All iOS Gambling Apps Need to Be Native Starting September 4

September 27, 2019 John Isaac

In early June of 2019, Apple announced that they would no longer allow online gambling platforms to release their offerings in the app store as HTML container apps. Instead, all real-money betting options will need to be native apps, meaning any additions and updates to their coding would have to be approved by Apple. This will take effect as soon as September 4, 2019, so it’s right around the corner at the time of writing this post.

What This Means for Online Casinos and Sportsbooks

Man's hands holding iPhone in denim shirt

iPhone gambling: fewer options, better performance © Adrianna Calvo/Pexels

This rollout came as a heavy hit to online casino operators, because containers apps are significantly cheaper to create and get your offerings on the app store more quickly. Updates aren’t required either. Rather, companies are merely reflecting what they have on their site as an app. So, you could get the same user experience (UX) by visiting the casino website from your mobile phone browser. While the HTML container apps do add a bit more convenience when compared to accessing the site via web browser, the difference is slight. Still, it was appreciated and utilized by players around the world.

But now, online casinos need to create a native app for iOS. This means slower and more expensive development, regular updates, and more oversight by Apple. However, it also comes with some positives. Online casinos would now be able to send push notifications, see a significant increase in performance, and offer exclusive in-app options.

These pros and cons don’t just apply to Apple. In general, the advantages and disadvantages of HTML vs Native apps are cross-provider. While Android has yet to require similar measures, the differences between the two options are the same no matter your operating system. Typically, Android is more relaxed than iOS when it comes to app offerings, so online casinos can presumably feel less concerned about complying there. On the other hand, if you’re already investing all that time in an iOS app, it might be worthwhile to roll out an Android options as well.

HTML5 mobile games can be found by potential players via standard search engines, which isn’t the case for native apps. But, as previously mentioned, the long-term advantages of native apps are difficult to ignore, and this new iOS requirement may have largely sped up the inevitable.

How Will Players Be Affected?

Players won’t really be affected. If you already have an online casino’s HTML option on your iPhone, you should still be able to use it after the September 4 deadline for online betting websites. But even still, you won’t have access to any new or existing choices after the deadline. Instead, you’ll need to find online casinos that have created a native app, which may not be one where you hold a current membership. If that’s the case, you might be limited to flash gaming if you’re not willing to open up a new account.

The good news is twofold. Firstly, you can enjoy better performance, so your gameplay experience should improve. The convenience of the banking options and the immediacy of having all the games there and ready to go is worth noting as well.

Secondly, Apple now has to closely review and approve every new online betting option that enters their store, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find only reputable outlets in the store. You also have (an additional) strict and influential licensing body that you can appeal to if you have any concerns with the operator, which is never a bad thing. Peace of mind is crucial for enjoyable online gaming.

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