fantasy sports: Google to provide ‘grace period’ for existing fantasy sports, rummy apps while SRB implementation takes off


Search engine major Google on Wednesday said it is providing a ‘grace period’ to existing pilot apps under the Google Play Pilot Program for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Rummy apps to remain on Google Play until January 15, 2024, while the planned implementation of the Self-Regulatory Bodies (SRB) framework for verification of permissible online real-money games in India is awaited.

Last year, Google Play launched a pilot program enabling the distribution of DFS and rummy apps to users in India. The pilot is set to end on September 28 and the company made it clear that no new apps will be accepted in the pilot program after the scheduled end date.

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“We intend to enable distribution on Google Play for all Self Regulatory Bodies (SRB) verified online real money games that comply with our policies,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson added that the company was closely tracking all developments in this regard to determine the next steps and timelines.

Under the online gaming rules, all online games would be determined as permissible or not by SRBs.

The industry can have one or multiple SRBs, as per the rules. Gaming companies would have to be registered under one of the SRBs to offer products/services in India.

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ET reported on September 1 that the All-India Gaming Regulator (AIGR) Foundation is the fourth organisation that is in the process of filing an application with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to be an online gaming SRB. The other organisations that have approached MeitY include the Bharat Online Gaming Association (backed by AIGF), the Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA) as well as another one that is backed by the E-Gaming Federation (EGF) and the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS).

Approval of any entity to be designated as an SRB will be done by the Ministry as per the criteria given in the rules. The final decision on the number of the SRBs and the board of directors too lies with MeitY.

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