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Google play removed my app citing the claim that it's a gambling app. In my app players don't have to use real money to play and win prizes. How can it be gambling if there is no real money is involved?

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    You say they "don't have to use real money" - but can they use real money? – George White Jan 28 '20 at 18:54
  • Can you tell us what your app does in game mechanics? A basic thing. – hszmv Jan 28 '20 at 19:02
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    It sounds like you are choosing your language carefully, so you can say statements which are not untrue, but do not paint an accurate picture, and in fact, mislead us. The first law of law is Be totally honest with your lawyer. Why? Google "garbage in garbage out": If you give your lawyer bad source info, then you get bad advice. Same principle applies here. This is a waste of your time, but more to the point, it's a waste of ours. -1 – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 29 '20 at 0:53
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    At the risk of stating the obvious, if your app uses something that can be exchanged for real money that almost certainly counts as real money. – DJClayworth Jan 29 '20 at 15:35
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    Google doesn't need to apply any particular standard. If it says it doesn't want your app in its store then that is it's decision to make. It might publish some rules to encourage people to produce apps that it likes, but it is under no obligation to stick to them in any particular case. Its only incentive to do so is that lots of arbitrary decisions will tend to push app-writers away to something more dependable. – Paul Johnson Jan 29 '20 at 18:44
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On Google play you need to remember two rules for Gambling related issues.

1) You can't let players use real money to purchase and play in order to win prizes or cash reward. It's classical definition of gambling. It's not allowed even in real world and if you want to do it in real world or on GP then you will need gambling license.

2) This one is freaking pain but here is how it goes. You can't give cash prizes or real world gifts to players even if they don't purchase to play.

Yes that's right, even if you let users play for free and offer them cash prizes/reward it's not allowed on Google Play. Don't ask me why it's not allowed. It's just Google Law.

To fix issue with your app follow these: 1) Remove any requirement for cash purchase or any real money purchase from app. 2) Don't give any cash prizes or real world gifts. Remove all instances of prizes/real world gifts from your app.

Resubmit and it will be accepted.

You may ask, why players will play if there is no cash incentive? It's a valid question but Google simply doesn't allow what you are trying to achieve. So just forget it and follow their rule and be happy.

I've been burnt many times before and know these Google rules very well.

You may also argue that why there are still many similar apps live on Google Play? Well there is no argument again. If Google has messed up your app then better adhere with them or they will destroy you.

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  • In regards to point 2, that's often covered by sweepstakes laws, which are at least as much of a regulatory mess as gambling. – Mark Jan 30 '20 at 4:11
  • Sweepstakes are luck, quiz is skill. Skill based quiz apps can't be gambling, you don't need a license for it. Does a school in your town needs a licence to run a quiz competition? – Raymond Jan 30 '20 at 19:40

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