Apple to impose 17+ age limit for social casino apps

21 August 2019

Technology giant Apple has confirmed that all social casino applications available via its App Store will now carry an age rating of 17-plus in all countries and regions.

In an update posted on its developer microsite, Apple said that the changes were implemented on August 20 on a worldwide basis.

It described these products as "simulated gaming apps", describing them as games that a gambling experience without real-money wagers, such as free-to-play slots and poker products.

In practice, this will mean that developers will have to enter a Rating Classification Number from the Game Rating and Administration Committee, which will review each the app before granting the rating.

In addition, Apple said that apps in the 17-plus ‘casino’ subcategory, as well as entertainment and games apps with simulated gambling would be available in South Korea for users who are at least 19 years old following discussions with the country’s government.

Apple has acted on the request of a number of national administrations to remove access to gambling apps in recent years, including China in August 2018, when approximately 4,000 apps tagged with the keyword “gambling” were cut from the App Store in the country.

In June, Apple announced that it would only allow gambling apps native to iOS to be hosted in its App Store, giving operators until September 3 to ensure their products comply.

In an updated series of guidelines for App Store reviews, the tech giant stated that HTML5 games distributed within apps “may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce”.