David Williams | 21 Aug 2018
Major technology giant Apple has embarked on a large-scale clean-up process in an endeavour to rid its App Store from all and any content associated in any way with unlicensed and/or illegal gambling.
After cracking down on illegal apps targeting players in Norway, Apple has now abolished an estimated 25,000 Lottery apps from the store in China. A statement issued by the brand explains that this was done following increased pressure and criticism from state media, as well as in order to fully comply with regulations.
Apple has also responded by saying that it has already removed numerous online casino apps as well as the developers offering and promoting them, in an effort to completely rid the platform from all and any illegal gambling content. The company has also emphasised that it was vigilant in finding and removing the illegal content, and that it would continue to do so.
No confirmation has yet been received regarding exactly how many have been removed to date.
Chinese broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), has however reported on the matter and stated that Apple had removed 500 apps containing the key word “Lottery” in its name between July 31st and August 13th. Then, on August the 9th, the tech giant removed a further 4,000 apps related to gambling.
CCTV reported on the matter by saying that the problem was that Apple had initially laid down the rules that developers were to comply with in terms of content, but had failed to enforce those rules. The situation has now ballooned into a problematic issue, forcing them to embark on the large-scale clean up. The report by CCTV strongly suggests that the tech brand has largely been at fault for allowing the illegal content to be made available on the purchase platform in the first place.
It was also reported that a major online gambling ring was bust by police in Eastern China recently. The ring is said to have been involved in dealings to the tune of $1.14 billion. According to police reports, 56 suspects have been arrested for having attempted to make a profit from illegal applications on the online platform.
It remains to be seen what the effect of the major clean-up process will be on the App Store, going forward.