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Martin

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Hi everyone. all of our gambling apps just got removed from the apple app store. About 15 in total. No warning, no email, just gone. Apple strikes again. Anyone else seen this?
Here's the message below.

Hope you're all doing well guys and not impacted too much by this.
Happy Developing 😉
Martin


Dear Developer,

In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. This includes both real money gambling apps as well as apps that simulate a gambling experience.

As a result, this app has been removed from the App Store. While you can no longer distribute gambling apps from this account, you may continue to submit and distribute other types of apps to the App Store. 

Going forward only verified accounts from incorporated business entities may submit gambling apps for distribution on the App Store. Visit the Enrollment page to learn more about enrolling an organization in the Apple Developer Program. For information on transferring an app to another developer account, please review the App transfer overview page in App Store Connect Developer Help.

As a reminder, the App Store Review Guidelines state that it is your responsibility to ensure your app complies with all legal requirements in any location where you make it available. Submitting apps designed to mislead or harm customers or evade the review process may result in the termination of your Apple Developer Program account. Review the Terms & Conditions of the Apple Developer Program to learn more about our policies regarding termination.

Best regards,

App Store Review
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dmmcmah

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yes I saw it. But its fine on company accounts. I have a corporate account and all the slots are still there. 
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Supercode

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ohhh, that's really bad.

Fortunately I don't have any slots in my account.

Now, for about a year, I feel like I have done some crime when I published games. I live in fear that next morning apple or google can suspend may games for some new reasons, ban admob account for any reasons, and etc.
You don't know if your accounts will be live next week or not. Will you receive your payment or not.
That's really bad feeling.

PS
does anybody still can pass apple review with new games or updates?
I can't for about a year (did not even tried this year)...

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dmmcmah

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercode
ohhh, that's really bad.

Fortunately I don't have any slots in my account.


PS
does anybody still can pass apple review with new games or updates?
I can't for about a year (did not even tried this year)...


Fortunately? Actually slots make a lot more money than other types of games.

I continually pass Apple review and have even got slots approved recently. The bottom line is don't reskin. The problem with the mobile gaming industry is too many people are scamming it be reskinning. With products like Buildbox there is no reason to. 
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Supercode

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I wish you good luck further [wink]!

I have rejected games coded by me also, so original code is not guarantee at all.
Rather, I feel that, developer account have been "marked" as spammer when receive 4.3 rejection and it will not be possible to pass review anymore.

More experiences are welcome!

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dmmcmah

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Reply with quote  #6 
Well that's true, nothing is guaranteed. 

They do mark accounts as spammers. Try opening another one and see if you have better luck. But you have to make it look like it has no connection to the first one. 
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bestgamesstudios

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercode

PS
does anybody still can pass apple review with new games or updates?
I can't for about a year (did not even tried this year)...


I submitted some games just recently and didn't have any issues

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #8 
This is why I'm trying to move away from the app store model. I've ranted about it many times in my videos, but the biz model where you have someone between you and your end customer is a huge problem.

This past few months I regularly get emails from google saying they've removed game xyz from our account for whatever reason. These days I don't even bother trying to fix the error unless its on of our top downloaded games.
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Supercode

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmmcmah
Well that's true, nothing is guaranteed. 

They do mark accounts as spammers. Try opening another one and see if you have better luck. But you have to make it look like it has no connection to the first one. 


I had two accounts, but that didn't helped a lot.
It looks like accounts have to be completely isolated - on another person, logging from another ip, another address and bank details, and even another computer, as it is possible that apple can see that apps are made on same computer, compiled on same xcode and that is signal to mark them as "one developer made duplicates". It is just like fingerprint of your computer, and apple see that data.
It is not worth the effort anymore... [cool]


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Roman

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Reply with quote  #10 
I've published a lot of games recently on Apple Appstore. Didn't have any problems... since I had to make them. (Had to make App Containers since I had too much similar games(Mostly VR rollercoaster rides))

I think that removing spam games, apps and wallpapers from the Appstore will be good in a long run since there will be less competition. They forced the same rule on bigger companies like Outfit7(owners of Talking Tom) and that doesn't happen often. (In most cases new rules apply only for smaller indies)

I hope that in the future, making well-polished games will make more money than today where visibility of new games on the Appstore is horrible.

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matrixreal

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercode


I had two accounts, but that didn't helped a lot.
It looks like accounts have to be completely isolated - on another person, logging from another ip, another address and bank details, and even another computer, as it is possible that apple can see that apps are made on same computer, compiled on same xcode and that is signal to mark them as "one developer made duplicates". It is just like fingerprint of your computer, and apple see that data.
It is not worth the effort anymore... [cool]



are you sure about that "like fingerprint" thing ?
what about using virtual machine ?
thanks for reply
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Supercode

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrixreal


are you sure about that "like fingerprint" thing ?
what about using virtual machine ?
thanks for reply

