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    Google Pauses Plans to Expand Real-Money Gaming Apps on Google Play

    Google has paused its plans to allow new kinds of real money gaming apps on Google Play, according to a report by TechCrunch. This comes after the company announced in January this year that it will begin allowing more types of real-money gaming (RMG) apps on the Play Store in India starting July 2024, as long as these apps comply with local laws and Google’s policy on RMG apps.

    Some context:

    Google Play so far only allows approved rummy and daily fantasy sports (DFS) apps on the Play Store as part of a pilot program launched in September 2022. This program ended in September 2023 and the company has since provided a grace period to existing pilot apps offering daily fantasy sports (DFS, where players use their knowledge of athletic events to make fantasy sports teams) and Rummy games to remain on Google Play. This grace period, which was originally supposed to end on June 30, 2024, has now been extended so that the apps that were added as a part of the pilot program can continue to remain on Google Play.

    Google says that expanding support for real money gaming in markets without a central licensing framework has proven more difficult than expected. As per the TechCrunch report, the company is still working to figure out the fee structure for other kinds of real money games and would need time to finalize the details. 

    What licensing challenges could Google have faced in India?

    The online gaming rules, which were notified as an amendment to the IT Rules in April 2023, state that gaming platforms can only host real-money games that are verified by a self-regulatory body. This means that Google Play will only be able to host games approved by a self-regulatory body. However, since the government hasn’t yet approved any self-regulatory body, these rules are not yet fully in effect. This lack of clarity on which games are permissible must have posed a challenge for Google on what it can and cannot host. 

    How does this impact the real-money gaming industry?

    With Google no longer allowing more real-money games onto Google Play, the real-money gaming industry would have to continue to depend on other means of distribution such as sideloading or third-party app stores. 

    Also read:

    The post Google Pauses Plans to Expand Real-Money Gaming Apps on Google Play appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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