EiG Keynote: Apple’s vision of gambling in the app store

EiG Keynote: Apple’s vision of gambling in the app store

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Posted by Totally Gaming
Philip Shoemaker sheds some light on Apple’s attitude to gambling

Speaking on the future of mobile engagement at EIG Berlin 2016, Apple’s former senior director of App Store Philip Shoemaker detailed the perspective of the global tech giant with regards to gambling products and services.

Opening his speaker session, Shoemaker told his audience that in order to grasp Apple’s position with regards to gambling services, industry stakeholders must understand Apple’s sensitive relationship and history with the gambling sector.

Shoemaker, who played a key role in opening the Apple iStore to gambling services, details Apple’s cautious approach to reviewing betting and gaming apps and games.

He dispelled the notion that Apple is solely concerned with gambling jurisdiction issues with regards to its iStore inventory, adding that the strict concerns of Apple’s senior stakeholder ‘Executive Review Board’ which have primarily focused their concerns on user ‘authentication’.

From an Apple governance perspective, Shoemaker stated that gambling services are sensitive, as the tech firm has concerns regarding users being able to bypass authentication mechanisms and place bets on apps.

As an Apple veteran, Shoemaker noted that the company is led by a principal of protecting its customer and brand first, above the end services/functions of apps on its iStore inventory.  

Detailing why gambling/gaming apps are rejected by Apple, Shoemaker broke down Apple’s review process, which the developer community has often referred to as a ‘black box’.   

Shoemaker advised developers and industry stakeholders to thoroughly review Apple iStore guidelines before any development takes place, although Shoemaker stated this advice may sound obvious, he is still surprised by how many companies fail to undertake the process.

Furthermore, Apple app review teams have found that approximately 21% of apps submitted are faulty and do not fulfil the basic criteria of their iStore submission.

Pointing to further bad traits by developers and firms submitting their apps, Shoemaker detailed that ‘misrepresentation’ of their products and services to be a core reason for rejection. The Apple review team has seen countless amounts of fake screenshots submitted by app developers, which are proceeded by inaccurate summary/overviews of product services and functions.

As gaming has become more popular as a vertical, Shoemaker noted that the team has seen more cases of ‘copycat apps’ mimicking popular content on the iStore. Shoemaker warned developers that they have to research whether their apps are truly unique to feature and compete within iStore framework.

Addressing Apple’s potential concerns relating to future industry apps, Shoemaker noted that gaming holds particular intricacies in its development of products.

Of note is the apparent cross over between eSports and betting related apps, which Shoemaker noted will blur and complicate submission processes for developers trying to crack a multi-million dollar market.


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