Numerous Apps Caught up in Apple's New App Store Review Policy to Ban Gambling-Related Apps

In an attempt to crack down on gambling-related apps in the App Store, Apple has today implemented a new App Review policy for individual developers, but many apps that are being banned as a result appear to have very little to do with gambling at all.

Apple has been providing affected developers with the following reason for their app's removal from the App Store:

In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. The includes both real money gambling apps as well as apps that simulate a gambling experience.

As a result, this app has been removed from the App Store. While you can no longer distribute gambling apps from this account, you may continue to submit and distribute other types of apps to the App Store.

Apple finishes by saying that "only verified accounts from incorporated business entities may submit gambling apps for distribution on the App Store", and advises developers to visit the Enrollment page to learn more about enrolling an organization in the Apple Developer Program.


The reason that apps unrelated to gambling are being removed appears to be because the ban currently applies to any apps that allow users "unrestricted web access".

When developers submit their app to the App Store, a section called "Rating" asks them to rate their app's content based on a chart and identify how frequently the content appears.

The content marker "Unrestricted web access" in this section applies when a user can access any URL by opening a browser window from within the submitted app.

Ticking it automatically slaps the app with a 17+ age rating if it makes it to the App Store, because it gives users of the app the potential ability to circumvent parental controls.

However, on the face of it, Apple's gambling-related ban today looks to have overreached significantly in this regard. We've asked Apple for comment and will update this post if we hear more.

Top Rated Comments

pete2106 Avatar
73 months ago
They really should implement some sort of policy on how often full screen video ads can be played in apps.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vicviper789 Avatar
73 months ago
horray for forced group think. Anyone else uncomfortable with the amount of censorship on the app store?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsrcool1234 Avatar
73 months ago
after all this time, apple remains incompetent when maintaining their own app store.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
5hugknight Avatar
73 months ago
Well if gambling is a problem, then I wonder when all the stock trading apps will get banned...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenc Avatar
73 months ago
I can understand why unvetted browser access is now restricted, as it would defeat the purpose of parental controls and Screen Time, but removing them under the guise of "gambling" is nonsensical.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TimmeyCook Avatar
73 months ago
Have Apple announced that they are "eradicating gambling apps"? They're still in the App Store submission guidelines: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#gaming-gambling-and-lotteries
Apple:

Apps that offer real money gaming (e.g. sports betting, poker, casino games, horse racing) or lotteries must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be geo-restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

Will Your iPhone Support iOS 18? Here's What the Latest Rumor Says

Thursday February 29, 2024 7:29 am PST by
iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 are still over three months away from being unveiled, but we may already know which devices will be compatible with the updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, meaning that the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR from 2018 will remain supported for at least another year, according to information shared this week by a source with a...
maxresdefault

Apple Spent More Than $10 Billion on Apple Car Before Canceling Project

Wednesday February 28, 2024 5:13 pm PST by
Apple spent more than $10 billion working on the Apple Car over the last decade, according to a report from The New York Times that details the issues the project faced during development. Apple first launched the project in 2014 and let it flounder for more than a decade before calling it off earlier this week. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Money was spent on...