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Apple demands real money gambling apps be iOS native

Apple is one of the biggest technology companies on the planet, but it’s never been particularly friendly towards the gambling industry. In its early days, the company’s vaunted App Store was all but closed real-money gambling apps. These days the company is slightly friendlier towards the industry as that wall that kept gambling apps has been reduced to a nearly insurmountable hurdle.

Earlier this week, Apple announced that all real-money gambling apps offered on the App Store must be dedicated native iOS apps. In short, that means that any gambling operator who wants to offer his or her services to those well-heeled Apple iPhone users must develop a separate, specific app for iOS.

While this may sound perfectly reasonable to the layman, it presents a major obstacle for smaller operators who must now create a standalone app for iOS and different app for Android users. That represents a tremendous amount of additional work for developers and operators as iOS users account for a mere 23 percent of all the mobile users on the planet.

Apple dropped its bomb in a developers update with no real fanfare. The specific wording from Apple reads, “HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.”

This new development means that operators who are looking to serve newly opened US sports betting markets will have to scramble to build the iOS native apps before professional football season starts on September 4.