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Apple tells Indian officials it needs specific reason to take down betting apps

Applehas reportedly communicated to Indian officials that it requires a specific reason or legal obligation to completely adhere to the government’s directive of removing betting apps from its App Store. 

The California-based company has emphasised that it cannot arbitrarily remove the betting apps, rendering them unavailable in India, The Economic Times reported, citing people aware of the matter. 

The iPhone maker has not explicitly refused to adhere to the order issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in February, which listed 138 gaming and betting applications prohibited from operating in India, it added.

YourStory could not independently verify the report and has reached out to Apple for a comment. 

In February, the government took action to block 232 apps operated by overseas entities, including Chinese ones, due to their involvement in activities such as betting, gambling, and unauthorised loan services.

According to the report, Apple has already removed certain apps that were banned by the IT ministry in February and is working to identify the most appropriate solution for the remaining apps. It has requested MeitY to provide app identification numbers for the remaining apps listed for removal to ensure accuracy, the report noted.

In April, the government introduced new regulations for online gaming, which prohibit any games associated with betting and wagering. These rules also establish a framework consisting of multiple self-regulatory organisations (SROs).

Subsequently, officials from the ministry have once again requested Apple to ensure that no apps facilitating betting or wagering are available on its App Store.

According to Apple’s published App Store review guidelines, gaming, gambling, and lotteries are complex to handle and often fall under strict regulatory frameworks. The guidelines caution developers to incorporate such functionality only after thoroughly examining their legal obligations.

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