Google, in a blog post by Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy, Suzanne Frey, on 28 January, announced its first policy update of 2021. The update was released to clarify and simplify play store policies regarding gaming-related loyalty programs and features. The new program policy, which will go live on 1 March 2021, will allow real-money gambling apps and related features in the countries permitted subject to certain terms and conditions. India is not on the list of countries where real-money gambling will be available.

The types of online gambling products that Google allows are online casino games, lotteries, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports. The Google Play store is available in 190 countries worldwide, and over two billion people visit it monthly to download apps and more.

“The update provides more clarity on policy requirements for loyalty program disclosures and features. It is designed to safeguard users and optimize the developer experience. For example, the policy provides updated guidance on the use of features such as a spin-the-wheel experience, a guessing game, or a 1:1 points redemption to drive loyalty,” added Frey.“App developers in India are actively building uniquely Indian features and services. One example is mini-games, quizzes, and other gamification techniques to delight users and converts them into loyal customers. These experiences are often launched during important festivals and sporting events, and getting it right within the specific time window is critically important. This is one of the things we discussed when we spoke to several startup CEOs in India and worldwide in the past few months. And, as part of the very first policy update of 2021, we are clarifying and simplifying the policies around loyalty programs and features,” stated Frey in the blog post.

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