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Android App Update Rejected – Issue: Violation of Gambling policy [SOLVED]

Is your app rejected after a recent update on Google Play, find out how to fix this issue.

After months of wasting time figuring out what was the issue I come to following conclusion:

Google has stopped accepting any app which offers cash prizes, cash rewards, gifts or regards of any kind which can be converted into cash or equivalent.

It’s just their policy and you can’t argue with them that a quiz or any similar app offering cash rewards is not a gambling app.

Google Play Android Developer Support will reject your app with following:

Publishing status: Rejected
Your app has been rejected and wasn’t published due to a policy violation. If you submitted an update, the previous version of your app is still available on Google Play.

Issue: Violation of Gambling policy
We allow content, services, and ads that facilitate online gambling, as long as they meet certain requirements. If your app does not meet all requirements, it will not be allowed on Google Play.

If you appeal to them then will reply with following:

Reply From Google Play Team After Appeal

Thanks for contacting Google Play Android Developer Support.

Hi Developers at My company,

Thanks for contacting the Google Play team.

During review, we found that your app My App Daily violates the Gambling policy. Please note that we allow content, services, and ads that facilitate online gambling, as long as they meet certain requirements. 

  • We don’t allow the app that allow a user to wager in order to earn real money (or significant prizes)
  • We don’t allow content or services that facilitate online gambling and games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other real world value.

Currently gambling apps are permitted in the UK, Ireland, and France only. If you have a gambling app and a valid gambling license in a supported country, you may be eligible to distribute your app on Google Play. You can read through the Gambling policy and requirements for additional details.

You may also want to double check that your app complies with all other Developer Program Policies, as additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.

Here’s how you can submit your app again:

  1. Submit a valid gambling license through the Gambling Application Form within the next five days.
  2. Sign in to your Play Console and complete your content rating questionnaire. Your app must be rated AO (Adult Only) or IARC equivalent.
  3. Review the regulated Gambling policy requirements to make sure your app qualifies. If your app does not meet all requirements, it will not be allowed on Google Play.
  4. Submit your app again.

This rejection doesn’t impact the standing of your Google Play Developer Account, but repeated violations can result in the suspension of this app or your Google Play Developer account. 

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for working with us to fix the policy issue and for your continued support of Google Play.Regards,
NAME GOES HERE
The Google Play Team

Please visit the Play Developer Policy Center and Play Academy to learn more about building policy compliant and high quality apps. 

Thanks for contacting Google Play Android Developer Support.

Please take a minute to answer this short survey about your satisfaction with our support, as we’d like to know your thoughts about what we’re doing well and how we can improve: – Survey Link goes here

If you’re not fully satisfied with the resolution of your case, or if you need additional assistance, you can skip the survey and reply to our last response to reopen your case. We’ll be happy to help.

Thanks in advance for your valuable feedback!

The Google Play Android Developer Support Team

Solution

Remove all features which offers cash prizes/gift/cash equivalent and resubmit your app to get approved.

60 replies on “Android App Update Rejected – Issue: Violation of Gambling policy [SOLVED]”

I’ve a quiz app which is live on google play app store for quite some time. I update my app with a feature and it was rejected sighting exactly same reason which you mentioned in your post. Mine is not a gambling app but a quiz app which rewards users. I’ve been struggling to understand the issue. Can you please help me to solve this issue?

Hey,

Hope you are doing good. I am facing the same issue and it would be awesome if you can share how you manage to solve this problem.

My app is not getting any real world money / wager from its user but it will reward you with ingame items.

Thank you

It’s very simple solution which can get your app approved in 2 minutes. In order to understand your issue can you share what exactly the app is and most importantly what were the exact changes which you did before submitting. I also need to know what did you write in release notes when you last updated app for approval.

Hi Josh,
We now have the same problem. We are a game of pure Skill and we offer prizes.
Please contact me if you have any solution apart from removing prizes.
Many thanks!

Hi . I have apps in education category. Some of my app updates are getting rejected because of multiple banner ads in a page reason. I only show one banner ad in a page but I also show a native ad in the same page. It is not against Google Play policy. These people are thinking native ads as banner ads and rejecting . Do you have any solution.

It seems to be pretty clear that you are showing multiple banners as they have mentioned. Just show only one banner ad and remove other.

You need to provide more details on what your app does and what are it’s feature to look into your situation. Is it first time submission or update?

Hey Josh, I’m also facing similar issue. I’m not sure why the fuck Google keep rejecting my app after update. My situation is similar to yours. My app is live, it’s a game in which I give away prizes to users. Users have to purchase coins to play. Google Play says it’s gambling app. I’m not sure how the fuck this can be a gambling app? There are millions of shit app doing the same thing so why they reject my app?

