an approved governmental operator" and hold a valid gambling license for each country or state/territory in which the app is distributed.

Additionally, apps must be rated "Adult Only," be free to download, and not use the Google In-app Billing system.

Masthead image credit: Wpadington