Gambling apps on Android – What’s the deal?

Australians gamble nearly $20 billion every year – inother words we like a bet. We’ve all seen the advertisements on TV from the likes of TAB, Sportsbet, Tom Waterhouse and co, advertising easy onlinegambling, but one thing that isn’t easy is getting theAndroid app for your gambling site of your choice on your phone.

As you can see from the title image, there’s a proliferation of advertising that gambling sites have Androidapps, as well as iOS apps available. But what you’ll also see is that while the apps are advertised as available on the Apple App Store, they don’t advertise them as available onGoogle Play.


There’s a reason why, and it’s pretty simple: Google doesn’t want gambling apps on Google Play. The decision to not allow gambling apps is outlined in the Google Play Developer Program Policies

Gambling:We don’t allow content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries, or games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other value.

Apple (and iOS) on the other hand don’t have an issue with gambling apps, providing that the proper licensing, permissions and restrictions are in place. According to the App Store Review Guidelines

20.5Apps that offer real money gaming (e.g. sports betting, poker, casino games, horse racing) or lotteries must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store

But I still want to install it!

All the Australian gambling sites with an Android app we checked had a decent how-to guide on installing their app. As you’d expect this involves allowing installs from unknown sources – a somewhat risky prospect. Apps installed from outside of Google Play are outside of the quality control checks Google initially subjects apps to when developers submit them to Google Play, but they can be scanned by Google if you take the right precautions.

Google offers an option to verify apps installed from outside of Google Play. Google has a support page on installing apps outside of Google Play which recommends you turn on the ability to verify apps. To turn app verification on, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Settings app on your device.
  2. Touch Security.
  3. Turn “Scan device for security threats” on or off. When this setting is on, it regularly checks your device activity and prevents or warns about potential harm.

Android will then verify apps at installation, as well as periodically scanning for potentially harmful apps. If Google finds an issue it will notify you and either:

  • Recommend that you immediately uninstall the app
  • Remove an app that is known to be unsafe from your device

Ready to go – but be careful

So, there’s gambling apps out there, you can install them, but be careful.

Remember Ausdroid supports responsible gambling. If you need help perhaps contact Lifeline or a gambling support service – they’re easily found via Google or White Pages.