- US Online Poker
- US Online Casinos
- US Online Sports Betting
Legal and licensed gambling apps have been allowed in Google’s Play Store since Mar. 1. However, it took about a week for the first one to make its appearance.
There are nearly 30 online casino apps available in the US, though many of these are specific to certain states. All have mobile apps available, usually including both Android and iOS versions. Until now, however, Android users had to download their apps directly from the operator’s website, while iOS users could find them in the App Store.
That’s had consequences for operators. Manually downloading apps requires users to change their security settings, which some may find scary.
Others may not even be aware that direct download is an option: “I was waiting for this app on Android,” reads one early Play Store review for DraftKings.
Mobile play represents a significant fraction of all real money online casino activity. Furthermore, the US mobile market is almost evenly split between Android and iOS. Making the Android apps more accessible may give operators a noticeable boost in customer acquisition.
DraftKings may have the first app in the Play Store, but you can be sure that its competitors are attempting to follow suit as quickly as possible.
The reason there weren’t dozens of apps available on day one presumably has to do with Google’s approval process. It only announced the policy change a little over a month before implementing it. Operators therefore haven’t had a lot of time to prepare.
In order for a gambling app to be allowed in the Play Store, it must:
Of course, all legal gambling apps should meet all those criteria to begin with. However, it means more things for Google’s team to verify before authorizing such apps.
For a normal, non-gambling app, it typically takes 3 to 6 business days for an app to go live on the Play Store once submitted. Add another couple of days due to the additional requirements, and DraftKings’ appearance is right on schedule.
It shouldn’t be surprising that DraftKings is the first to go live. It’s the nature of the industry that bigger companies often tend to navigate such processes more quickly.
DraftKings is indeed very big. Determining an overall market leader is tricky for a few reasons, mainly that New Jersey and Pennsylvania don’t break down online gambling revenue by operator, only by licensee.
However, it is at least in a three-way battle for the top spot with BetMGM and long-time rival FanDuel. In PA, it operates on the number one license, held by Penn National. In NJ, it is partnered with Resorts, which holds the number three spot.
It was also the first site to launch in West Virginia last summer. This makes it, along with BetMGM, one of the only two operators active in every iGaming state. Those same two also debuted in the top two spots in Michigan’s new market, though with only ten days worth of revenue data available so far, that could quickly change.
However one evaluates DraftKings’ current position in that race, one thing is clear. Being quick out of the gates on the Play Store can only help it in its quest for market dominance.