With Apple being one of the most popular brands in the world, its decisions to allow or not allow certain types of content on its app store can make or break entire industries. In the case of the online betting industry, the decision to allow or disallow some types of gambling apps has made the ability to operate more difficult for some. But why are some betting apps being disallowed, and what does this say about the future of gambling apps in the United States?
What is causing apps to be banned?
As of right now, what is causing gambling apps to be banned is a recent decision to require apps to be native to Apple’s software. This has impacted several gambling apps that have been put into the App Store, as bettors will not be able to utilize those apps until they are compliant with Apple’s requirements to not use HTML container apps. For bettors who want to use apps like the one from BetAmerica, this means having to wait until changes are made to the apps and they are resubmitted to the App Store.
Bettors are still able to use mobile versions of the websites of many betting operators, including BetAmerica. This means that bettors are not completely left out in the cold when it comes to wagering on their mobile devices. But the crackdown on non-native apps in the App Store will certainly have an effect on how many apps are available in the near future, as there will be quite a bit of redesigning that will need to be done in order for apps to become compliant in some cases.
Difficult timing for operators
The decision to require all apps to be native came at a difficult time for betting operators, as the requirement was put into place just ahead of the start of the football season. With football season being the most popular time for sports betting in the United States, the decision to ban gambling apps that were not native at that time did not give operators the time necessary to update their mobile products ahead of the start of the season.
Instead, bettors had to take advantage of a few other options in order to get their football bets in. Those options included making wagers online using desktop devices where possible or using the mobile version of each operator’s website. Casino players were also impacted by this change, as they were not able to play casino games on apps that weren’t fully native. That issue, while not as time sensitive as it was for sports bettors, still deprived consumers the ability to play via app in a number of cases.
What else do apps need to do to comply?
In addition to being native for iPhone and iPad for those who want to use both, there are other boxes that need to be checked in order for betting apps to be allowed on the App Store. The first of those requirements is that a betting app has to be free to download in order to be allowed in the App Store. While bettors are able to fund their accounts from betting apps, they are not required to pay anything to download those apps in the first place.
Additionally, betting apps have to be restricted to the geographic areas in which they are able to operate. This means that an app that is able to be used in specific states is only to be available for play in those states, with location services being required to verify that a bettor is in those specific states in order for them to place bets. Finally, a betting operator has to have obtained licensing to operate in a given state for their app to be downloadable in that location.
Legalization impacting app usage
Not long ago, there was a time where there were little to no gambling apps available in the United States due to the fact that there wasn’t yet widespread online gambling legalization. With more states legalizing online casino and sports betting action, more apps are being developed by the licensed operators in each state to keep up with the demand.
For bettors, the benefits of the proliferation of gambling apps comes from the convenience of being able to place bets without having to go to a physical location. This saves on the expense of having to drive to a casino to play a favorite game or bet on a sporting event, while simultaneously delivering a more personalized experience to each player based on their interests. And as more states legalize online betting, more apps should follow. Of course, those apps will have to be native, or they will be barred from appearing in the App Store due to the guidelines that have been imposed by Apple.