888 Holdings has become one of the first major bingo, casino and poker operators to take advantage of Google’s relaxed stance on Google Play betting and casino apps.
Multiple 888 Holdings brands, including 777, 888Casino, 888Poker, 888Sport, Wink Bingo and Wink Slots are now officially available as downloadable applications on Google’s mobile app store and can now be installed on any Android OS smartphone and tablet device after Google quietly passed its new policy on allowing real money gambling apps on August 2.
Other major casino and sports betting operators such as Sky Betting & Gaming, Ladbrokes and Kindred Group have quickly followed suit and uploaded their gambling apps to the Google Play store.
The influx of real money betting and casino apps on Google Play is significant due to Google’s previous hard-line stance on hosting mobile apps offering interactive gambling services, denying and banning all real money applications from being listed in their Google Play store since 2013.
The reason for the restrictions was due to Google being unable to guarantee appropriate age restrictions on said gambling apps to prevent minors from downloading them.
The only previous workaround for casino and sports betting operators to get their gambling apps to Android customers was to distribute their apps independently or through third-party channels, and users would have to install them without the functionality that Google Play provides.
All mobile casinos and mobile betting sites that want their apps on the Google Play store will have to provide documentation of their licensing, so Google can confirm which countries and markets their product targets.
Operators must also include responsible gambling messages in their apps, and cannot use Google payment services such as Google Play in-app billing to charge players.
Currently, 888 Holdings’ apps on Google Play can only be downloaded by Android users in France, Ireland and the United Kingdom, though other licensed European and worldwide markets should follow accordingly.
Google’s main competitor Apple and their iOS mobile platform also allows gambling apps to be hosted on its proprietary app store.
Earlier this year, mobile apps development specialist Degree53 broke the news regarding Google’s gaming policy changes for its Play store, most likely privy to the information due to its work with 888 Holdings and other gambling operators such as Betfred.
Google is estimated to hold a 50% share of the smartphone market, so it’s not long before many more major casino, poker and sports betting operators take advantage of the new gaming policies and get their gambling apps up on the Google Play market for maximum visibility.
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