Apple has pulled a massive 25,000 apps from its Chinese App Store following state media complaints about the company. At least 4,000 of these were tagged with the word “gambling,” which is illegal in China outside of state-sanctioned lotteries.
“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement. “We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store.”
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.
You can now play the slots from your Apple Watch, thanks to a recent new game entitled Double Luck Nudge, created by bona fide video game legend Larry DeMar.
DeMar was most famously responsible for co-creating the hit 1981 arcade coin-op Defender — a.k.a. the arcade machine on which the original Mac team racked up thousands of hours playing while putting together the original Macintosh.
Casinos in Nevada were warned by gambling regulators to keep an eye out for a card-counting program that runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch that illegally helps players beat the house in blackjack.
Card counting itself is not illegal under Nevada gambling laws, but getting electronic help to count cards is a felony.
In blackjack, card counting techniques help players determine when they are likely to win a hand and adjust their bets accordingly.
Casinos were warned last week by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in a memo (pdf). Nevada learned of the program from gambling regulators in California, where officials at an Indian casino found customers using it and tipped state authorities.
The memo says the app is called Blackjack Card Counting program and describes how it works: “The program calculates the “True Count” and does it significantly more accurately. The card counting program uses a choice
of four (4) card counting strategies. For each strategy the user presses the button that contains the face cards as they are drawn from the deck. Depending on the strategy and on the value of the card the button will
either add or subtract 1 or 2 from the “Running Count.” It can also be used in “stealth mode.”
A quick search of the iTunes store for “card count,” showed several card counting apps, it’s not clear which one the casinos were warned about.