Apple halts gambling ads in App Store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2022
Apple has paused App Store ads relating to gambling after developers and App Store users complained about the frequency of gambling ads.

Two new ad slots featuring gambling apps
Two new ad slots featuring gambling apps


On Tuesday, app developers spoke out on social media, voicing concerns that Apple's new App Store ad slots regularly feature gambling apps. Possibly in response to the backlash, Apple has taken down ads relating to gambling.

An Apple spokesperson reached out to AppleInsider with the following statement:

"We have paused ads related to gambling and a few other categories on App Store product pages."

Gambling apps were heavily featured in Apple's new ad slots, with some users reporting that they'd seen gambling apps advertised up to 30% of the time.

The ads appeared next to apps geared toward children and even on pages for gambling addiction recovery apps.

Gambling apps are highly controversial. The apps allow players to gamble in casino-like games, including Blackjack, poker, roulette, and more. In addition, many of these apps inform users that they can exchange winnings for cash via PayPal, Apple Pay, or prepaid debit cards.

Many were critical of Apple for allowing the ads in the first place, stating that it had lost sight of its customer-first vision.

A spot check on Wednesday evening is showing at least moderately relevant ads for apps -- and no sign of the gambling apps.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Thank goodness. Wiser heads have prevailed for the moment. Now keep them out, Apple.
    twokatmew9secondkox2thtAnilu_777Alex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    Boy. Talk about reactionary. 

    But still it’s a good thing. 

    Just should have been proactive here. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Boy. Talk about reactionary. 

    But still it’s a good thing. 

    Just should have been proactive here. 
    Reactive, yes, reactionary, no. That’s a whole ‘mother thing.  
    Anilu_777Alex_Vtenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    Whoopie doodle. Now U.S. citizens can return to viewing gambling ads online, on TV, in magazines, in the mail, on billboards, at bus stops, train stations, airports yada yada yada. I'm noting that I can currently see a 'ZZ Top/Viva Las Vegas Show at the Venetian Resort' advert right in this thread and am completely shocked at the blatant attempt at marketing gambling through a family fun web site like AppleInsider. 
    edited October 2022 JanNLAlex_Vwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    LOL 

    shameful to begin with

    timmy getting desparate 


    williamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 22
    I don’t want Apple to allow ads on my devices. I pay already a premium price for higher privacy protection and non-ad policy. 
    s.metcalftdknoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,515member
    In a few months ads will just be a normal part of the experience and everyone (for the most part) will have gotten over this. Then will come the slow expansion into other Apple services and ad plans. Personally, I'm certain everything is being put into place and the machinery started. A few complaints on the internet that quiet down within a week or two without any real negative effect on device purchases isn't going to detour the plans.

    No one will actually follow thru on threats to discontinue services or not buy another Apple machine, so Apple won't care. Having more money than most countries (and nothing to spend it on) isn't enough.

    Must. Have. More.
    edited October 2022 muthuk_vanalingambala1234s.metcalftdknox
  • Reply 8 of 22
    JP234JP234 Posts: 807member
    I've never seen a gambling ad on the App Store. And never missed it!
    Alex_V
  • Reply 9 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,656member
    If we all take a step back from the nature of the ads that are causing all of the current fuss, I think you’ll see that the way Apple has implemented the ad placement via the “You Might Also Like” model is incredibly flawed or just stupid. I hate to call it stupid, but it is totally stupid. Why? Because they apparently do not apply any notion of contextual association to the ad placement model.

    For example, when I just opened up the overview page for the SketchUp app and looked at the “You Might Also Like” section the very first thing that Apple’s amazingly sophisticated targeted ad algorithms plop in the list is an app called “Mini Basketball.” What the …? It’s like they are simply pulling this stuff in randomly. All of the non-ad recommendations are very contextually similar to SketchUp app, but the ad is so obviously out of place. It’s just random noise, like most TV ads are when political campaigning is not front and center.

    If Apple’s ad placement is random, the ads you are likely to see are simply based on who is buying up the ad slots. If the people paying for ads are hawking app categories you don’t like and Apple is plopping them in at random, you are going to see stuff you don’t like everywhere. This is in no way an endorsement by Apple for the products being hawked, it’s just what happens when no thought process other than selling more ad space to people who show up with money goes into the algorithm.

