Google has informed its app developer community that its app store “Google Play will begin supporting more Real Money Game (RMG) apps this year”, including “game types and operators not currently covered by an existing licensing framework.”
Developers were notified via a blog post authored by Karan Gambhir, Google’s Director of Global Trust and Safety Partnerships, titled “A New Approach to Real Money Games.“
The tech giant has stated that its change in policy follows the “learnings from the pilots and positive feedback from users and developers,” during which it operated several local pilot programs for RMG app types for Rummy and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS).
Scheduled for 2024, Google Play will expand its RMG framework to app developers in the markets of India, Mexico, and Brazil, with plans to extend support to audiences in additional countries.
As detailed by the update: “We’re pleased this new approach will provide new business opportunities to developers worldwide while continuing to prioritize user safety. It also allows developers currently participating in RMG pilots in India and Mexico to keep offering their apps on Google Play.”
In India, the Google Play Pilot Program will be extended to a ‘grace period,’ allowing DFS and Rummy apps to remain on the Google Play store until June 30, 2024, when the new policy will come into effect.
Following these changes, developers will be able to distribute RMG apps on Google Play to users in India, beyond DFS and Rummy, in compliance with local laws and our updated policy.
In Mexico, the pilot program for DFS will conclude on June 30, 2024. After this date, developers will be permitted to distribute RMG apps on Google Play to Mexican audiences, in accordance with local market laws.
RMG developers have been informed of a likely service fee model update, which will change to “reflect the value Google Play provides and to sustain the Android and Play ecosystems.” This change in the service fee will be developed in collaboration with developers and will take into account the unique economics of RMG games.
The three markets cited by Google are currently undergoing significant changes to their gambling and gaming laws. In 2024, Brazil is set to launch its federal sports betting regime.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India will review the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as sanctioned by the Modi government, and Mexico will continue its congressional review of gambling laws.
Google encourages developers already involved in RMG or those looking to enter this space to prepare for the impending policy changes: “For developers already active in the real-money gaming space, or those wishing to broaden their involvement, we hope this facilitates your preparation for the forthcoming policy changes.”
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