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No More Apps: iPhone Sportsbook Apps in States to go Way of Dodo Bird?

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jun/12/2019

The dinosaurs, the dodo birds, the iPhone sportsbook apps.  Well the later isn't extinct yet, it soon could be.  At least that's what Calvin McAlee of LineUps.com warned in recent days.

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Unless Apple drops its percentage down for real money gaming apps (and significantly), we may not see any real money gambling sites on iOS.

The dire warnings come as Apple has set new guidelines for its apps to go into effect (coincidentally?) the start of the 2019 NFL season, or there about, September 3.

“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.”

Because 95% of all sportsbook products are wrapped (i.e. don’t conform to this standard), the process of adapting could take up to 12 months.  In the end, it may not be worth the time and effort considering there may be other nonconforming complex variables involved that apply to the actual transactions and regulatory concerns.

Regional Content Director for Catena Media, perhaps the world’s largest online gambling affiliate conglomerate, sounded the alarm this week.

I cannot overstate how serious the new Apple guideline is. The online casino industry is being set up to fail, and there is not much time to try and right the ship.

Catena Media, arguably the largest affiliate marketer in the new online sports betting sector in New Jersey, likely stands to lose the most from this policy along with its state licensed sportsbook partners the likes of Draftkings and FanDuel.  That's because the one competitive edge NJ-licensed sportsbooks and online casinos had over its offshore nemeses is the app.

Wellman added:

The more I look into it, the more worried I get. This has potential to really mess with things that I don't think people fully realize.

There do appear to be some online gambling sites that are native to iOS (Apple's operating system), including WSOP.com. 

Android is yet to incorporate a similar policy.  In neighboring Pennsylvania, the sportsbooks there are not even bothering to allow app downloads via iPhones.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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