18 Sep

Google Play has Approved Daily Fantasy Sports Apps, but still no Mobile Gambling

Google Play has always maintained that real money gambling applications cannot be downloaded to Android devices in the United States through its service. Over the weekend, the application distributor apparently altered its opinion of what constitutes mobile gambling, deciding to allow Android users to download two Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) apps in the US.

Get Fanduel and DraftKings DFS apps on Google PlayAlthough there are quite a few DFS operators peddling their wares to Americans, the two most popular sites by far are FanDuel and DraftKings. Over the weekend, Google Play authorized both of these major DFS apps for download in the US.

As of now, Americans can download FanDuel and DraftKings from the Google Play Store on their Android-powered smartphones and tablets. I’ve personally downloaded both applications from Google Play to test them out, and each worked flawlessly on my Samsung 4S smartphone, as well as an older model Samsung Galaxy tablet (the Samsung G3 Lite).

Up until now, Americans who wanted to use either DFS service on their Android device were required to disable the security settings and download the application from a separate mobile site. Thus the addition of FanDuel and DraftKings—which each maintain a player base of millions of Americans—on Google Play should be greatly appreciated all across the country.

As for any other forms of mobile gambling, including the legalized online casinos and poker rooms in the states of Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, Google Play is not willing to relent on its current ‘no real money gambling apps’ stance.

Why DFS but not Mobile Casinos, Poker?

According to the current policy documentation on Google Play Store’s website:

“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.”

Daily Fantasy Sports was deemed legal in most US states because it is specifically excluded from prohibition by the UIGEA, which does restrict traditional forms of sports betting. DFS is technically considered a skill-based form of wagering because players can strategically select individual members of various teams, rather than selecting a predetermined group of players, and the action lasts only for one a day, or a few days at most (such as a week of NFL action, lasting Thursday through Monday).

But by that demarcation, shouldn’t DFS fall into Google Play’s definition of “games of skill that offers prizes of cash or other value”?

Technically, yes, it should, but since Google has decided to open its virtual doors to daily fantasy sports, it has many Americans wondering if other authorized forms of mobile gambling—again, we’ll refer back to the online poker/casino websites regulated in three states—will become available on the application download service for Android devices, sooner or later.

Caesars Interactive introduced the WSOP Mobile Poker app and Caesars Mobile Casino app back in 2014, as did several of their US-regulated competitors. The mobile gambling apps are compatible with both Apple iOS and Android powered smartphones and tablets, but for now, users have little choice but to visit the respective operator’s website and download the applications directly.