Google Suspends Online Real-Money Gaming !!


Google Suspends Online Real-Money Gaming Pilot Project On Play Store Due To 'Lack Of Regulations'

Google initiated this pilot project in July 2023 and extended it in January across india, Brazil, and Mexico.However, it has now put a hold on that while citing the lack of regulations.

Google has suspended the ongoing pilot program which allowed fantasy sports and rummy games to be listed on the google Play store. Some relief was also provided to the companies that already have their games up on the platform as google has granted a 'grace period' for India.Though Google won't be expanding open access for more real-money games on the Play Store which it planned to do in January the apps that are already live will be allowed to stay up for the time being. One of the fundamental reasons behind this move of google was the lack of a 'central licensing framework'.

Google initiated this pilot project in July 2023 and extended it in January across india, Brazil, and Mexico. Google has now put a hold on that while giving the reason as the lack of regulations that define the legality of such games in respective countries as its reason.

A google spokesperson said, “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 has said that it is working on an in-house framework that would define permissible applications in the sector. The spokesperson said, “In the meantime, in india, we are extending the grace period of the pilot program so existing apps offering fantasy sports and rummy games in india can remain on Play Store."

A senior executive at google told the Mint that the company does intend to come up with a framework but, the discussions on the matter are ongoing at the moment and there is no specific timeline as such about when these apps would be made operational again.

Sword Hovering Over The Head Of indian Online Gaming Sector?

This move by google has been a huge blow to the online gaming sector in India. This became even worse as the said sector in india is still unsure whether they qualify as ‘games of skill’ or ‘games of chance’. Some lawsuits against a ban on online gaming titles across tamil Nadu and karnataka remain subjudice at the supreme Court.

This move of google was not the only bad news for the indian online gaming scene as the decision came on the heels of the Centre's plan to establish self-regulatory bodies (SRBs) to certify permissible apps failed to materialize.

Earlier there were some rumours doing rounds in the market that the Ministry of Electronics and Information technology would take charge of this as well but the discussion is still ongoing on the Central level. 

Several stakeholders of the online gaming industry have expressed disappointment over this news.

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