Google to start offering gambling apps in its Play store

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The platform will put plenty of restrictions in place to adhere to state rules

Android users who love to play the ponies and roll the dice but have been kept from going to racetracks and casinos because of the pandemic will soon be able to get their gambling fix. Google announced Thursday that it is allowing Americans access to betting and gambling apps through the Play Store, starting March 1.

While the overall idea may sound enticing, not everyone everywhere will be able to play the same game or make the same bet. Individual states have their own gambling rules and regulations, and Google has no option but to play along. Here’s a quick list of who can play what and where:

Online casino games: Permitted in Delaware, Nevada (poker only), New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Sports betting: Permitted in Colorado, the District of Columbia*, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana*, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon*, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia. (*governmental operators only)

Lotteries: State-run operators or affiliated contracted operators only in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Age restrictions in place

Google says all bets are off on apps that “enable or facilitate users’ ability to wager, stake, or participate using real money (including in-app items purchased with money) to obtain a prize of real-world monetary value.” Examples of those would be online casinos, sports betting, lotteries, and games that accept money and offer prizes of cash.

All apps offered have to be made available free to consumers and must toe the line in making sure minors can’t use the app. 

A complete list of the finer details of what is and isn’t allowed is available from Google’s Play store.

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