Only Native Gambling iOS Apps Allowed in App Store

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An Apple Store iOS shortcut.
  • Gaming companies will need to redevelop non-native iOS apps
  • Apple will remove all non-compliant apps on September 3, 2019
  • Changes in how casinos and sportsbooks co-exist may be necessary

Gaming and betting companies in the U.S. will have to comply with newly-issued guidelines for the App Store or will have their products removed on September 3, 2019.

Apple Changes Policies to Exclude Non-Native Apps

Apple has issued revised guidelines for its App Store affecting HTML5 games distributed via apps, explaining that moving forward, no apps providing “real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations” would be allowed on the platform. This is not the first time that Apple has purged its store, but this time it has given a fair notice to parties that would be potentially affected by the move.

Only native apps may be part of the App Store moving forward and companies that have their spots betting, poker, casino, bingo, lottery and racing apps may have these products removed.

The snag that these companies are now facing lies in the fact that the majority of apps are “containers” as opposed to a fully-fledged product, digital marketing agency Degree 53 has explained.

The reason why these apps abound is simple – cheaper costs of development rather than investing in a full iOS product.

App-LOAD New Apps Sooner Than Later

Time is of the essence here. Apple has set the deadline for September 3, 2019, giving companies little time to scurry and start developing a native product. Some, including Betfred, have warned Apple that the process is time-consuming and difficult to accomplish in the allocated time frame.

Even more worryingly, betting companies can lose a significant part of their revenue if Apple cuts their apps out at the time when the National Football League (NFL) season begins. To add insult to injury, the NFL is followed by another major event, the English Premier League (EPL), and pretty much all soccer events in Europe take off around September. Here’s what Betfred’s statement said:

It will require sizable and skilled native development teams to ensure all functionalities are fully compliant. However, operators with less complex products may be able to meet the deadline if they start now

“It’s unrealistic,” the company added. In the meantime, Apple is unlikely to accept new updates to non-native apps, although Degree 53 doesn’t expect the company to start removing big bands’ apps prior to the outlined deadline.

A more serious snag is that while customers will still have the apps on their phones and other handheld devices, new users won’t be able to download the apps even prior to September, which will start cutting into the mobile footprint of gaming agencies in the U.S. Meanwhile, Apple is already facing a lawsuit in which it stands as the accused of upholding a monopoly over developers, but in this case, the company is in tis right to demand native software on the App Store.

More Trouble for Casinos Than Sportsbooks

Tweaking with a sportsbook’s code will be easier than transferring an entire casino over, so Apple’s decision will have varying affects on different verticals. However, the abundant use of HTML5 solutions may cause some delays in response time if companies try to just export their current spots apps onto a new layout.

The incompatibility would bring around myriad issues that wouldn’t sit well with customers. To avoid this, operators may need to re-develop their sportsbooks completely as stand-alone solutions and not linked to the casinos. This would in turn have a bearing on promotions and of course the single wallet.

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