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UK Betting Apps

A New Lease of Life for UK Betting Apps?

App developers recently received news that might make all the difference when it comes to mobile gambling. According to app development company Degree 53, the message which came through from Google read, “Beginning of August 2017, Google will accept applications for the distribution of gambling apps within the Play store in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland.”

Historically, gambling apps have not been allowed on the Play store, and the current guidelines explicitly state that any content or services which facilitate online gambling are not allowed. This includes sports betting, lotteries, online casinos and even games of skill which offer cash prizes. In the US, this policy was quietly removed in 2015, in an act which Fortune.com suggested was strategically timed to fit with the NFL season.

The rumours suggest that the reason for the ban initially was because of problems verifying user ages when people downloaded and started using gambling apps, as well as legal jurisdictions in various countries creating a logistical nightmare to manage the legalities of using the apps and managing disputes.

The Future Looks Bright

If the news follows through, it could mean a whole new market for sport betting and casino apps. With Android currently holding around 50% of the smartphone market, this would give betting games and casino apps, as well as DFL games or sports betting companies a chance to take a slice of the estimated £36 billion market to Android mobile.

Currently, the gambling games which are registered on the Play store cannot offer cash prizes, so make their money through buying the game itself, or in-app purchases for fake play money, or gold coins, as well as other similar imaginary tender which can be used in the game. Some of these games have been downloaded millions of times, suggesting that there would definitely be a market for the same kinds of vegas style casino slots or sports themed fantasy betting games, but with cold hard cash on the line.

Competing with Apple

Up until now, many sports gambling companies have chosen to invest their capital into their iPhone apps, as the Apple store has nothing like the restrictions which Google presents.

This development also means that companies can casually advertise their gambling apps to users who might not have otherwise looked for them to download. While fantasy sports enthusiasts or regular visitors to online casinos would be interested in looking for these kinds of apps through the search tools, there is a huge untapped market of people who might not feel comfortable in an offline betting shop, but are happy to dabble online in the same way as they might play Candy Crush or Temple Run.

While most reports of the new regulations have been met with excitement, some people are concerned about making gambling games so readily available by mobile phone. Many bystanders are looking to Google to hear what kind of safety regulations they will put in place to prevent addiction and encourage self-care amongst customers.

 

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