Apple Pushes Back Deadline For Gambling App Developers to Comply With Native Request

Posted on: September 21, 2019, 02:15h. 

Last updated on: September 22, 2019, 11:42h.

Apple is giving developers of gambling-related mobile applications more time to comply with a previously announced edict requiring the apps to be “native,” or rooted in the iOS operating system.

Apple is giving developers more time to comply with the native app mandate. (Image: The Verge)

In June, Apple said it was pushing developers to eschew the HTML5 coding system in favor of publishing apps based on iOS. At that time, the company set an early September deadline for the transition, which was not well-received in the developer community. Many smaller publishers don’t have the resources, financial nor human, to make the shift in such a short time frame.

Earlier this month, Apple reconsidered and decided to grant developers another six months to make their products in the App Store native to iOS.

All new apps must follow this guideline, and we urge you to update your existing apps as soon as possible,” said Apple in a statement. “If your existing app requires more time to implement the guidelines, we’ve provided an additional six months, until March 3, 2020, to bring it into compliance.”

Native apps are coded for use on specific mobile devices. For example, apps with a foundation on the iOS platform would be reserved for use on iPhones and iPads, whereas HTML5 is more versatile, and apps coded in that language can run on a wider variety of devices.

Device makers claim apps rooted in their operating system can boost devices’ dependability, functionality, and speed.

Relief For Online Casinos, Sportsbooks

In June, Apple pledged to ban non-native apps if developers did not comply with the now-scrapped September deadline, a threat that drew considerable criticism from publishers of online casino and sportsbook apps.

Developers of such apps usually prefer HTML5 because it streamlines the development process and can be used across multiple platforms. Apps based on HTML5 appear on mobile devices as they would on a desktop or laptop personal computer, basically running as a dedicated web browser.

Another issue for purveyors of casino apps is that the various games offered by the publishers are often coded by multiple partners. For example, a gaming operator offering mobile versions of blackjack, poker, and roulette could have those games coded by two or three companies, making the transition to native app protocols costly and time consuming.

Sportsbook app operators may not be thrilled with Apple’s native app push, but they will likely be compelled to comply for the simple reason that mobile sports wagering is a booming business. By some estimates, 90 percent of all sports bets placed in the US within the next 10 years will take place online or via smartphones.

Hard Line

Apple is giving developers more time to comply with its native app mandate, but the iPhone maker is clear that it will eventually forbid live money gambling apps, lotteries and related fare that are not based on iOS code.

“In June, we updated guideline 4.7 sections 4, 5, & 6, to further narrow these exceptions and clarify an existing restriction,” said the company. “Apps containing or running code that is not embedded in the binary cannot provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, among other changes.”

Guideline 4.7 states that the App Store can carry HTML5-based games if real money isn’t involved, digital commerce isn’t supported and if the app adheres to Apple guidelines.