Apple Pauses Gambling Ads in App Store Pages After Developers Complain [Updated]

Update October 26 3:31 p.m.: In a statement shared with MacRumors today, Apple said it has paused gambling ads in App Store app pages, with no further details provided:

We have paused ads related to gambling and a few other categories on App Store product pages.

Original story from October 25 follows.



Apple today rolled out new ad placements in the App Store on the iPhone, allowing developers to advertise their apps in more places, including the main Today tab and in the "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings.

new app store ads today tab
Just hours later, several prominent developers have complained about distasteful ads for gambling apps appearing in their own App Store listings outside of their control, including Marco Arment, Simon Støvring, and others. The issue was also highlighted in a tweet shared by MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci.


"Now my app's product page shows gambling ads, which I'm really not OK with," tweeted Arment. "Apple shouldn't be OK with it, either."

As noted by Arment, Apple provides advertisers with the choice to have their ad shown in app categories different than their own app's category, allowing ads for gambling ads to appear in listings for unrelated apps like the podcast app Overcast.

The presence of gambling ads in the App Store as a whole has prompted some criticism, with some accusing Apple of being greedy and moving away from policies that the company upheld under former CEO Steve Jobs. Apple earns revenue from both the ad placements and its 15% to 30% cut of in-app purchases in gambling apps.


Beyond upsetting some developers, Apple allowing apps to run ads in other apps' listings has already led to the company facing accusations of anticompetitive behavior. In a tweet last week, legal expert Florian Mueller argued the ads are "another means of increasing the effective app tax rate, forcing developers to buy ads on their own app pages in order to avoid that others steer customers away from there."


In August, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said Apple wanted to nearly triple its current advertising revenue to at least $10 billion per year in the future. Gurman said keyword-based search result ads are coming to the Apple Maps app starting next year.

We've reached out to Apple for comment and asked if the company will consider tightening its rules surrounding the ads. We'll update this story if we hear back.

Top Rated Comments

Born Again Avatar
5 weeks ago
Pretty gross oversight from apple.

Clearly it’s about the money over ethics with apple.

The Steve Jobs Apple would have never allowed this to happen.
Score: 128 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Maclver Avatar
5 weeks ago
Just get rid of ads in the App Store. I for one won’t buy any app that is advertised in the App Store as an “ad”.
Score: 119 Votes (Like | Disagree)
james2538 Avatar
5 weeks ago
I'm so ****ing over Tim Cook as CEO. He's dragging Apple into the ground.

This profit above all else ethos is quickly destroying the brand that Steve spent years cultivating. People pay a premium for Apple hardware to not have to deal with this sorta crap.
Score: 106 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
5 weeks ago
I don’t say this often, but Steve really wouldn’t have allowed this. I don’t think Apple has the internal sensibility to know how scummy this is anymore.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDevil7334 Avatar
5 weeks ago
This is a great example of a shortsighted decision that grows the bottom line in the near term while eroding the brand’s reputation over the long term. Just how bad the erosion will be remains to be seen.
Score: 92 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bustycat Avatar
5 weeks ago
I use App Store only when I need it. The rankings are fake, the ratings are fake, the reviews are fake, and now the ads are fake, why should people use it to find a good app?
Score: 70 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

new app store ads today tab

Apple Announces More Ads Coming to App Store Starting Next Week

Saturday October 22, 2022 6:51 am PDT by
In an email to developers this week, Apple announced that app-related ads will begin appearing in the App Store's main Today tab and in a "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings starting Tuesday, October 25, in all countries except China. All ads in the App Store have a blue background and an "Ad" icon. "With a Today tab ad, your app can appear prominently on...
App Store Ads

Apple Begins Showing More Ads in App Store

Tuesday October 25, 2022 11:26 am PDT by
As expected, Apple today announced that new ad placements are now available in the App Store, allowing developers to advertise their apps in more spots. Starting today, developers can now advertise their apps in the App Store's main Today tab and in a "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings in all countries except China. Ads are already beginning to appear in...
new app store ads today tab

Apple Introducing New App Store Ads to Help Users Discover More Apps

Friday July 29, 2022 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today announced it is expanding its offering of how developers can promote their apps on the App Store, helping developers expand their reach and making it easier to discover more of what the App Store has to offer. Until now, Apple has offered developers two ad opportunities on the App Store: in the Search tab and within the Search results page. Both ad placements have been a...
App Store Ads

Report Reveals Apple Employees Internally Unhappy With Plans to Show More Ads to iPhone Users

Tuesday November 15, 2022 1:05 am PST by
A new report has revealed internal disagreement within Apple, causing some employees who work on the company's ads business to raise concerns that showing more ads to iPhone users ruins the premium experience that's been long offered to its customers, The Information reports. The lengthy report by The Information takes a deep dive into how Apple's ads team operates and internal concerns that ...
Apple MLS partnership June 2022

