Apple Imposes Restriction on Gambling Apps: HTML5 Games May Not Provide Access to RMG or Lotteries

June 10th, 2019
Back Apple Imposes Restriction on Gambling Apps: HTML5 Games May Not Provide Access to RMG or Lotteries

The most gigantic and globally-acknowledged tech brand Apple has made an announcement which states that it will only allow gambling apps native to iOS to be hosted in its App Store. The deadline for operators to ensure their products comply is September 3rd. These significant changes mean that…

…only native apps, those developed specifically for Apple's operating system, will be accepted in the App Store. In case the companies running sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, lottery or horse racing betting fail to comply with the updates, they risk having their products removed.

New Guidelines Enforced

According to the important updates from June 3rd, the biggest changes to take place regarding the gaming industry and closely related to HTML5 games. All the existing ups will have to comply with the new rules by the beginning of September. Here’s what the new guidelines bring:

Guideline 4.7. HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.”

Unrealistic Expectations

The majority of gambling apps currently hosted in the App Store are HTML5 sites in a native wrapper or so-called container apps. Both options are cheaper and faster to develop than a fully-fledged native product. Developing native products could be an expensive and time-consuming process, with the deadline of September 3rd being…

…the most challenging demand to meet. This falls just days before the start of the National Football League season in the US, and weeks after the start of the European football season. As far as digital marketing agency, Degree 53, stressed:

“Three months to build a fully featured native sportsbook app from scratch for a major operator is a massive undertaking and potentially unrealistic. It will require sizeable and skilled native development teams to ensure all functionalities are fully compliant. However, operators with less complex products may be able to meet the deadline if they start now.”

Mind the Deadline

The updated guidelines apply to all existing apps currently available in the App Store, in addition to any new apps that are added between now and the deadline of September 3. However, Degree 53 pointed out that while Apple will certainly reject new updates to non-compliant apps…

…these were likely to be permitted to remain in the App Store until the announced deadline. These products will still be accessible to consumers on their own mobile devices, but may not be able to download any new updates. New players will also be unable to download them from the App Store.

For the Sake of Consumers’ Protection

To summarize things, the existing non-compliant apps will be removed from the Store and the new ones not compliant with updates will be rejected when submitted. Though these groundbreaking changes will inevitably cause the industry some headache, like the 4.2 version did…

…the main point of the new rules is to protect consumers. The reputable tech giant is becoming stricter in ensuring the guidelines are adhered to, so if operators choose to stay in the Store, they will be obliged to respect the rules or risk receiving a bad reputation with Apple.


“Apple will only allow native iOS gambling apps in App Store”,, June 5, 2019.

“Updates to the App Store Review Guidelines”,, June 3, 2019.

“they risk having their products removed”

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