Any new gambling app that wishes to be listed on the Apple App Store needs to make sure they comply with Apple’s new set of guidelines. An article on macrumors.com highlighted many of the changes but there are a couple of key changes that solely affect gambling apps. The changes in guidelines apply to real money gambling apps and cover everything form sports betting to poker. The first new guideline requires that the app be completely free. The new guideline states that:
20.5 Apps that offer real money gaming (e.g. sports betting, poker, casino games, horse racing) must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store.
Next, gambling apps are no longer allowed to offer in-app purchases for credits or virtual currency to be used for real-money gaming.
20.6 Apps that use IAP to purchase credit or currency to use in conjunction with real money gaming will be rejected.
A couple of other significant changes to the policy are part of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Essentially, apps cannot collect information from children under 13 without verified parental consent.
17.3 Apps may ask for date of birth (or use other age-gating mechanisms) only for the purpose of complying with applicable children’s privacy statutes, but must include some useful functionality or entertainment value regardless of the user’s age.
17.4 Apps that collect, transmit, or have the capability to share personal information (e.g. name, address, email, location, photos, videos, drawings, persistent identifiers, the ability to chat, or other personal data) from a minor must comply with applicable children’s privacy statutes.
While the two new guidelines in relation to COPPA will not affect real-money gaming, it could affect some social media gaming sites that do not restrict teens from playing. Check out the App Review section of the Apple Store for all guidelines and the complete process for putting an app up for public consumption.