You give prizes to players and ask them to buy credit. It’s gambling dude. If they have to make purchase to be eligible for prize draw then it’s plain old vanilla gambling. You have to make it free to participate and to be eligible for prize draw. As soon as you ask players to make purchase for doing anything and be eligible for prize draw then it’s gambling. You may get away with it by making it complex for dumb Google idiots to understand then you may get away with it but sooner or later you will make mistake and they will spot it again. You can monetize app via advertisements and make it free for players to play and win prize, this is the best solution for all this gambling problem. If you can’t do this then good luck fucking with Google.

Hi, Josh

We face the same problem. We have updated a lot of versions but the newest version google play rejected it because of Gambling. We don’t contain IAP to buy virtual currency. We give currency to users for free.

Will you share your solution with us? Thanks for your post, looking forward to your reply.

Google is cleaning up apps which give away cash prizes or any real world gifts or anything which can be converted to real world money. Google defines it as gambling and doesn’t allow it anymore. They are cleaning up. Don’t ask me why there are still millions of similar apps still live on Google Play. There is no argument here. You need to remove any cash reward or any prize money or anything you give away to players which can be converted to real world money and re-submit. Explain in Release notes that you have updated app to adhere with Google Policy and that you have removed all these cash/prizes features. Also appeal to them explaining the same.

hi. there I’m facing the same problem.
Google ads said that my app is gamebling app and my app advertise is rejected. Why?
my game has nothing with gambling. Please share me your solution.

If you are offering cash or prizes or equivalent of these then it will be classified as gambling as per Google Law. You will have to remove offering any cash/prizes from your app and resubmit.

hey, I have no cash/prizes on my app. Why has happened?
Please use my app and tell me the reason what my app is related with gamebling.
thank you.

hi Josh
My App is published on google play store. But I can’t advertise my app on google ads because they rejected my app with gamebling.
My app is published google play store.
Please help me.

Your app doesn’t look like gambling app so it seems that fucking dumb Google ad team has fucked it up. You need to contact them and explain that there is no gambling involved and you don’t offer any cash or prizes. Hope someone in that team of idiots will listen to you.

Hi,
I have a quiz app which uses real money to play and later withdraw by playing quizzes. It’s rejected due to same issue. Can you please help me in this?
Thanks
Yash

Hi Josh

I have my app rejected the 1st time when applying and 2nd time even suspended. I received 2 times same mail from Google exactly as your screenshot at the start of this article. In any case thank you very much for this article!

My app offers contests with simulated gambling 100% for free but I give cash prizes and wanted to earn only with ads. No IAP
I know that this is not gambling and does not need a license. You wrote that Google is lately classifying these kind of apps as gambling and will reject it. Do you have any link where Google published this new rule?
If this is true we all app owners who offer free apps and give cash prizes will have no chance to get our apps accepted. (sadly). A lot of time and money wasted for developing this app.
if you see any chance to help please let me know and contact me.

Wish you all to Stay Negative! (Corona)

Free or paid, Google sees any prize offering app as gambling app. Google’s definition of gambling is different from what generally believe. They changed their policy recently that’s why we all are getting fucked. You need to remove any prize or cash offering from your app to get it approved. My app was approved once I had removed cash & prize offering from app.

Thank you very much for the answer. Why should anyone download my app if there will not be any cash prize? Sure there will be some installs but also soon many uninstalls. The prizes are there to attract users and it worked in my old app very well. Please let me ask you what if I do same as you and remove cash prizes and get app approved and use it as a way to advertise my app as soon I get my app approved by other app stores like Amazon, APKPURE, APKMirror etc? Does this make sense?

Stay Negative!

It’s chicken and egg situation all over. I’ve already gone through all these questions and the only solution is to remove cash/prizes from app if you want fucking Google to approve it or kiss it goodbye. Why people will download your app if there is no prizes is trillion dollar question, if I had this answer I would be rich by now. You have to scratch your own head and come up with something innovative.

Hi
Thanks for the article
Under Uk Laws we dont need a gambling licence because there is sufficient skill involved and I cant get that through to Google!
Were submitting for the first time. Could you help?

Google is not the UK, Google has its own law so adhere to fucking law if you want to get it approved. You can’t argue with them, there is no court to argue your case. Remove cash/prizes or any monetary incentives and resubmit to get it approved.

Jeez do you wanna calm down mate, it clearly says:

-App must comply with all applicable laws and industry standards for any country in which it is distributed;
-Developer must have a valid gambling license for each country in which the app is distributed;

Hence why I mentioned UK laws since Google themselves mention laws pertaining to each country.
Get your knickers out of their twist and if you can’t help then shut up and don’t mention this on your blog:

P.S. My solution applies mainly to app updates. If you have submitted app very first time and it’s rejected then it will require more work.

In either case contact me and I’ll provide you solution.

