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Apple changes iPhone developer agreement to seemingly allow gambling applications?

Mike Rose posts this interesting change in the iPhone developer agreement:

3.3.17 Your Application may include promotional sweepstake or contest functionality provided that You are the sole sponsor of the promotion and that You and Your Application comply with any applicable laws.

Apple is certainly going to frown on straight casino gambling apps but there is a whole lot of gray area in there between roulette and sweepstakes and contests which could be exploited by developers who perhaps want to make apps with cash/prize rewards.  

For instance, how about an ad supported sweepstakes app?  Or a bingo app?  Or a March Madness app with winner getting the proceeds?  It’s all for charity!

Since laws in the US are on a state by state basis, it would be hard to allow/disallow download of the application by jurisdiction as Apple states.  Currently, Apps are parsed by country and there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism coming to change that.

Perhaps developers could rely on the iPhone’s Internet connection location to determine if they are eligible for certain contests.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.


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