Apple is cracking down on gambling apps | Cult of Mac

Apple is cracking down on gambling apps

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Coronavirus could have a surprisingly positive impact on App Store revenue
Trouble is, not all the apps removed are actually gambling apps!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is cracking down on gambling content in the App Store. The problem is that some of the apps caught in the crossfire don’t have very much to do with gambling at all.

Several developers have noted on social media that their apps — ranging from a Polish magazine to a game that lets you send Xbox game clips to buddies — have been removed from the App Store as part of the purge.

Affected developers were sent a message from Apple saying that it was booting gambling-related apps from the App Store as part of an effort to, “reduce fraudulent activity … and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity.”

“Apple says these apps contain gambling but they don’t reveal how they have detected this,” Simon Stovring, a Copenhagen-based developer behind a gif-sharing app called Gifferent, told the BBC. “It seems like an unfortunate but honest mistake.”

Some of the apps which were taken down as part of the cleanup process have since been restored — although not before worrying their developers.

Apple’s international app crackdown

Gambling-related apps have been in the news a fair bit as of late. Recently, Norway was able to get Apple to ban all gambling apps from its local App Store.

Perhaps more notably, Apple has also  been the subject of controversy in China after iMessage users allegedly complained that they were being bombarded with spam messages. Much of this content was said to involve gambling, which is illegal in China. As a result, state-controlled media accused Apple of failing to do enough to block this content.

Apple hasn’t been revealed exactly what caused the current gambling app crackdown. A targeted media focus against Apple in one of its biggest markets (read: China), though? Yep, that would certainly help explain it!