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Google Play Wipes Apps Away in VietnamPublished October 5, 2018 by Lee R
In avid attempts at compliance, Google Play is rooting out illegal gambling apps from its offerings.
Google Play has gone somewhat proactive in Vietnam.
It has done so by wiping 56 apps off its offering which target Vietnamese gamblers.
According to Vietnamese Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information Deputy Director Le Quang Tu Do.the reason for the pull was prohibitions under Vietnamese gambling law.
While gambling is primarily illegal in the territory of Vietnam as far as provision of gambling services to Vietnamese nationals, online gambling operators have continued to seek and find ways to circumvent the bans to target Vietnamese customers for years with mobile apps providing a popular vehicle of late.
Broadcast Authority Speaks
The statement by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information indicates that the 56 removed apps were all in Vietnamese language and specifically targeted Vietnamese customers.
Google notified local authorities of the removal of 40 of the gambling apps from its Vietnamese store after being requested to do so by the broadcasting authority. The additional 16 apps were deemed in violation of Google’s policies due to illegal exploitation of user data and were removed globally.
Under Vietnam’s current laws, nationals are not allowed to engage in games that emulate casinos. Most of the recently removed apps were namely providing casino-style games.
Commenting on the recent removal of gambling apps from Google Play, the tech giant’s Google Play Public Policy and Government Relations Head for the Asia-Pacific Region Helena Lersch issued a formal statement indicating that Google Play does not allow gambling apps for Vietnamese nationals, further advising that such apps be flagged and reported.
The app ban comes across as a rejoinder for another big gambling app removal that took place in China, where several months ago Apple cleared thousands of gambling apps from its China store following backlash from Chinese authorities.
Apple removed multiple apps flagged as offering illegal gambling services in order to effectively comply with Chinese regulations amid intensifying gambling crackdowns in the country.
Like in Vietnam, most forms of gambling including services distributed online and through mobile devices are forbidden in China with providers getting highly creative to continue to skirt the regulatory guidelines. It looks like the fudgers need to take heed.