Sunday, 16 June 2019

Apple Announces That Real-Money Gambling Apps Must Now Be iOS Native


Apple has announced that real-money gambling apps must now be iOS native in order to be offered in the Apple App Store.

The tech giant made the move earlier this month after updating its series of guidelines for Apps in which it said that only native apps, apps developed specifically for Apple’s operating system, can be hosted in the App Store.

Apple’s new guidelines read: “HTLM5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.”

In short, this means that casino and betting operators offering iOS apps may have their apps pulled from the store in September because most gambling apps are actually HTML5 websites repackaged as an iOS app as opposed to an app specifically designed for Apple’s iOS.

While native iOS apps offer better performance and faster loading times, firms have already criticised the move as developing a dedicated iOS app can be a time-consuming and extremely expensive process and smaller operators may not have the required funds or time to do so.

The updated guideline applies to all new apps added to the Store from now on but existing apps have until September 3rd to ensure they are following the new guidelines. Reports suggest that Apple may reject app updates on non-compliant apps but will allow them to remain on the App Store until the September deadline.

Users will still be able to access non-compliant downloaded apps on their devices but cannot download any future updates. New customers, meanwhile, will be unable to download the app from the Apple App Store.

Apple And Online Gambling

Apple has shown its disapproval of gambling after accidentally removing the wrong apps from its App Store last August during a gambling purge. The move was part of an effort to “reduce fraudulent activity” and “comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity”.

Meanwhile, Apple pulled all gambling apps from its Norwegian App Store in August last year after the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) convinced the tech giant to remove them, claiming that operators didn’t have a license to operate in the country.

More recently, it’s thought that Apple was one of the reasons behind the delay in the launch of an online mobile betting and casino app in Pennsylvania. Late last month, the first real-money betting app in the state was launched by SugarHouse Casino on Android devices, but not iOS.