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Google Plans to Extend Real Money Gaming Services in Key Emerging Markets

Google Play is expanding its Real Money Gaming (RMG) services in emerging markets like India, Mexico, and Brazil. This includes a broader range of games post-2024, updates in service fees, and adapting to local legal changes in gambling regulations.

Broadening RMG Support

Google recently shared with its app developer community that the Google Play store is set to broaden its support for Real Money Gaming (RMG) applications. This expansion will include new gaming types and operators beyond the scope of the current licensing framework.

In a blog post by Michael Johnson, Google’s Senior Director of International Market Compliance, titled “Expanding Real Money Gaming Horizons,” developers were informed of this significant change.

Pilot Program Success Leads to Expansion

This policy revision is a result of successful pilot programs and positive responses from users and developers, especially regarding RMG betting apps for games like Rummy and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). By 2024, Google Play aims to enhance its RMG framework to include developers in India, Mexico, and Brazil, with plans to further reach into other global markets.

Google’s statement emphasized: “This development opens up fresh business prospects globally while ensuring the continued safety of our users. It also benefits developers in India and Mexico who are part of our ongoing RMG pilot programs, allowing them to maintain their app presence on Google Play.”

Transition Phase in India and Mexico

In India, Google Play’s Pilot Program will offer a transition phase, keeping DFS and Rummy apps on the store until June 30, 2024, when the revised policy becomes effective. Post this date, developers can offer a wider range of RMG apps in India, conforming to local regulations and the new policy. The DFS pilot program in Mexico is set to end on the same date. Afterward, developers can offer a broader spectrum of RMG apps to the Mexican market, adhering to local laws.

Service Fee Model Update

Google also informed RMG developers about a potential update in the service fee model. This adjustment aims to “mirror the value offered by Google Play and uphold the Android and Play ecosystems.” The new service fee structure will be crafted in cooperation with developers, taking into account the distinct financial aspects of RMG games.

Legal Transformations in Target Markets

The targeted markets by Google are undergoing significant legal transformations in gambling and gaming. In 2024, Brazil is expected to introduce its national sports betting system. In parallel, India’s Supreme Court will reassess the Goods and Services Tax (GST) policies under the Modi government, while Mexico reviews its gambling regulations.

Google is urging developers active in or interested in the RMG sector to gear up for these upcoming changes, stating: “For those already engaged in RMG or planning to enter, this expansion should aid in your preparations for the new policy environment.”

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