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Google said today that it globally paused its experiment that aimed to allow new kinds of real-money games on the Play Store, citing the challenges that come with the lack of a central authority to approve such apps in some regions.

In January, the company said it would start allowing real-money apps widely in June in India, Brazil and Mexico. Notably, India has had a pilot program for fantasy sports and Rummy apps since 2022 and in Mexico since November 2023.

The company said it would still allow the apps that were part of the pilot program to continue operating on the Play Store in India.

“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 Play remains deeply committed to helping all developers responsibly build new businesses and reach wider audiences across a variety of content types and genres,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

The company added that it wants to support real-money games on the Play Store, but is trying to figure out a suitable framework for that. Google also said that it is still working on a new service fee structure for these kinds of games and will need more time to finalize the details.

Google specifically addressed the Indian market without citing any central licensing framework that identifies what kind of games are allowed in the country. The company likely doesn’t want to tread the treacherous waters of regulation. Plus, last year, India’s IT ministry paused the formation of a self-regulating body for the gaming industry that might have defined rules about real-money games.



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