Apple to Expand Live TV Advertising for Major League Soccer Deal

Friday November 4, 2022 2:32 pm PDT by
Apple is building a live television ad network in preparation for streaming Major League Soccer games, reports Bloomberg. Apple has agreed to expand its advertising as part of its deal with MLS. Back in June, Apple announced a 10-year partnership with Major League Soccer, which will see all matches streamed through the Apple TV app starting in 2023. Apple is now talking with advertising...
Apple Maps 2022

Gurman: Apple Planning to Show Ads in Maps App Starting Next Year

Sunday August 21, 2022 10:34 am PDT by
Apple plans to begin showing search ads in its Maps app on the iPhone starting next year, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "I believe the engineering work is already underway to launch search ads in the Apple Maps app, and we should begin to see it be implemented sometime next year," wrote Gurman, in the subscriber-only version of his "Power On" newsletter today. Ads in the Apple...
apple maps 3d feature

Apple Has Internally Tested Injecting Ads Into Maps App Search Results [Updated]

Monday August 15, 2022 5:27 am PDT by
Apple is aiming to triple its ad revenue from $4 billion per year to double-digit figures by expanding its advertising to more apps, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Currently, Apple ads appear in App Store app searches, where developers pay for promoted spots in results, as well as more standard ads that appear in the News and Stocks apps. Apple also generates revenue with commercials...
twitter elon musk

Elon Musk Claims Apple Has 'Mostly Stopped' Offering Ads on Twitter and Is Making Moderation Demands

Monday November 28, 2022 10:42 am PST by
Apple has cut back on its Twitter advertising, according to Twitter CEO Elon Musk. In a tweet, Musk said that Apple has "mostly stopped" its Twitter ads, asking if Apple hates "free speech." Musk went on to publish a poll asking if Apple should "publish all censorship actions" taken that impact customers and he began retweeting content from companies that Apple has had moderation discussions ...

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.1.2 With Carrier Improvements and Crash Detection Optimizations

Wednesday November 30, 2022 10:09 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 16.1.2, another minor bug fix update that comes one week after the release of iOS 16.1.1 and three weeks after the launch of iOS 16.1, an update that added support for iCloud Shared Photo Library, Matter, Live Activities, and more. The iOS 16.1.2 update can be downloaded on eligible iPhones over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According...
Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
applefifthavenue

Man Robbed After Buying 300 iPhones From Apple Fifth Avenue

Tuesday November 29, 2022 11:54 am PST by
An unnamed 27-year-old man who purchased 300 iPhones from Apple Fifth Avenue on Monday morning was robbed shortly after leaving the store, according to 1010Wins Radio in New York. He was carrying 300 iPhone 13s in three bags and walking to his car at 1:45 a.m. when another car pulled up next to him. Two men jumped out and demanded that he hand over the bags. Not wanting to hand over 300...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

'M2 Max' Geekbench Scores Leak Online, Revealing Rumored Specs and Performance

Wednesday November 30, 2022 2:39 am PST by
Geekbench scores allegedly for the upcoming "M2 Max" chip have surfaced online, offering a closer look at the performance levels and specific details of the forthcoming Apple silicon processor. The Geekbench results, first spotted on Twitter, are for a Mac configuration of with the M2 Max chip, a 12-core CPU, and 96GB of memory. The Mac listed has an identifier "Mac14,6," which could be...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
Apple Park View

Elon Musk Meets With Apple CEO Tim Cook Amid Claims of Twitter App Store Dispute [Updated]

Wednesday November 30, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Twitter CEO Elon Musk today met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to a tweet shared by Musk this afternoon. Musk thanked Cook for taking him around Apple's headquarters, with no mention of what the two might have discussed. The meeting comes just after Musk on Monday claimed that Apple has "mostly stopped" offering ads on Twitter, and that...
eufy camera

Anker's Eufy Cameras Caught Uploading Content to the Cloud Without User Consent [Updated]

Tuesday November 29, 2022 1:01 pm PST by
Anker's popular Eufy-branded security cameras appear to be sending some data to the cloud, even when cloud storage is disabled and local only storage settings are turned on. The information comes from security consultant Paul Moore, who last week published a video outlining the issue. According to Moore, he purchased a Eufy Doorbell Dual, which was meant to be a device that stored video...
app store awards 2021

Apple Announces 2022 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting Best Apps of the Year

Tuesday November 29, 2022 3:10 am PST by
Apple today announced its 2022 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 16 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen by Apple for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, positive cultural impact, and ability to deliver "exceptional experiences." Apple CEO Tim Cook said: This year's App Store Award winners reimagined...
iOS 16

Apple Still Has These 5 Things to Release Heading Into 2023

Thursday December 1, 2022 7:12 am PST by
The calendar has turned to December and that means Apple has only one month left to fulfill its promises of releasing an Apple Music Classical app and expanding its self-service repair program to Europe before the end of 2022. Delays are always possible, of course, so the plans could be pushed back to 2023. In any case, we have put together a list of five things that Apple still has to release...