Spring Has Sprung: The First Sportsbooks And Casinos Arrive At The Google Play Store, But Beware of Imposters

Posted By Katie Kohler on March 9, 2021 - Last Updated on March 11, 2021

It’s “play” time for Pennsylvania sportsbook apps and online casinos at the Google Play Store.

As of March 1, Google updated its policies to allow gambling apps onto the Google Play Store. Users can now find:

DraftKings sportsbook and online casino on March 9th announced its arrival at the Google Play Store. One day later, FanDuel sportsbook and online casino launched on the Google Play Store.

How to get sports betting and casino apps in the Google Store

There are 13 online sportsbooks and 12 online casinos available in Pennsylvania. However, as of March 9, only DraftKings is available in the Google Play Store. PlayPennsylvania will monitor and update as more are added.

To download DraftKings Casino or Sportsbook from the Google Play Store:

  • Go to the Google Play Store
  • Type DraftKings Casino and Sportsbook
  • Click Install

To download the FanDuel sportsbook and casino from the Google Play Store

  • Go to the Google Play Store
  • Type FanDuel Sportsbook and Casino
  • Click Install

Helpful hint: Make sure you aren’t clicking on “FanDuel Fantasy or DraftKings Fantasy” when you are want the sportsbook/casino.

Of course, you don’t have to download the apps from Google Play. Currently, users who are 21+ and physically located in PA can download and play via:

  • iOS
  • Desktop
  • Android, whose users access the apps via direct download from the operator’s website

This major change helps operators reach a wider audience and also makes the process more streamlined for users.

DraftKings confirmed the change to Online Poker Report in a statement:

“As sports betting and iGaming continues to expand across the United States, we are excited that DraftKings Sportsbook and Casino apps will soon be available to download for Android users via Google Play.”

Beware of bad actors

Android users eager to install sports betting and iGaming apps should be happy they can now download directly from the Google Play Store. However, proceed with caution because there are already imposters. Play Michigan reported  that two different apps in the store claiming to be the BetMGM Sportsbook app are actually downloads of the offshore sportsbook MyBookie’s app. MyBookie is an offshore sportsbooks that accept American bettors, but it is not legally permitted.

Also, they aren’t the only “poser.”

The apps pictured above appear as one of the first results for Fox Bet and FanDuel. But they are definitely not. The easiest way to spot an imposter is to check the developer’s name (the name in green below the app title) before downloading. For example, a legit BetMGM app will list MGM as its developer.

STRICT REQUIREMENT FOR GAMBLING APPS

To get a place in the Google Play store, a developer must have a valid gambling license for each country or state where the app is offered. Also, developers in the 15 countries new to the Google Play store have a list of conditions to meet, and a number of them deal with responsible gaming.

Eligible apps must meet the following requirements:

  • Developer must successfully complete the application process in order to distribute the app on Google Play.
  • App must comply with all applicable laws and industry standards for each country.
  • Developer must have a valid gambling license for each country or state/territory.
  • Developer must not offer a type of gambling product that exceeds the scope of its gambling license.
  • App must prevent underage users from using it.
  • App must prevent access and use from countries, states/territories or geographic areas not covered by the developer-provided gambling license.
  • The app must NOT be purchasable as a paid app on Google Play, nor use Google Play In-app Billing.
  • Free to download and install from the store.
  • Rated AO (Adult Only) or IARC equivalent.
  • Clearly display information about responsible gambling.

What it means for users and operators

For Android users, it’s a small but welcome upgrade. Most of the early reviews in the Google Play Store DraftKings are positive and some say, “I was waiting for this app on Android” and “This has been the most amazing thing that has ever happened!”

The arrival at the Google Play Store is a big deal for operators.

Alex Weldon from Online Poker Report says:

“The lifetime value of an online casino customer is, for many companies, upwards of $1000. However, the cost per acquisition – consisting of ads and marketing, affiliate fees and bonuses to the user – is often 30% to 50% of that, i.e. many hundreds of dollars. To lose even a small percentage of potential signups due to difficulties installing the app is therefore immensely costly. Only the companies themselves have access to the relative customer conversion rates for iOS and Android. However, it’s probably safe to assume that this has been a significant thorn in the industry’s side.”

In January, Pennsylvania online casinos experienced a record-breaking month with more than $80.4 million in revenue. It beat the previous high ($71.6 million) set in December 2020. In January, iGaming slot revenue was $51 million, an eye-popping  609%. year-over-year increase. Online table game games revenue hit $26.7 million, 479% YoY leap.

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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