Two weeks ago, Michigan online gambling arrived with all the excitement it deserved after 13 months of waiting. Now, in less than a month, Android users in Michigan could find those same online gambling apps in the Google Play Store.
Unlike the App Store on Apple devices, Google prohibited real money gaming apps to be listed in its store in the US. Starting March 1, Google is changing its policy to allow real money gambling, games, and contest apps in the store.
Currently, only Google Play Stores in Brazil, Ireland, France, and the United Kingdom allow real-money apps. But the new policy means Android users in Michigan, the US, and 14 other countries will be able to download sportsbooks, lottery, online casinos, and daily fantasy sports apps direct from the store.
Google Play and MI online gambling
Michigan launched its online industry on Jan. 22 with 10 sportsbooks and 8 online casinos. Online poker arrived a week later, bringing with it PokerStars, Fox Bet, and PokerStars Casino. As of now, Michiganders have access to 11 sportsbooks, 10 online casinos, and 1 poker app.
Downloading an app on an Apple device remains fairly straightforward: visit the App Store, search for your app, and download to your device. Google and Android phones and tablets require a few more steps.
As of now, Android users download the apps directly from gambling websites. Then, Android users needed to change settings on their devices to allow downloads from an outside source. The download process with Google was often marked as a deterrent.
Now it will be easier not only for the end-users but for the operators themselves.
In a statement, DraftKings unsurprisingly reacted favorably to this policy change:
“As sports betting and iGaming continues to expand across the United States, we are excited that DraftKings Sportsbook and Casino apps will soon be available to download for Android users via Google Play.”
When will gambling apps be available on Google Play Store?
The “soon” part is an undetermined timeline for when the apps will actually be available on the Play Store. The March 1 policy change is weeks away, but in order to be listed, sportsbooks and casinos must follow strict requirements set by Google.
Those requirements include (but are not limited to):
- Developer must have a valid gambling license
- App must prevent under-age users from gambling
- App must be free to download and install
- Must be rated AO (Adults Only)
- App must clearly display responsible gambling information
The number of Android users in the US is in the nine figures, so it stands to reason that many more Americans will be exposed to gambling apps over time. That could be a nice boost for online gambling as a whole. Already it’s one of the few thriving industries during a pandemic and otherwise tough economic times.
All told, we’re expecting big numbers next week, reflecting a huge Michigan launch from 10 days of gambling online in January.
Things like Android users having an easier and more efficient way to download gambling apps should help the market grow the rest of this year … and beyond.