Posted by Karan Gambhir – Director, Global Trust and Security Partnership
As a platform, we strive to help developers responsibly build new businesses and reach a wider audience across different content types and genres. In response to strong demand, In 2021, we began onboarding a wide range of real-money gaming (RMG) apps in markets with pre-existing licensing frameworks. Since then, this app category has continued to grow with developers creating new RMG experiences for mobile.
To ensure that Google Play keeps up with the pace of developer innovation while promoting user security, we’ve since run several pilot programs to learn how to support more RMG operators and game types. For example, many developers in India are eager to bring RMG apps to more Android users, so we started a pilot program starting with Rummy and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) to understand the best way to support their businesses.
Based on learnings from the pilots and positive feedback from users and developers, Google Play will start supporting more RMG apps this year, including game types and operators not covered by the existing licensing framework. We will start this expanded RMG support in June for their users in India, Mexico and Brazil and plan to expand users to more countries in the future.
We are pleased that this new approach continues to prioritize user security and provides new business opportunities for developers worldwide. It will also allow developers currently participating in RMG pilots in India and Mexico to continue submitting their apps to Play.
- Indian pilot: For developers in the Google Play Pilot program to distribute DF and Rummy apps to users in India, we are extending the grace period for pilot apps to remain on Google Play until the new guidelines are implemented. After that time, developers will be able to distribute RMG apps on Google Play, beyond DF and Rummy, to users in India, subject to local laws and our revised guidelines.
- Mexican pilot: For developers in the Google Play Pilot program for DFS in Mexico, the pilot is scheduled to end on June 30, 2024, at which time developers can distribute RMG apps on Google Play to users outside of DFS, subject to local laws and our updated policy.
We will continue to enforce Google Play’s developer policies that support user safety, such as limiting age-gating to adult RMG experiences and requiring developers to use geo-gating only when it is legal to provide RMG apps. In addition, Google Play will continue other key user security and transparency efforts, such as our expanded developer verification strategies.
With this policy update, we’re revising our service fee model for RMG to reflect the value Google Play provides and help sustain the Android and Play ecosystems. We are working closely with developers to ensure that our new approach reflects the unique economics of this industry and the various developer revenue models. We’ll have more to share in the coming months about our new policy and future expansion plans.
For developers already involved in the real money gaming space or looking to expand their involvement, we hope this helps you prepare for the upcoming policy change. As Google Play improves our RMG support around the world, we look forward to helping you continue to delight users, grow your businesses, and safely launch new types of games.