Sunday , October 22 2017

Gambling apps on Android – What’s the deal?

Gambling Apps
Australians gamble nearly $20 billion every year – in other words we like a bet. We’ve all seen the advertisements on TV from the likes of TAB, Sportsbet, Tom Waterhouse and co, advertising easy online gambling, but one thing that isn’t easy is getting the Android app for your gambling site of your choice on your phone.

As you can see from the title image, there’s a proliferation of advertising that gambling sites have Android apps, as well as iOS apps available. But what you’ll also see is that while the apps are advertised as available on the Apple App Store, they don’t advertise them as available on Google Play.

Why?

There’s a reason why, and it’s pretty simple: Google doesn’t want gambling apps on Google Play. The decision to not allow gambling apps is outlined in the Google Play Developer Program Policies

Gambling: We don’t allow content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries, or games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other value.

Apple (and iOS) on the other hand don’t have an issue with gambling apps, providing that the proper licensing, permissions and restrictions are in place. According to the App Store Review Guidelines

20.5 Apps that offer real money gaming (e.g. sports betting, poker, casino games, horse racing) or lotteries must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store

But I still want to install it!

All the Australian gambling sites with an Android app we checked had a decent how-to guide on installing their app. As you’d expect this involves allowing installs from unknown sources – a somewhat risky prospect. Apps installed from outside of Google Play are outside of the quality control checks Google initially subjects apps to when developers submit them to Google Play, but they can be scanned by Google if you take the right precautions.

Google offers an option to verify apps installed from outside of Google Play. Google has a support page on installing apps outside of Google Play which recommends you turn on the ability to verify apps. To turn app verification on, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Settings app on your device.
  2. Touch Security.
  3. Turn “Scan device for security threats” on or off. When this setting is on, it regularly checks your device activity and prevents or warns about potential harm.

Android will then verify apps at installation, as well as periodically scanning for potentially harmful apps. If Google finds an issue it will notify you and either:

  • Recommend that you immediately uninstall the app
  • Remove an app that is known to be unsafe from your device

Ready to go – but be careful

So, there’s gambling apps out there, you can install them, but be careful.

Remember Ausdroid supports responsible gambling. If you need help perhaps contact Lifeline or a gambling support service – they’re easily found via Google or White Pages.

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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9 Comments on "Gambling apps on Android – What’s the deal?"

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Phill Edwards
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Phill Edwards

There’s no option to “Scan device for security threats” on my LG G2. I see “Verify apps”. Is that the same thing?

MrJayTee74
Valued Guest
MrJayTee74

To the walled garden and Google is supposed to be open crowd. You can still sideload the app. Last time I checked that wasn’t a thing you could do on an iDevice for an app they declined to certify

MrJayTee74
Valued Guest
MrJayTee74

Don’t get me wrong, it sucks that adults cannot make these choices for themselves but I give Google a bonus humanitarian point for deciding not to allow gambling apps.

sen
Valued Guest

also: Read the fine print.
Many of these Apps / gambling sites don’t allow you to withdraw your winnings… You have to keep using them over and over until you have none left or are forced to put more in to keep going.

Benjamin Dobell
Valued Guest
Benjamin Dobell

I’d just guess Google can’t be bothered with the independent infrastructure and business entities necessary to ensure they’re not breaking U.S. law (where online gambling is illegal).

howdy
Valued Guest
howdy

I guarantee this is it since google pretty poor when it comes to supporting anyone outside of america.

mrjayviper
Valued Guest
mrjayviper

and they say Apple’s ecosystem is a “walled garden”…

Google’s deciding what’s better for its users

Ash
Valued Guest

No its not, Google still allows you to sideload any app you want as long as you have the APK and you are willing to accept the risks associated with it. They just dont want to be responsible for anyone betting their life away through their ecosystem and being dragged to court because some dumb arse doesnt know the meaning of “responsibility”.

WillDeasy
Valued Guest
WillDeasy

Considering Gambling is not illegal in Australia and Apple allow it, it’s ridiculous “open” Google doesnt.

wpDiscuz

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