Google’s plan to open up support for game types and operators not covered by existing licensing will bring “significant changes” to the online gambling industry, according to app developer mkodo.
Will Whitehead, the commercial director at mkodo, which has developed Android apps in the betting and gaming space for more than 12 years, told Vixio GamblingCompliance that Google’s new approach to real-money games means “we can support more operators in more jurisdictions across the world”.
Google announced on January 11 that it will begin its support for some operators and game types not covered by an existing licensing framework, specifically in India, Brazil and Mexico, from June 2024.
The technology giant says it plans to roll out the service to more countries in the future.
“This expansion not only increases competition and innovation across the industry; it's also creating new opportunities for app developers and offering players more exciting options. For online gambling operators, this change will allow them to reach more users and enhance revenue streams,” Whitehead said.
Google Play’s policy update also outlines that the company is “evolving” its service fee model for gambling games, something which mkodo predicts will result in “more favourable terms for developers”.
“Reduced fees or alternative revenue-sharing structures may attract additional investments in creating high-quality gambling applications for the Play Store. This, in turn, will contribute to a more dynamic and varied landscape of gambling apps available to users,” said Whitehead.
As these developments unfold, the app developer warned that it is “crucial” that stakeholders continue to monitor “potential impacts on responsible gambling, ensuring regulatory compliance and user well-being”.
Google has been expanding the jurisdictions and game types where real-money games are available on its Play Store since 2021, when it added 15 new countries, including the United States.
Before this change, the Google Play Store only allowed applications for regulated gambling in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Brazil.
Karan Gambhir, the director of global trust and safety partnerships at Google, said in the company’s update on January 11 that “since then, this app category has continued to flourish with developers creating new real money gaming experiences for mobile".