Google Play Store welcomes first gambling apps

Last month we reported on Google’s decision to allow gambling apps into its Play Store, albeit with some tight restrictions and only within a few countries. Well, the tech giant has made good on its promise and players in selected countries can already access some gambling apps.

The story so far

Up until recently, mobile players running Android devices were not exactly spoilt for choice when it came to mobile play. Certainly, most casinos offer a mobile-compatible website, accessible through the average mobile browser. However, players wishing to download the gambling apps that their iOS-using friends were enjoying were plum out of luck.

Downloading a casino app to an Android phone was fraught with security risks because the safest way to download such an app – the Play Store – would not allow gambling apps. So players had to tinker with their device’s security settings and put their phone or tablet at risk of malicious intrusions.

But last month, Google gave us the good news – players in some countries would be able to download gambling apps through the Play Store. Sure, that list of countries was short (so far, it’s just the UK, Ireland and France) but really, players everywhere were very pleased.

Safer and more secure

Part of the reason Google has taken this long to introduce such apps to the Play Store, long after the iOS App Store had embraced the idea, was because of security. Google has gone to great length to ensure that all applications available through the Store are safe and secure. With gambling apps, it is even more important to ensure that players’ data is protected and only being used in the way it was intended.

This should be comforting to the security-conscious. This stringent screening means that players can enjoy their casino games with peace of mind and if and when this service is eventually rolled to more countries, those players will benefit from that screening too.

“A huge opportunity for operators”

Gambling operators are over the moon about the opportunity to bring their products to the mobile market in this way. Operators like Sky Betting and Gaming, 888, Ladbrokes and Kindred have already had their app products approved and are enthusiastic about expanding their reach.

Robert Smith, the head of mobile and new channels at Kindred, the operator behind Unibet casino, said, “We know our players want apps and this give us a much easier distribution method to reach those players.”

Smith shared a significant bit of data – there are 10 times more players using iOS gambling apps than there are players playing via mobile web on Android. That’s a big gap and operators can now look at closing that.