Google To Test Pilot Trial Allowing Fantasy Sports And Rummy Apps In India

Google plans to conduct a pilot project to allow daily fantasy sports apps and rummy games on Play Store in India, responding to a request from the local community that has long expressed frustration with the Android maker for not allowing the services on its store in the second largest marketplace in the world which it allows in many parts of the world.

Google said it will start a one-year pilot project from September 28 to allow the aforementioned apps on Play Store in India. Indian companies that want to participate in the pilot will need to submit an application form, the company said on a support page.

The company requirement also asks these apps not to use Google Play billing for in-app purchases. It’s unclear whether the company allows fantasy apps to use alternative payment methods for this. We asked Google for more details, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

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“We’re constantly exploring ways for local developers to build successful businesses and provide engaging experiences on Google Play. Through this pilot program, we are taking a measured approach that will help us bring learnings together and maintain an enjoyable and safe experience for our users,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement.

The American giant has maintained a strict policy against daily fantasy sports apps for years, in part because it believed that many new internet users struggled to understand the complexity of such programs and lost money. Google has maintained such a hard line against such apps that it infamously removed the popular Paytm app from its Play Store for several hours because the Indian fintech start-up was promoting what Google considered a game in the world. ‘application.

Apps that wish to participate in the pilot program will need to ensure that they only serve users aged 18 or older, that they have provided their address to ensure that their local states allow daily fantasy sports, as well as enter their bank details and PAN for tax purposes.

The Play Store driver for fantasy apps requires developers to make detailed disclaimers about the valid age to use the app, gambling risks, and in-game prizes. Also, these apps cannot be an aggregator and connect to other fancy real money services.

Despite Google’s stance on fantasy sports, dozens of startups have built impressive big businesses in the country. Dream11, valued at over $8 billion, and MPL, valued at over $2 billion, serve tens of millions of users in India through their Android Progressive Web Apps and Android apps that users have to install manually.

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