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Google Play Store news: Robinhood reviews and gambling apps

Google helps clean up negative reviews of trading app Robinhood on Google Play after the platform came under fire for restricting some trading, reports show.

Reviews on Robinhood's app had a one-out-of-five star rating and nearly 275,000 reviews on Google Play on Thursday after the platform initially restricted trading for some securities, including GameStop, Bed Bed & Beyond, Blackberry and Nokia.

robinhood 1 star rating
Credit: 9 to 5 Mac

Google later explained to The Verge that it “combines human intelligence with machine learning to detect and enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews,” which includes a policy that forbids reviews written with the intent to manipulate an app's rating.

Robinhood resumed trading for these stocks Friday and apologized to customers after facing intense backlash from users, as well as politicians and celebrities. The app had 2.4 million reviews and nearly five-out-of-five stars on the App Store as of Friday morning.

The restrictions came following an unexpected surge in individual stocks that traditional investors were expecting to fall after a band of retail investors stemming from a Reddit forum called WallStreetBets started piling into those securities, hurting short-sellers in the process.


Gambling apps are coming to the Play Store.

There are, of course, a few catches. The apps will only be allowed in countries and states where the specific type of gambling in the app is permitted by law. 

But the fact remains, starting March 1, Android users in the U.S. and 14 other countries:

  • Australia,
  • Belgium,
  • Canada,
  • Colombia,
  • Denmark,
  • Finland,
  • Germany,
  • Japan,
  • Mexico,
  • New Zealand,
  • Norway,
  • Romania,
  • Spain,
  • and Sweden.

The above countries will join Brazil, France, Ireland, and the United Kingdom as places where Google-sanctioned in-app gambling is allowed. 

“We allow real-money gambling apps, ads related to real-money gambling, and daily fantasy sports apps that meet certain requirements,” Google's support page now reads.

Gambling apps will have to file for approval under one of four categories: online casino games, lotteries, sports betting, and daily fantasy sports. They'll have to also have measures in place to prevent underage users from gambling.

Also, users in the U.S. should be cautious. State laws still apply. So the question of whether or not you'll be able to take advantage of this policy change is a complicated one to answer. The gambling apps and types of games available in a person's area depend on the state's regulations. 

Sources: Mashable, Fox Business

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