The online gambling industry in the United States is already successful, with plenty of operators offering services around the nation. In various states, there are options for desktop gaming as well as mobile play via applications. In the past, gambling apps were not offered via the Google Play Store which left operators with a smaller reach than other apps. As of March 1, the policies of Google were updated and now real money casino apps, as well as lottery, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports, are allowed.
Will this change affect the online gambling industry in the US in a broad manner or have little effect? Many industry analysts feel that the option to offer an app via the Google Play Store will reach more users, making it easier to drive in new traffic.
The Google Play Store Policy Changes
The changes to the Google Play Store policies were announced just about a month ago. It was surprising for operators to see that they would soon be able to offer gambling apps in the store. With this new change, there are still restrictions in place. Any apps offered must be free to download. They must also be flagged as an Adults Only app.
The apps will not appear in a store in a state where they are not legal. So, operators who offer services in New Jersey will appear to players in the state but not in others, like Alabama or Utah, where online gambling is illegal.
This new change is a welcome one by operators and players. Android users have been able to access online casino sites since launching in various states, but the download process was involved. Apps were offered via gaming websites and to download, players had to make changes in the settings and enable downloads.
The app always gave a warning after ‘unknown sources’ were enabled, telling players about the dangers of trusting this type of app. This of course could lead to players not wanting to continue with the install, even though the operator is a safe and trusted one.
While Google did not allow such apps, Apple did. This created an issue as well because most online gambling apps offer services in HTML5 format because the development process for cross-platforms is simple. However, Apple has forbidden HTML5 use for any option that includes financial transactions.
So, developers must create apps that are native to iOS, which means one more step to add it to the Apple Store. Operators usually launch with Android first and then move on to Apple due to this issue.
Will Customer Acquisition Increase?
It is expected that the total number of customer acquisitions for gaming operators will increase. Players who were hesitant before to download a Google app will now be more willing to do so since it is located in the Play Store.
The ease of download, as well as promotional opportunities now within the Google Play Store, should help operators to add more traffic to their sites. Mobile gaming is the number one choice among players and this simple change, makes it much easier for casinos to offer services.