Real money games to be allowed on Play Store after SRB formation as Google’s pilot plan nears end

Published on:

Google Play Store’s pilot programme is set to end soon. As a result, daily fantasy sports and rummy apps under real-money gaming category will be allowed on Play Store only after formation of Self Regulatory Body (SRB).

Notably, the year-long pilot program was started in September 2022. In the program, the government approved fantasy sports and rummy apps to be allowed on Play Store. However, more apps are not being considered in the pilot program.

It is worth noting that Google will provide a grace period till January 15, 2024 for existing app to be a part of the existing programme.

The country is inching closer towards creating a proper framework for regulating online gaming. In the same vein, Google has also announced its decision to only allow SRB-verified RMG apps.

“We intend to enable distribution on Google Play for all Self Regulatory Bodies (SRB) verified online real money games that comply with our policies. We are closely tracking all developments in this regard to determine next steps and timelines,” the company said to Moneycontrol in a statement.

However, one thing to note is that real money gaming apps that decide to list themselves on Google Play Store will have to pay 30% platform fees. With the changes in GST rate combine, companies that choose to list their apps on play store may see even lower profit margins at the cost of authenticity tag.

MeitY receives four applications for SRBs

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in their new amendments announced that the government will be moving towards self-regulation. As of now, MeitY has received four applications for SRB.

These SRBs will overlook the online gaming sector as well as allotting permissible real money games. The applicants include All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), E-Gaming Federation (EGF) along with Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA). Most recently, All-India Gaming Regulator (AIGR) Foundation also filed an application for an SRB.

MeitY will reportedly notify three SRBs to regulate the gaming sector. However, if deemed fit, MeitY may also increase the number of SRBs to manage the workload.