Apple Store Gambling Policy

5.3 Gaming, Gambling, and Lotteries. Gambling, gaming, and lotteries can be tricky to manage and tend to be one of the most regulated offerings on the App Store. Only include this functionality if you’ve fully vetted your legal obligations everywhere you make your app available and are prepared for extra time during the review process. Apple has a history of being anti-gambling. It has frequently pulled apps in countries where gambling is banned or heavily restricted. Last summer, the tech giant pulled an estimated 25,000 gambling apps from its App Store in China. Gambling is illegal in China, except in Macau where there are licensed casinos.

  1. Apple Store Gambling Policy 2019
  2. Apple Store Gambling Policy Template
  3. Apple Store Gambling Policy 2020
  4. Apple Store Gambling Policy Online
Apple store gambling policy 2019

Apple Store Gambling Policy 2019

In an effort not to be undersold on its own products this holiday shopping season, Apple is quietly re-conveying its long standing price-matching procedures to retail store staffers.

Corroborating a report first published by AppleInsider earlier this week, ifoAppleStorenotes that Apple is reminding its store employees that they have 'the authority to match the prices of other authorized retailers.'

It’s unclear whether the Mac maker, which rarely offers discounts outside of back-to-school and Black Friday promotions, plans to promote the policy given the current economic situation, but has chosen not to do so in the past.

An AppleInsider reader on Monday noted that the policy has been in place for some time. 'If you bring in a flyer or ad to an Apple Store [showing proof of a lower price], they will match the price after getting it approved through the manager,' the reader said.

An Apple retail store manager posting in the comments section of the ifo report offered similar information:

'As a long time Apple Store manager, I can state that retail has always had the ability to match prices with Authorized Apple Retailers with some limits, such as matching rebates and matching prices with Club stores. The policy is very clear and printed in the retail operations manual.

The rumors were already swirling about gaming apps struggling to get in the Apple App Store. Now the whispers are written down in black and white. The latest update to the App Store Review Guidelines spells out some new rules for real-money gaming apps that will have a big impact on the industry. The June 3 update added the following section. An opt in like you said would keep the store safe for those not interested, but apple still gets to choose what they sell. Apparently servicing their customers with gambling and porn apps is not the image they’re going for.

Apple blazed the trail where Android came up short, in allowing gambling apps on its App Store platform. Until relatively recently, the Google Play Store was a no-go zone for apps from gambling operators, before allowing apps by direct link, and then ultimately adopting a more liberal approach.

Another commenter reported success in having prices from online resellers matched, not just those from brick and mortar retailers:

Last year I showed an Apple Store manager an online price and asked if he’d match it. He agreed and instructed a clerk to ring it at that price.

Apple Store Gambling Policy Template

By better vocalizing its policy to retail staffers this year, Apple hopes to keep pacing with a growing array of aggressive Black Friday sales already announced and in effect through Apple authorized resellers (Black Friday Sale), Best Buy (4-Day Apple Sale), Mac Mall (57 Hour sale), and others.


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Rival tech giants like Google and Facebook aren’t the only companies abusing Apple’s enterprise certifications to distribute unapproved apps in the Apple App Store on iOS, according to reports from Reuters and TechCrunch.

Apple’s Enterprise Developer Program is intended to facilitate distribution of apps across devices internally within corporations, governments, and other organizations. Apple explicitly forbids its use for any other purpose in its terms of service.

But the Reuters report describes the use of enterprise certificates to distribute pirated versions of popular iOS software like Minecraft, Spotify, and Pokémon Go. For example, a free version of Minecraft (which is normally a premium app) is distributed by TutuApp using the method. Another pirate distributor, AppValley, offers a version of the Spotify app with the ads that support Spotify and the music artists stripped out completely.

The distributors impersonate legitimate businesses to gain access to Apple’s enterprise certification program and tools. They also offer both free versions of their services as well as cheap annual subscriptions that are priced at a point the legitimate services from which they steal could never viably match.

Earlier this week, a TechCrunch investigation also discovered a 'dozen hardcore-pornography apps and a dozen real-money gambling apps that escaped Apple's oversight.' Like the pirated apps, these apps bypassed Apple's App Store, given that Apple would not have approved them otherwise.

Apple has been criticized many times in the past for the App Store's stringent app-approval policy, and those critics remain. However, others have praised Apple for cracking down on apps that violate user privacy, can be used for bullying or abuse, or spread disinformation. Though the company's track record is not perfect there, that doesn't seem to be for lack of trying.

Advertisement Some competing platforms like Google Play and Android have less-stringent approvals and are more permissive still of sideloading apps that could not be distributed in the Google Play store. In this sense, the App Store and Google Play represent two competing philosophies, and those philosophies may often be deciding factors for users choosing between platforms.

Many of Apple's customers choose the platform expecting those policies to be enforced, so the company tends to move aggressively to address loopholes and other problems. And, of course, protecting Apple's ability to take a revenue cut on all app transactions is important for the company's business, as it relies more and more on services revenue (an umbrella that includes the App Store) as iPhone sales slow. We've also written before about the security ramifications about loopholes like this.

Apple Store Gambling Policy 2020

To those ends, Apple provided identical statements to both TechCrunch and Reuters on the subject of unapproved app distribution through the enterprise program:

Developers that abuse our enterprise certificates are in violation of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program Agreement and will have their certificates terminated, and if appropriate, they will be removed from our Developer Program completely. We are continuously evaluating the cases of misuse and are prepared to take immediate action.

Even when it was Google and Facebook violating Apple's policies, Apple didn't hesitate to pull certification—though it negotiated to reinstate those certifications quickly. But with so many potential abuses by so many possible actors, it looks like Apple will be playing a difficult game of whack-a-mole to enforce its policies while retaining functionality and features for legitimate and compliant enterprise customers.

Apple Store Gambling Policy Online

As a first step in its efforts to tackle these abuses, Apple announced this week that it will require developer accounts to use two-factor authentication. We'll have to wait and see if other new actions are coming, but it seems likely.