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Google changes its Play Store policy to allow more real-money games

There may be a lot more real-money gaming (RMG) apps available in the Google Play Store before the year ends — at least in certain locations. Google initially started allowing apps that deal with real money in its store back in 2021, but only if they fall under a game type that’s regulated by the government. Now, the company has announced that it’s tweaking its rules to allow more “game types and operators not covered by an existing licensing framework.” That will open the Play Store to games that aren’t that popular or aren’t played widely enough for local governments to create laws around them.

Google says it conducted several pilot programs in different parts of the world since 2021 to determine how to support more real-money game operators and game types. In India, for instance, its pilot tests included apps offering Rummy card games and Daily Fantasy Sports. The company will enforce its new policy in India, Mexico and Brazil starting on June 30. After that, operators part of its pilot programs can release their current applications — and other types of real-money gaming apps — like any other developer, so long as they’re in compliance with local laws.

The company said it has plans to expand the availability of RMG apps in other regions in the future, but it clarified that its age requirements to be able to access those games will remain in place. Also, developers will still be required to geo-fence their products, so that they’ll only be available where they’re legal. It has also revealed that it’s “evolving its service fee model” for real-money gaming apps to “help sustain the Android and Play ecosystems.” As 9to5Google notes, RMG apps can’t use Google Play billing, but that’s likely set to change if the company intends to take a cut of developers’ earnings.

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