Online casino players which are iOS users might have difficulties gambling with real money from now on. The technology giant has updated its guidelines, restricting access to real money gambling to certain apps and games.
The new rule updates will not apply to all online casino games and were introduced in order to prevent underage gambling.
A few days ago, Apple has announced new rules in regards to real money gambling. Stating that the new rules were introduced in order to prevent kids and vulnerable from gambling-harms from playing HTML5 games for real money bets, the tech wizard has explained that not all HTML5 games distributed in iOS apps will give players access to real money gambling, charitable donations or lotteries. The only apps that would allow real money gambling will be those with the code that’s embedded in the binary, so it can be reviewed and approved by Apple. Upon request, operators would need to provide Apple with an index of the metadata and software available in their apps. The app must include Apple Developer Program Team IDs for the software providers along with a URL which Apple can use to check whether the software complies with the rules for HTML5 Games, Bots, etc.
This means that operators who would like to offer its online casino content to its players which are iOS users would have to develop iOS-native apps, which are far more expensive and take longer to develop, but offer better functionality and loading times.
Even though leading operators would not be concerned with this change and would have the resources to fund and develop the iOS-native apps, smaller ones would have no other option than to inform their respective players who use iOS devices for gambling that they won’t be able to do so anymore. On global share, data shows that iOS holds 23%, which means that many businesses would lose a lot when the new updates kick in. On that note, the rules would apply from the 3rd of September, 2019 for existing apps, and effective-immediately for new apps.
Apple’s Unease with Gambling Apps Culminates
For some years now, Apple has been uncertain what to do with the gambling apps and the effects they have on players. It has proven to be willing to remove country-specific App Stores in regulated markets for all gambling products, on officials’ request.
In fact, in the USA, when the first mobile sports betting site launched, it was available for Android users but not for iOS. Considering that 49% of North Americas shares are iOS users, this would mean that Apple is deadly serious in its anti-gambling views and the efforts to prevent gambling harms.