Apple blocks gambling apps in “unfortunate” mistake

Apple has been harangued by gaming developers after it heavy handedly removed the wrong apps from its App Store.

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Apple has been harangued by gaming developers after it heavy handedly removed the wrong apps from its App Store.

The tech giant was responding to a request from the Norwegian regulator that it makes gambling and gambling-related apps unavailable to Norwegian residents – in order to comply with national regulation and to support its ongoing effort to tackle problem gambling.

Apple then did so and contacted the relevant companies to inform them their apps had been taken down: to “reduce fraudulent activity… and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity”.

However Apple, received a myriad of complaints from firms who had received the notice; many of whom were not related to gambling – and several gambling-related apps were made unavailable across the globe – and not only in Norway.  

Simon Stovring, a Copenhagen-based developer behind the Gifferent app, told the BBC: “Apple says these apps contain gambling but they don’t reveal how they have detected this. It seems like an unfortunate but honest mistake.”

Meanwhile Niall Watchorn, developer of Xbox clips app, said it was “very frustrating” as his app had “just started gaining traction”.

Wojtek Pietrusiewicz, co-owner of iMagazine, said their app had been “caught in the crossfire”.

 


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