I had two developer accounts, but one mac computer.
I made only few copies of my games in second account (yes, yes, I was cloning, I was doing bad things..[crazy]), and thats it. Can't pass reviews anymore.
I tried to publish one game in my first account, when it got rejected I tried to publish in second account and it get rejected again. Then I send code to my friend, and he published it without a problem, as he had clean account with few games, and he never got rejected before. And when game went live, he just transferred it back to my account.
About "fingerprint" - I don't know for sure, of course, but I just had feeling like that. We will never know what data apple collects from apple computers, but I am pretty sure they collect quite a lot of data. And they can use it for any purposes.
Anyway, I think cloning and using multiple accounts is dead completely now. That is good for indie developers, in theory, but it looks like apple is destroying not only reskinners. They are hitting hard a lot of good developers and even business app developers.  All together.
Those who are not affected, are lucky!!![wink]


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dmmcmah

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Reply with quote  #13 
Apple doesn't track computers and IP addresses for the purposes of apps. Its true accounts should be separated, different company name bank account etc, but they don't care where the apps are made. One reason is apps are often made by people who build apps for others, including uploading them to the app store and submitting them to review. You might register a new account from a different computer or using a different IP but for general operation its not necessary, otherwise Apple would be in the absurd position of banning third parties who assist others with their app businesses. 


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Supercode

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmmcmah
Apple doesn't track computers and IP addresses for the purposes of apps. Its true accounts should be separated, different company name bank account etc, but they don't care where the apps are made. One reason is apps are often made by people who build apps for others, including uploading them to the app store and submitting them to review. You might register a new account from a different computer or using a different IP but for general operation its not necessary, otherwise Apple would be in the absurd position of banning third parties who assist others with their app businesses. 



They ARE banning third parties too. Unfortunately.
For example, I read in one forum last year, that company who was making webpages and apps for restaurants and retail industry, cant update any of their >500 client apps, as apple recommends to gather them in one "container app", as they are similar. Of course they are similar, but one are for restaurant in Chicago, one is for completely different client in Dallas, one for NewYork and so on. It is absurd to gather them in one app! So big business app developers was hit also....

And you will never know what apple is tracking and for what purposes[wink]. Same as google, as fb and others. I believe we would be surprised how much information they have.



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dmmcmah

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Reply with quote  #15 
Apple pulled the gambling apps to please the Chinese government.

The article incorrectly notes they were pulled from China, rather than pulled from the app store period. 

From wall street journal:

Apple Pulls 25,000 Apps From China Amid a Barrage of State-Media Criticism

BEIJING— Apple Inc. AAPL 2.00% pulled illegal apps from its App Store in China after coming under fire from state media for not doing enough to filter out banned material.

“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement Monday. “We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store.”

The removals were reported earlier by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday, which said 25,000 apps were pulled. Apple didn’t confirm that number. It offers more than 1.8 million apps in China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Removing 25,000 apps would amount to about 1.4% of that total.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has recently been criticized by Chinese state media for having illegal apps in its store, as well as for not doing enough to filter banned content on its iMessage service.

“Apple itself has set up the rules on how to allow apps onto its store, but it didn’t follow that, resulting in the proliferation of bogus lottery apps and gambling apps,” CCTV said in its report Sunday.

The media attacks against Apple come at a sensitive time for American companies operating in China, as concerns grow about the fallout of a trade fight between the world’s two biggest economies. Trade experts say China could hurt U.S. companies either through tariffs or other measures, including media-led campaigns against American goods.

American-branded goods, including Apple’s iPhones, continue to be popular in China.

Apple occasionally cleans up its App Store in the U.S. as well, removing outdated or spam apps. In China, Apple said it removed nearly 700 virtual private networks, or VPN, apps from its App Store last year in response to new local restrictions. VPNs are used by individuals and companies to send secure emails, transmit data and access websites that are blocked in China.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-pulls-25-000-apps-from-china-app-store-following-state-media-criticism-1534731049



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Martin

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Reply with quote  #16 
Our gambling games were completely remove from all the stores, not just in China.

Martin
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Supercode

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Reply with quote  #17 
I saw a miracle yesterday! [crazy]

As I wrote last year, apple was rejecting all updates and submits, so I stopped publishing in August last year.
Now, I wanted to test waters again and made update for one of my games, improved graphics, changed keywords, changed title to shorter, and rewrote description. 
And update passed review! [biggrin] The same day I submitted it.
I will release it today.

It was more than year since my last updates... I don't know what changed, or it was just pure luck.
Now I will try to update my top game, hope it will pass apple grinder again.

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #18 
great to hear 😉
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Frederikw

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Reply with quote  #19 
Hello!
My app just got rejected with the same "Simulated Gambling" stuff... Is there any way to get it out anyway (VIA APPSTORE)? do i just need to make an organisation account?

And is it NOT possible to use the same code for multiple apps? 

PS.
I sell the app service to companies. 
Its a spin to win, with small prizes from the shops.

Thanks.
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dmmcmah

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Reply with quote  #20 
Its now a rule that simulated gambling apps have to be submitted using an organizational account. So create a company account and resubmit. 
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Frederikw

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thanks
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