Google To Relax Gambling App Rules

Tia Winter | 25 June 2019

Presently, Google offers gambling apps only in specific regions, but a recent announcement suggests that the mega-corporation is aiming to spread its reach to other parts of the world. Plus, Google has stated that going forward; any gambling software created for its platform will not be restricted by so called ‘native only’ rules.

The announcement seems to come as a direct response to recent guidelines released by Apple. The guidelines expressed that any operator creating gambling software for the Apple platform would soon be limited to the iOS operating system. This is referred to as a ‘native only’ restriction. The move is being cited as an unnecessary burden to developers, and may well result in a major loss for any company that is unable to comply.

Native-Only Has Benefits

There are however clear reasons for Apple enforcing iOS-only guidelines, as opposed to letting developers use the much more flexible HTML5 coding language. The first is that software developed specifically for iOS runs faster and smoother, given that the coding is written to integrate directly with the smartphone hardware. The result is much higher quality software that runs without faults.

The second reason is that HTML5 lacks security measures on multiple fronts. Recently, a number of apps on the iStore had to be scrapped, given that they provided indirect access to pornography and other forbidden content. This was possible only due to the flimsy nature of HTML5 coding. Hence it seems justifiable that Apple handed over a deadline of September 3rd for all gambling related apps, including mobile sports betting and casino games, to make the switch to iOS. However companies not able to make the switch in time will effectively be banned from the platform.

Google To Crack Down On Loot Boxes

But as one mega-corporation cracks down on coding security, the other is cracking down on highly controversial loot boxes. Google has expressed its intentions on enforcing stricter regulations on loot boxes. Games such as the popular Fortnite allow for real money purchases for randomised in-game rewards. This business model has come under massive scrutiny from the public and regulation authorities around the world, given that it seems to be aimed at children.

Google has announced that they will soon require operators on their platform to disclose the odds of loot boxes, and likewise indicate an intended age demographic for their products. A deadline has been set for September 1st in this regard. So, while they are loosening up on straightforward gambling apps, they are clamping down on anything that could be considered a grey area.