Cites need to create suitable framework

Google halts expansion of real-money games on Play Store amid regulatory challenges

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Google announced on Friday that it has globally paused its experiment to allow new types of real-money games on the Play Store, citing challenges related to the lack of a central authority to approve such apps in some regions.

In January, Google stated that it would start permitting real-money apps more broadly in June, targeting India, Brazil, and Mexico. India has had a pilot program for fantasy sports and Rummy apps since 2022, and Mexico since November 2023.

Despite the pause, Google will continue to allow apps that were part of the pilot program to operate on the Play Store in India, according to Tech Crunch.

“Expanding our support of real-money gaming apps in markets without a central licensing framework has proven more difficult than expected and we need additional time to get it right for our developer partners and the safety of our users. Google Play remains deeply committed to helping all developers responsibly build new businesses and reach wider audiences across a variety of content types and genres,” Google said in a statement.

The company emphasized its commitment to supporting real-money games on the Play Store but acknowledged the need to develop a suitable framework. Google also noted that it is working on a new service fee structure for these games, requiring more time to finalize the details.

In addressing the Indian market, Google did not mention any central licensing framework specifying the types of games permitted in the country. This caution likely stems from India's regulatory complexities. Last year, India’s IT ministry paused the formation of a self-regulating body for the gaming industry, which might have established rules for real-money games.

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