Fucking dumb asshole, no wonder your brain is so fucked up that you can’t understand and got fucked up by Google. When someone spends time answering you, you must listen. Twat!

sadly Josh is 100% right and only if you delete all cash or non cash rewards then you will be approved. What bothers me is that there are so many apps with cash rewards still in play store. Not that I want them to be deleted but maybe it would help if we present google with a list of those apps to rethink their decision and accept our apps.
Some examples of apps with cash and non cash rewards/prizes:
[Deleted]

All such apps will face the same music as soon as Google Police come across them. It normally happens when app update is submitted. Just wait for it.

Hey Josh! Thanks for the responses to previous comments. I’m trying to get a new app approved.

The app does not facilitate gambling, it merely aggregates gambling offers for UK operators and is solely content based. I replied to the original Google team member stating this and confirming that “no prize offerings or real-world gifts” could be won etc. But they just replied requesting that I apply for a gambling license.

But of course there are no licenses to be given for a content provider.

Any help would be hugely appreciated.

Cheers!

I hear you. What you are trying to do is promoting gambling indirectly so it’s a total no go. Google seems to be clear with their intentions. No more gambling, it doesn’t matter if it is links to other sites, affiliate or aggregate or otherwise. Forget this app, it’s gone.

Hey Josh,
Can i get my app approved
I have an esports app where the user can join free or paid matches by adding the amount in their wallet and once they win the game, we give rewards to winners.
I saw some other apps on playstore doing the same job , but only my app is rejected
There 4 5 apps on playstore with same concept.
I am from india
Pls help me
Thanks

hello there,
i’m trying to upload a game on play store and i’m getting this error –

“Your app’s content rating is incorrect. Our content rating system includes official ratings from the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and is designed to help developers communicate locally relevant content ratings to users”.
ive checked everything twice uploaded new version of game with new rating . but again getting same reson for rejection of my app.
please help, this is my first ever upload on play store and its really frustrating.

no it’s just simple game no violence, no fear, no gambling nothing of them at all. I’ve selected age group 15-16 and 18+ only, even after that my app is keep getting rejected. this is my first ever upload and its making me nuts. please help…

It will be very difficult to suggest something without looking into app. Since they rejected because of Rating it clearly suggests that your app’s content doesn’t justify rating. Since you have already selected Rating to be 18+ then it comes down to the content. There must be something wrong there. Get rid of any reward or any suggestions of reward first. Just submit app without any reward first time and see if it gets approved. Can you send me APK via Google Drive, I’ll check and may spot something.

I’ve already explained solution above in the post and in the comments. You can read them to know what you have to do.

Hey Josh
I have a simple esports app where user can play daily pubg tournament and earn cash.There are lots of apps already in play store but my app got rejected.Please help
Love from India🇭🇺🇭🇺

As I’ve explained in my post and comments, Google doesn’t allow such apps anymore. Those live apps will be banned soon. You can ask Google why are they allowing those apps and not yours.

My app is rejected due to this thing please help me in this
Your recent app submission is not compliant with the Gambling policy. We allow content, services, and ads that facilitate online gambling, as long as they meet certain requirements. If your app does not meet all requirements, it will not be allowed on Google Play. Please make appropriate changes to your app, then submit the updated app for another review. If you submitted an update, the previous version of your app is still available on Google Play. We’ve sent more details to ….

Hello Josh,

We had the same issue and removed cash prizes as per your instructions. In your experience, how long does it usually take before google play would respond, cheers?

They may take 1 week or so plus more delay due to this fucking Chinese virus pandemic. For me they took about a week but that was prior to Chinese virus.

thanks for the response, Oh wow i thought it was probably going to be a 24 hour thing lol. I guess it’s a waiting game for us now. Will be on the lookout and would let you know the outcome, cheers

Hello Josh, Got a response from Google Appeals yesterday as follows:

Hi Developers at NAME HERE,

Thanks for contacting Google Play Team.

I see you have resubmitted an update to an existing app on your Play Console, it can take some time for your app, NAME HERE (com.NAMEHERE.common), to be processed for publishing on Google Play.

Due to adjusted work schedules at this time, we are currently experiencing longer than usual review times. While the situation is currently evolving, app review times may fluctuate, and may take 7 days or longer.

Please note that submitting changes to your app while a review is already pending will mean the review period starts over. We recommend you adjust your planning to account for this and avoid resubmitting.You can visit our help center for more information about timed publishing.

If you have any other questions about Play policy, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

Regards,
NAME HERE
The Google Play Team

Any pointers what this might mean?

Hello Josh, my app gives gift cards as prizes, my users don’t have to purchase for play, only see ads. It’s completely free. After the last update it was rejected, explain your method please!! (I’m Italian, so sorry for my bad English)

Google doesn’t allow giving away any cash prizes, gift cards or any other prizes which has monetary value. You have to remove prizes feature completely and resubmit to get it approved.

I have an blog app where user can post their poems and stories. I thinking to have contest for story writting without entry fee for participating in contest and give some prize for that. Will it be Google play policy violation??

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