Following years of discussions and the ever-growing popularity of online casinos, Google has finally decided to allow customers to download real money gambling apps from the Google Play Store. For now, this decision has been limited to the United Kingdom, Ireland and France, though there are hopes that the reach could expand in the near future and soon Android users all over the world will be able to play slots, roulette and every variety of poker from Omaha to Texas Hold’em on-the-go.
As we’re sure digital casino fans will know, the Google Play Store has allowed free casino apps for quite a while now, but the company has held off on accepting real money casino apps – a decidedly odd choice considering most mobile-based games come with in-app purchases these days. In fact, the only time the Google Play Store had hosted real money gambling apps up to now was during the 2015 NFL season.
It’s difficult to ascertain why it has taken Google so long to allow real money apps, especially when their competitors have already done so. The iGaming industry is enormous, reaching millions of people around the world and earning more market value by the second. In addition to this, the iGaming genre consists of so many different types of games. Poker alone can come in dozens of different forms from traditional Texas Hold’em to 5 Card Draw to Vegas-style Jackpot games. Roulette also comes in quite a few variants, including French, European and American roulette, so it is about time Google eased up.
Of course, this change means big things for mobile game developers as well as online casino operators who are eager to enter the Android market. Already, big brands such as 888poker have rolled out their own Android-specific apps, which accompany their other apps available if you click here, eager to start a new round of poker games with fellow Android users. This enables casino enthusiasts to play leading games such as poker on-the-go, without having to access their Android browser. After all, while you can play games such as live dealer poker and seven-card stud in a smartphone browser, it can often be clunky and irritating.
These same players will hopefully also gain access to better offers from a variety of casinos, as each casino game provider attempts to draw in more customers. This means more deposit bonuses, free spins and VIP rewards, as well as possible no deposit welcome packages. Plus, the more players a particular Android casino app gets the better the app itself will become, with better graphics, the newest games and improved player experiences.
So, when should the rest of the world expect their Google Play Store to allow real money gambling apps? While apps from casino, poker and betting providers are initially being tested in the UK, Ireland and France, this is only because the market in these locations is well attuned to gambling and yet isn’t too large to keep track of. These places allow Google to test out how audiences feel about real money gambling apps and will enable them to quickly get a response.
If the trial goes well over in Western Europe, then Google may be willing to expand into other regions during the next couple of months. After all, the company’s ultimate goal is to Android’s market share in general, and so if real money gambling apps such as poker and casino apps can help them to achieve this they’re sure to roll with it. For now though, we will simply have to wait and see.