Numerous Apps Caught up in Apple's New App Store Review Policy to Ban Gambling-Related Apps
Apple has today implemented a new App Review policy in an attempt to crack down on gambling-related apps in the App Store, but many apps that are being banned as a result appear to have very little to do with gambling at all.
Our newsstand/news/magazine app just got removed from sale from the App Store 24 hours after our 3.0 update was approved. Reason given: gambling/fraudulent activity. We publish a magazine — nothing to do with gambling or fraud at all. 😞😢😲😱 https://t.co/ewu3mE5FG5 pic.twitter.com/vaKtLthvkW
— Wojtek Pietrusiewicz (@morid1n) August 9, 2018
Apple has been providing affected developers with the following reason for their app’s removal from the App Store:
In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. The includes both real money gambling apps as well as apps that simulate a gambling experience.
As a result, this app has been removed from the App Store. While you can no longer distribute gambling apps from this account, you may continue to submit and distribute other types of apps to the App Store.
Apple just removed WatchPlay from the App Store for being a gambling app.
— Ziph0n (@Ziph0n) August 8, 2018
The reason that apps unrelated to gambling are being removed appears to be because the ban 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 app.
Ticking it automatically slaps the app with a 17+ age rating in the App Store, because it gives users of the app the potential ability to circumvent parental controls.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post if we hear more.
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