Fantasy sports industry representing biggies like Dream11, Mobile premier league, Games24x7 and many others have been for years lobbying around Google to allow their apps on Play Store.
Google has for many years maintained a policy that doesn’t allow fantasy sports and gambling apps to be listed on Playstore as it believed that many users don’t understand the complexity of such games and end up loosing a lot of money.
Fantasy sports and rummy games are legal in India, but some states prohibit them. In a verdict last year, India’s Supreme Court ruled that fantasy sports were not gambling, but “games of skill.” Hence, the format is “legal,” the ruling said.
Google finally announced on their Google Play support page that starting September 28, 2022, Play will begin a limited-time pilot allowing for the distribution of DFS and Rummy apps to users in India by developers incorporated in India (the “Pilot Program”). Applicants that successfully complete the application process and are accepted to participate in the Pilot Program will be eligible to distribute their apps on Google Play for the duration of the Pilot Program to users in India.
Google defines Daily Fantasy Sports and Rummy games as…
Daily Fantasy Sports or “DFS” are games in which contestants use their knowledge of athletic events and athletes to select or manage rosters of simulated athletes whose performance directly corresponds with the actual performance of human athletes on sports teams or in sports events. The outcome of the game depends on how the performances of participants’ fantasy roster choices compare to the performance of others’ roster choices.
Rummy or “Online Rummy Games” are a set of card games available in which a player must to strategize, memorize the fall of cards, and arrange valid card sets and/or sequences by picking and discarding cards from a closed deck and an open deck, offered in either 10, 13, 21, 27 card formats, and in accordance with the rules followed for the offline versions of the same formats conventionally played in India.
Apps looking to participate in the pilot program, amongst other requirements, need to ensure that they only allow users above the legal age of 18years, make sure that the users are verified, with a government issued address proof, to be residing in the states which do allow such games and collect PAN card and bank account details for taxing purposes. If a company offering the game follows these requirements, they can apply to participate in the pilot program by filling up the Support Form.