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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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:
    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.

    Article Link: Numerous Apps Caught up in Apple's New App Store Review Policy to Ban Gambling-Related Apps
  2. macsrcool1234 macrumors 65816

    Oct 7, 2010
    after all this time, apple remains incompetent when maintaining their own app store.
  3. dantroline macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2016
    They don't do too bad a job. Nobody does a good job of maintaining app stores when the number of apps is as large as it now is. Just saying. Although it would be great though if there was a FOSS store like there is for Android eg: F-Droid is a really great resource for free stuff that is very polished, with no ads, no bloat and no cost.

    On the other hand in MacOS there is no need to rely on the Appstore, except for the convenience of license management you can pretty much install any app separately.
  4. TimmeyCook, Aug 9, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018

    TimmeyCook Suspended


    Jun 20, 2018
    Very incompetent.

    It's full of fake apps, viruses, scams and... oh... that's everyone else but Apple...

    Is F-Droid managed by saints?

    Any "App Store" is one cheque away from passing malware and PUAs.
  5. pete2106 Suspended


    Dec 7, 2012
    They really should implement some sort of policy on how often full screen video ads can be played in apps.
  6. BruceEBonus macrumors 65816


    Sep 23, 2007
    Derbyshire, England
  7. rizzo41999 macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2009
    This stuff happens but if it becomes frequent, developers do have a right to be like "omgwtfbbq"
  8. vicviper789 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2013
    horray for forced group think. Anyone else uncomfortable with the amount of censorship on the app store?
  9. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
  10. TimmeyCook, Aug 9, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2018

    TimmeyCook Suspended


    Jun 20, 2018

    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.
  11. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    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.
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    This, there are loads of legitimate gambling applications for gambling sites on the App Store.

    I'm interested to know specifically what this app review policy is. Unless I'm reading incorrectly the article doesn't say.
  13. BMcCoy macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    What I inferred from reading the story is that some apps are being disallowed for permitting “unrestricted web access”, but the reason coming through to the developer is under the broader term “gambling/fraudulent activity” which is confusing to the developers, as the apps mentioned are not gambling apps.

    Therefore it is a problem of the categorisation of the app rejection, and will probably be fixed by Apple by tweaking their rejection email to more accurately categorise the reason for rejection.

    Perhaps there has been a modification to the gambling app requirements recently, which has led to some confusion, and this cross-categorisation error.

    That’s what I understood this was referring to. Could be wrong though....!
  14. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Apple is getting that app bycatch. Bycatch is not good.
  15. bindle macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2008
    One of my apps (which had nothing to with gambling) was caught up in this today.

    Sounds like they were going after gambling related apps where the developer account is an individual, and not a company enrolment.

    I don't think it was flagged because of the "unrestricted web access" rating, but because of the "Simulated Gambling" rating I had set (due to some photos coming through the app potentially being gambling related).

    They reinstated the app pretty quickly after I contacted them today. Their message was:

    Still weird that they would automate this removal simply by going by one of the rating options which had been set for years.
  16. dugbug macrumors 65816


    Aug 23, 2008
    Somewhere in Florida
    as a developer this 'safari web portal is automatically 17+" rule confounds me and frustrated me with my rss apps of old. Even say, a disney park would become 17+ if it opened their web hotel's web page for reservations simply because you could launch links from that site and so on...
  17. shadowmatt macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2005
    Apple has a long history of getting app approvals wrong.

    They also have a long history of ignoring developers and their complaints about the secretive process.
  18. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    Sorry but apple is one of the best in class in this regard. This will be handled fairly quickly I'm sure.

    You should really check out the sorry state of steam.
  19. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    So Safari would be banned under these rules as it both allows access to gambling sites, in addition to many other sites containing illegal content?
  20. ashi.vyas macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2014
    It's funny to know there are people buying Apple Watch :) People should waste time on Apple watch and Apple Maps!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 9, 2018 ---
    Safari is another application which run dead slow!...Nobody would care to download it if Apple stops bundling it with their OS.
  21. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    this is looking at it from both directions..

    Apple should be limiting the ban to actual gambling. This is getting crazy...
  22. Inkling macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2006
    You are right. The fix should be to not allow children under parental controls to access those apps not to make it impossible for adults to buy them.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 9, 2018 ---
    Yes, and by telling you to remove that self-imposed rating option, they're encouraging your to not be fully candid about your app.
  23. sirdir macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2006
    While I appreciate their 'privacy mattery' stance, they get more and more like big brother.
  24. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    Actually... you are BOTH correct.

    1. Apple has a long history of inconsistency and downright mishandling
    2. Everyone else sucks more

    That's not a resounding thumbs-up for Apple though. Everyone needs to do better.

    I suspect that the biggest challenge, as noted by others, is the sheer volume of apps. There is simply no way to enforce logical consistency and the application of rules when you have large numbers of PEOPLE doing the review. So... Apple automates much of this... which then relies on a specific combination of parameters that may and do also appear in non-related situations.

    Until AI and Machine Learning can consider a wider range of parameters Apple may be doing the best they can. Or not.
  25. Pupi macrumors 6502


    Apr 12, 2015
    Ugh this is beyond annoying. Probably using some algorithm to determine which ones are gambling apps, because the number of apps to review is massive. You’re a trillion dollar company, so cry me a river. Scale up.

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