Google will start a pilot test to allow fantasy sports in the Play Store in India
Fantasy sports apps such as Dream11 and MPL are really popular in India. Similarly, a lot of people in the country play rummy games. But Google doesn’t allow these apps in the Play Store. So, users have to download the APK from official websites to use these apps. Now Google has decided to run a one-year pilot starting September 28 to permit these apps on Play Store in India.
The company has added a dedicated page asking app developers to submit a request to be a part of the Pilot Program. Google will review the application to see if the app is eligible to participate in the Pilot Program. The eligibility criteria also ask apps not to use Google play billing. These apps will only be accessible to people above 18 years of age.
Play Store pilot program also asks developers to make a disclaimer section detailing risks in playing the game, prizes at stake, and valid age to use the app.
Google has a long history of keeping a distance from fantasy apps and rummy apps where users bid real money to earn or lose. The company believed that these apps are complex for most users, so they end up losing money. Google also removed the Paytm app from the Play Store in 2020 when the app added a fantasy sports section.
The fantasy sports market is really big in India. Dream11 began as a cricket fantasy app and later added several other sports. Dream11 is valued at over $8 Billion. MPL is a similar fantasy sports platform valued at $2 Billion. Games24x7 which runs several rummy apps is valued at $2.5 Billion. These games are classified as skill games, so they are legal in the country.
Although Google has kept a distance from these apps, Apple allows these apps on Apple App Store in India.