June 26, 2024 3 min read

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AIGF Criticizes Google’s Updated PlayStore Policies

The tech giant’s decision could have significant consequences for smaller developers and distributors and could hurt the sector’s long-term competitiveness

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has sharply criticized Google’s recent decision to halt the expansion of real-money gaming (RMG) apps on its Play Store. AIGF CEO Roland Landers condemned the move as arbitrary and anti-competitive, reinforcing the urgent for updated legislation in India to ensure fair business practices.

Google’s Move Affects Indian Businesses

Landers expressed his stance on this topic in an official statement, emphasizing the detrimental impact of Google’s decision on smaller developers and distributors within the pay-to-play gaming sector. Landers further highlighted AIGF’s commitment to a fair and open market, where consumer choice determines the success of companies rather than decisions made by private entities.

AIGF, a prominent advocate for fair gaming regulations, has long campaigned for updated legislation regarding anti-competitive practices by major tech companies. Landers lambasted Google’s seemingly arbitrary practices. He alleged that the tech giant was intentionally gatekeeping gaming apps and picking market winners, taking advantage of its dominant market position.

We are highly disappointed by Google’s arbitrary and anti-competitive decision, primarily affecting pay-to-play games’ smaller developers and distributors.

Roland Landers, AIGF CEO

Landers warned that such decisions by private entities, which disregard Indian law and limit user choice, were alarming. He noted that the Google Play Store held an overwhelming 90% monopoly over the app distribution market, exuding tremendous control over Indian developers. According to Landers, insufficient legislative safeguards could lead to significant market distortion.

The AIGF Aims to Reach an Equitable Solution

Reflecting on Google’s earlier pilot program, which allowed certain pay-to-play skill games on the Play Store, Landers noted AIGF’s initial cautious optimism. He drew attention to the disconnect between Google and developers, noting that the AIGF was initially concerned regarding the pilot’s limitations. The organization was under the impression that the Play Store would eventually allow all pay-to-play skill games.

Landers acknowledged Google’s engagement with the gaming industry over the past year and earlier commitment to onboard all skill-based pay-to-play games. The AIGF intends to continue its dialogue with Google, hoping for a swift resolution and an updated inclusive policy to democratize gaming in India, aiding smaller developers and distributors.

We will continue to engage with Google and hope they will work with us to find a quick solution, soon implement the policy, and create a level playing field.

Roland Landers, AIGF CEO

The AIGF also urged Indian lawmakers to swiftly implement ex-ante competition regulation and finalize the country’s Digital Competition Bill. The organization’s stance highlights the ongoing struggle between tech giants and regulatory bodies over fair market practices, especially in rapidly growing and vastly profitable sectors like online gaming.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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