Google play gambling app restrictions

Why are betting apps banned from the Google play store?

Searching the Google app store for a betting app, you’d expect to find it pretty easily by searching for the brand name of the app – Bet365, Paddypower, William Hill, etc, etc, right? Wrong! Unfortunately Google currently has a hard stance on Gambling apps, in the sense that all gambling related content & services are forbidden in their Google Play developer programme policy. Bummer! Their official stance is currently as flagged below:

Content Policies

Our content policies apply to any content your app displays or links to, including any ads it shows to users and any user-generated content it hosts or links to. Further, they apply to any content from your developer account which is publicly displayed in Google Play, including your developer name and the landing page of your listed developer website. In addition to complying with these policies, the content of your app must be rated in accordance with our Content Rating Guidelines.

Gambling: We don’t allow content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries, or games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other value. Apps that facilitate real gambling are not permitted in Google Play. Apps with gambling themes or simulated gambling must be rated medium maturity or high maturity.

Long story short, the above policy makes Google’s hardline stance a stark contrast from the current Apple iOS development policy, where gambling apps are allowed, as long as they comply with the Apple development policy and are in-keeping with local/country based legislation.

Google play gambling app ban

Google play gambling app ban

So, to answer the question as to ‘Why betting apps are banned from the Google play store?’, it’s best to look at the current differences in the platforms.

  1. While the Apple app store has a strict review & approval policy, the Google Play store doesn’t have an app approval policy, and thereby allows developers to publish whatever they wish to the store. While they retain the ability to remove apps from the store for content violations, the stance of banning gambling apps is required to prevent untrusted sources from submitting dodgy betting apps. This is also substantiated by the fact that Google’s Android platform is based on open source (Linux) code, whereas Apple enforce proprietary code standards.
  2. Geolocation barriers can be enforced in the Apple app store to ensure that Gambling apps are only provisioned to those countries where legislation doesn’t prevent onling gambling access. Unfortunately, stemming from point 1 above, the same doesn’t apply to the Google play store (as there is no app approval process), meaning that legislative requirements cannot be enforced.

So, where does this leave both the betting operator & punters? Well, for operators, Google has somewhat less restrictive policies than Apple, meaning that operators can continue to develop native android apps using the Android platform, with the caveat being that they can’t be offered within the Google play store. This means that betting operators need to find an alternative route to market. Luckily, most larger betting operators are now facilitating direct downloads of native android apps from their websites. Or, in many cases offering the apps for download via alternative app stores. (e.g. the Samsung app store). For punters, have no fear! You can still get your hands on most Android betting apps pretty easily via your preferred betting operator. The catch is that you’ll have to ensure that you amend the settings on your android device to allow apps to be downloaded from untrusted sources. Finally, you can then simply download the app directly from your favourite bookies website.

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