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Mobile gaming is undoubtedly in a league of its own in India. With the ease of use and on-the-go features it offers its user base, it is no surprise that its demand for mobile gaming has sky-rocketed over a very short period of time. Riding along the waves of the increasing poker base in India, gaming app providers have enjoyed a strong presence in both, the Android and iOS platforms in the country.
However, with a sudden move of changing compliance rules, Apple Inc. has left many gaming operators in the lurch by removing all apps submitted by individual developers.
The move has sent many currently popular gaming apps out of the iOS environment. Already, some of India’s top ranked poker apps have been removed from the app store which not only impacts the gaming operators but also players.
A little more than a week after the Norwegian Gaming Authority (NGA) compelled Apple to block access of 38 unlicensed gambling apps for Norwegians, the news of Apple removing apps from the iOS app store in an attempt to prevent the spread of gambling-related apps came through. The result was a new app review policy for apps piblished by individual developers that was implemented by the tech giant.
The company provided the 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. This 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 further stated that “only verified accounts from incorporated business entities may submit gambling apps for distribution on the App Store”.
Apple’s struggle with Indian authorities regarding anti-spam app ban has been ongoing for a while now. Adding fuel to the fire, this purge of the app store and ban on gambling apps has resulted in the removal of some of India’s most popular poker apps including poker apps from Adda52, PokerBaazi, Khelo365 and Baadshah Gaming that are currently no longer listed on the Apple app store.
Apple users comprise a substantial base for gaming companies, however, registering an app through the company credentials on the app store is a time-consuming and tedious process resulting in most companies instead opting to register the app to individual accounts. The affected gaming companies are currently faced with the option of either republishing their apps through the company account or filing an appeal to Apple to get their apps re-instated, but given the circumstances, the former seems like the only feasible option.