Around 56 Vietnamese gambling-related apps have been pulled from the Google Play store.
On Wednesday (October 4), Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications announced that Google had complied with its request to remove 56 Vietnamese-language gambling apps from the Google Play online marketplace.
The real-money apps primarily offered card, casino and lottery games to players. According to the VNS media service, 16 of the apps were illegally exploiting users’ data in violation of Google Play rules.
The other 40 apps were removed at the request of the country’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information for failing to adhere to Vietnam’s strict prohibition of online casino gaming.
Under Vietnam law, nationals are prohibited from engaging in games that emulate casinos and most of the apps removed from the Play store provided casino-style games.
Helena Lersch, Google’s Public Policy and Government Relations Head for the Asia-Pacific Region, revealed in a statement that the Google Play store does not allow gambling apps for Vietnamese nationals and insisted that any such apps are flagged and reported.
Google hasn’t been the only tech giant to have removed gambling apps from its store. Back in August, Apple removed thousands of online gambling apps from its China app store following backlash from Chinese authorities.
Apple removed apps that had been illegally offering gambling services to customers in order to comply with Chinese regulations amid a crackdown on illegal gambling in the country.
In the same month, Apple was accused of removing the “wrong apps” during a gambling crackdown. Several developers claimed that their apps had been removed from Apple’s store despite having no connection to gambling.
Some of the removed apps included Polish magazine app iMagazine, gif-sharing platform Gifferent and an Apple Watch app called WatchPlay, which allows users to search and start YouTube videos from their Apple Watch.
The move prompted a backlash on social media, but the apps were restored soon after.