Tech giant Apple sent shockwaves through the gambling industry last week when it announced that it would no longer support HTML5-based real money gambling apps on the App Store. The shocking news was part of the new App Store Review Guidelines published by the company on June 3.
Following the new guidelines, gambling companies will have to develop dedicated native apps for iOS devices if they want to distribute their products to Apple users through the App Store.
The company also instructed those with existing apps to ensure that they adhere to the new guidelines by Sept. 3, 2019.
How Does The rule affect gambling companies?
The recent announcement by Apple is a major hurdle for gambling businesses across the board. Under the updated guidelines, real money gaming includes sports betting, casino games, poker, and horse racing. The rule will also extend to lotteries.
To comply with the new regulation, gambling companies that offer their products to Apple customers via HTML5-based applications will be forced to convert them to native-iOS apps before the enforcement of the new rule.
The process of rewriting an online game, racebook, or sportsbook is resource intensive, and smaller gambling firms may not be adequately equipped to meet the costs of rebuilding their iOS apps natively within the stipulated timeframe.
However, smaller operators will not be the only ones affected by the new rules.
For the larger gambling companies with enough resources to invest in the process, time will be a major setback given that they have less than three months to be compliant. Experts say that it might take about eight weeks to rebuild a single game, and approximately half a year for a sportsbook at the very least.
Players will also be affected
Existing HTML5-based real money gambling apps will continue to run on the App Store after Sept. 3. This means that those who have already installed such apps on their iOS devices will continue to use them after enforcement.
However, Apple will not approve updates to these apps or games after this period. Also, players will not be able to install the applications from the Apple Store in the future because they will probably vanish after the date.
Seeking alternative solutions
Apple’s crackdown on gambling apps couldn’t come at a worse time. The enforcement date is just two days before the start of the 2019 NFL season, and online sportsbook operators in New Jersey are already feeling the heat.
Mobile wagering accounts for the lion’s share of sports betting revenue in the state, so operators in the Garden State have to come up with solutions that will ensure that they remain in business during this period.
The same goes for online casino operators who wish to continue offering their services to their players after Sept. 3.
Pala Casino NJ is already making alternative arrangements in response to Apple’s memo. Their solution is a progressive web app (PWA) that customers can download from their site without having to go to the app store.
Just like a native app, the PWA will provide Pala Casino players with a fast and full-screen mobile experience. Also, users will be able to download the app and install it to the home screen of their iOS or Android device.