UK Betting Apps Could Boom Thanks to New Access to Google Play

Gambling apps and Google Play are set to become an item in August and that means greater distribution for iGaming operators across the UK.

Betting apps Google Play.

Betting sites can now reach more than 20 million customers in the UK courtesy of Google Play. (Image: android.com

According to a piece by Degree 53, an app development company that works with the likes of Bet Fred, Google has announced that will soon lift its ban on gambling content.

Under Google’s current set of guidelines, any apps that facilitate gambling, either directly or indirectly, are restricted.

“We don’t allow content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting, lotteries, or games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other value,” reads the company’s official policy.

A New Era for UK Betting Apps

However, with technology improving and the gambling market now worth an estimated £36 billion, it seems the industry is now too big to ignore.

In a statement sent out to developers, Google officials explained that the UK would be among the first countries to have the current restrictions abolished.

“Beginning of August 2017, Google will accept applications for the distribution of gambling apps within the Play store in the United Kingdom, France and the Republic of Ireland,” reads Google’s message as reported by Degree 53.

When this finally happens, it could prove hugely lucrative for iGaming operators in the UK. Up until now, betting companies have had to use their own distribution channels or third-party networks to get their apps to the masses. 

Aside from being costly, the system has been fairly inefficient in comparison to iOS store. With Apple not imposing the same restrictions on gambling content, operators have been able to invest more into their iPhone/iPad apps as they know players will have easy access to them via the iOS store.   

Huge New Market for Operators

The same hasn’t been true for Android betting apps and the lack of official distribution through Google Play has made it difficult for customers to take full advantage of mobile betting.

This, however, will change in August and that will mean millions of potential new customers for the UK’s betting sites.

According to Statista, Google’s Android operating system had 46.94 percent market share in the UK in May 2017. Although this slightly lower than the 52.08 percent it enjoyed in September 2016, it’s still a sizeable portion of the 48 million smartphone users in the UK.  

With access to Google Play, developers and betting companies will now be able to target those who aren’t familiar with the gambling industry. Those with existing links to casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks have typically been the only people to seek out and download mobile betting apps in the past.

Now, however, operators can invest more into their Android products and make them visible to casual consumers through Google Play. This will not only benefit individual operators, but the UK betting industry as a whole in the long run.

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