Apple Cracks Down on Gambling Apps in AppStore China: 2,500 Casualties so Far
Posted in Industry September 9, 2018

Apple Cracks Down on Gambling Apps in AppStore China: 2,500 Casualties so Far

On August 9th, Apple’s App Store in China underwent a major cleanup. Approximately 2,500 lottery and gambling apps were removed, with the possibility of more apps being removed in the future. While some sources claim that over 25,000 apps were removed, the exact number remains uncertain. Regardless, this purge of gambling apps could have significant implications for the gambling industry.

It’s important to note that these apps were illegal, so the consequences of their removal may actually be positive.

Why did Apple take action against online gambling apps in China?

According to Apple, they removed “illegal gambling apps”. Since online gambling is completely illegal in China, it is understandable why Apple would want to eliminate all gambling-related apps from the Chinese branch of the App Store.

However, it is unclear whether the reported number of 2,500 apps is accurate. Chinese authorities have expressed concerns about loopholes that allow developers to create similar apps. With over 2 million applications available on the App Store and gaming being the most popular category, it seems suspicious that only 2,000 gambling apps were removed.

Furthermore, out of the reported 2,500 apps, 500 were related to fake lottery tickets, which is concerning. If these apps exist in the Chinese App Store, it is likely that they are present in other countries’ App Stores as well.

This means that iPhone and iPad users in countries where online gambling is less restricted are at risk of falling victim to mobile app fraud. It comes as no surprise that Norway also requested and received a similar App Store cleanup. In fact, other countries should consider taking similar actions. The online gambling industry does not benefit from fraud and scams that tarnish its reputation and foster hostility towards governments.

Returning to the situation in China, while the purge targeted illegal applications that posed a threat to users, the fact that all online gambling is illegal in the country suggests that this measure will not make much of a difference.

How will Apple’s cleanup of the App Store impact illegal gambling in China?

There will always be a demand for gambling services in any country. That is why many governments choose to legalize it, rather than allowing an unregulated black market to thrive, which can harm the economy and the well-being of the people.

Establishing a regulated online gambling market is a goal for many developed countries, and some have already achieved it. These countries drive the industry, with mobile gambling being the fastest-growing segment. News about mobile casino developments frequently emerge, highlighting the increasing number of gambling and lottery-related apps on platforms like the App Store.

While it is unfortunate that some developers take advantage of changing regulations to launch illegal and unfair apps, it is still preferable to having no legal market for online gambling at all. When apps come from trusted platforms, users have the option to report scams and seek justice. The situation with Apple demonstrates that positive changes can be made within the platform.

However, when dealing with an illegal gambling market, players have no rights or protections. This poses a significant risk and can lead to serious problems, including intimidation and physical harm for those with illegal gambling debts.

China may face these issues as labeling gambling as “illegal” does not erase its existence. It simply means that the gambling available in the country is risky and illegal. Betting pools on WeChat and lottery platforms on QQ are already well-known examples, but there are likely many other undiscovered gambling channels.

Apple’s purge in China: What’s the verdict?

On one hand, the cleanup of the App Store is a positive step as it removes harmful apps. On the other hand, China’s strict stance on online gambling means that gamblers in the country won’t have confidence in the safety of their bets, even after the purge.

Cleaning out a large platform like the App Store completely is extremely challenging. Some problematic apps may still remain, and there have been reports from innocent developers who had no association with gambling, yet their apps were removed during the purge.

For now, it remains uncertain how this situation will evolve. It is likely that Apple will continue its efforts to improve the App Store.

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App Store, Apple, China, Lottery Tickets, Mobile Casino, Mobile Casino Games, Online Gambling


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