Google's New Strategy: Gambling Apps in the Play Store

Introduction to Google Play Store's Latest Update

gambling apps in the play store

Available to those using Android devices running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, the update will mean a smoother user experience for those downloading and using gambling apps.

Key Features and User Experience Changes

A notable addition is a dedicated search tool function, which is in place to help suggest similar gambling apps to the one the customer is searching for. Ultimately, it will mean a greater choice of gambling apps for the consumer.

For example, instead of only receiving one option upon inputting a search term, users will be confronted with several options, all of which will be competing against the other for click-throughs in what is a crowded iGaming space.

From Google's perspective, the shift in approach will open up more financial opportunities for the company, which will likely sell advertising real estate at a premium.

Users searching for apps or browsing different categories may come across sponsored listings or banner ads. Developers pay for these advertisements to increase their app's visibility and reach a larger audience.

Google also offers targeted advertisements, where developers can target specific demographics or interests with their ads- and betting customers represent a particular demographic. This allows for more effective advertising and potentially higher revenue for both Google and the betting company.

However, there are some concerns that the tweak to the layout will mean users will be exposed to more aggressive advertising tactics. In February last year in the UK, an assessment of research into gambling advertising, published in the journal Public Health, called for wholesale advertising restrictions.

Implications for Users and Gambling App Availability

Gambling remains a hot-button ticket, even for the biggest brains in Silicon Valley. Despite its appeal to governments worldwide, who recognise the incredible taxation benefits that regulated and legal gambling brings to the table, there remains considerable apprehension about the impact of gambling on vulnerable people.

In recent years, Google has tried to address concerns by implementing age and location restrictions for real-money gambling apps on its Play Store. This move aims to strike a balance between expanding the market and safeguarding users, especially minors and those living in jurisdictions where online gambling is illegal.

Expert Commentary by Aleksandra Andrishak

Aleksandra Andrishak“The move from Google represents a fascinating shift from the tech behemoth, which appears to be cottoning on to the immense financial potential in embracing a safe and regulated gambling landscape.

There are understandable concerns surrounding the wisdom of enabling gambling advertisers greater freedoms to push their service to potentially vulnerable customers. But we should trust leaders in the tech space to implement the correct safeguarding, in line with international advertising standards.

With more prominent access and a greater selection for the consumer, we should see a wider spread of betting apps downloaded rather than wealthy companies dominating the landscape. It makes for a fairer and more equitable race to the top for gambling companies worldwide.”

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Lewis Constable

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Reviewed by Editor-in-Chief:
Aleksandra Andrishak
Updated: 16.02.2024

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