Google indefinitely defers experiment to increase RMG apps on Play Store

Google. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

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IBNS-CMEDIA: Tech giant Google on Friday announced it is pausing its experiment to increase the number of real-money gaming (RMG) apps on its Play Store in countries without a central licensing framework, media reported.

In January, Google had stated that it would allow more RMG apps, including those not under a licensing framework, on its Play Store in India, Mexico, and Brazil, and would also charge a service fee from these apps, reported Business Standard.

The “expanded RMG support” was scheduled to begin on July 1 for developers in these countries, with plans to extend the service to more countries later, the report said.

The company emphasised its deep commitment to supporting all developers to responsibly build new businesses and access wider audiences across a variety of content types and genres.

This decision comes as Indian RMG companies face a 28 percent blanket tax on online gaming.

Previously, skill gaming platforms paid an 18 percent GST on platform fees, known as gross gaming revenue.

The new rules, effective October 1, 2023, do not differentiate between games of skill and games of chance.

In 2022, Google launched a pilot program to distribute daily fantasy sports and rummy apps to users in India, which ended on September 28, 2023.

However, Google provided a grace period for these pilot apps to remain on Google Play until January 15, 2024, which was then extended to June 30, 2024, and now has been deferred indefinitely.