Exclusive: Google starts listing rummy apps on Play Store for a year long pilot, developers say the application process is simple

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Google’s pilot of allowing rummy and fantasy sports on Playstore has started this week with the rummy apps from operators Rein Games, Ability Games, etc., getting listed on the Playstore. On September 8, we first reported about the pilot project by Google. 

This is a crucial event for the Indian real money gaming sector as till now real money gaming apps were only available for side-loading using an APK file and are out of Google’s Play Store, a default place users reach to install an application.  “In order to explore possible updates to the other real-money games, contests and tournament apps policy, Google Play is conducting limited-time tests,” the company stated earlier this month. 

From the early applicants we are hearing that the application process for pilot project is smooth provided developers keep in mind all the guidelines Google had published on the application process.

Rein Games founder Vaibhav Gupta says they considered the Google guidelines as sacrosanct and made sure no deviations in their application. He says Google even did a due diligence on the company before asking to upload the build into the developer console. According to Gupta, the Play Store version of their app has no custom game modes as they believed Google may consider it as non-standard rummy formats.

For Ability Games founder Suraj Chokhani, the process was simple but they had to make a few tweaks post partial approval. He says the developer team must be kept ready to implement any changes that Google asks to implement before final approval.

Both rummy and fantasy sports have repeatedly been ruled as skill-based games by the Indian Courts. While some states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have also tried banning rummy and fantasy games, these bans have been overturned by the respective High Courts. A challenge to the Madras and Karnataka High Court decisions by the respective governments before the Supreme Court is currently pending for arguments. The pilot limited only to rummy and fantasy sports is challenged before the Delhi High Court by social gaming platform WinZO Games as discriminatory.