    Apple could improve the situation immensely by doing some contextual association with the ads that get placed. People looking for gambling apps for example would see ads for more gambling apps, but people looking for mindfulness apps or meditation apps would not see ads for gambling apps. Apple could also regulate and filter the ads it allows into their ad model, but that would be much more heavy handed and border on censorship. I suspect they’ll do a bit of both, but they should fix the context problem immediately. Stupid is not a good look for Apple.




    Alex_Vmuthuk_vanalingamtdknox
  • Reply 10 of 22
    gatorguy said:
    In a few months ads will just be a normal part of the experience and everyone (for the most part) will have gotten over this. 
    In this case, the "ads" are really product placement. The presentation isn't any different than the rest of the App Store. It's like companies that pay extra to have their products at eye level in a grocery store. Potential customers are more likely to see it but it doesn't really stand out otherwise. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    dutchlord said:
    I don’t want Apple to allow ads on my devices. I pay already a premium price for higher privacy protection and non-ad policy. 
    Really?  Where is the policy written that Apple has a "non-ad policy"?  Never heard of such a thing.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    dewme said: Apple could improve the situation immensely by doing some contextual association with the ads that get placed.
    Maybe, maybe not. Gambling isn't a niche activity in society. That's why those companies have so much $$ to advertise. It's like insurance, cars/trucks, or alcohol. 
  • Reply 13 of 22
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,022member
    Some say “reactive” and others are saying “proactive.” Knee-jerk responses. All they accomplish is adding to the negativity, pessimism and cynicism this society craves so much. 

    Here’s a thought: how about thinking before sending? Ask yourself if you’re contributing something negative, pessimistic and/or cynical. Then see if you can rewrite what you intend to send, but without the negativity. 

    I think apple handled this whole thing very well. No harm done. Now move on. 
    sphericwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,656member
    dewme said: Apple could improve the situation immensely by doing some contextual association with the ads that get placed.
    Maybe, maybe not. Gambling isn't a niche activity in society. That's why those companies have so much $$ to advertise. It's like insurance, cars/trucks, or alcohol. 
    If the only users who see gambling ads are people who are searching for or reviewing the details for another gambling app, how would that not help?

    I know that a lot of people are very upset about this issue. However, I believe it is wrong to accuse Apple of promoting gambling when it’s obvious to me that they are just being stupid. 

    Whether you like gambling or not it’s pretty obvious that there must be a crapload of gambling apps in the App Store already. If you believe that Apple should not be allowing gambling apps in the App Store in the first place is a different problem than having ads for gambling apps show up as suggestions when you’ve never shown an affinity for such apps. Suggesting a basketball app or game when I was reviewing a 3D drawing app is just as stupid. It’s blind fishing, and Apple should not be resorting to that crude and stupid level in their advertising model. It’s beneath them and everything they’ve stood for in their customer relationship focus up to this point. Dumping random ads in the "You Might Also Like" section that have nothing at all to do with the app I'm looking at or any app that I've ever purchased is just plain wrong. Who is "You" they are referring to? It ain't me.

    The gambling ad nature of this fiasco is a red herring. Being stupid in how you roll out a new ad service within one of the Crown Jewels of Apple’s ecosystem is a real problem that reaches to the top levels of Apple. Apple stepped on it in a very stupid and ugly way and made a very bad first impression. Their response indicates as much because they didn’t just put a pause on gambling app ads, they included other categories as well. Hopefully they will fix it like they’ve fixed other fiascos like Ping and MobileMe. But the real problem has much less to do with gambling and more to do with stupid execution. Someone is going to be spending more time with their family very soon.
    edited October 2022 elijahg
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Apple is only succeeding in making the App Store even less attractive to visit.

    It’s bad enough with the amount of scummy freemium apps with “Consumable” In-App-Purchases that Apple promotes.
    9secondkox2williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 22
    s.metcalf said:
    Apple is only succeeding in making the App Store even less attractive to visit.

    It’s bad enough with the amount of scummy freemium apps with “Consumable” In-App-Purchases that Apple promotes.
    LOL!  Like we have a choice?  Apple has made sure we DON'T have a choice where to get apps.
    gatorguyelijahg
  • Reply 17 of 22
    dewme said: If the only users who see gambling ads are people who are searching for or reviewing the details for another gambling app, how would that not help?
    The flip side here is that people don't like the "stalker" adverts online either. You purchase some items and then suddenly you're served with ads from the same companies or same product categories over and over. The reaction there is "I already bought the product. You don't need to flood me with ads about it".
    edited October 2022 watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,656member
    dewme said: If the only users who see gambling ads are people who are searching for or reviewing the details for another gambling app, how would that not help?
    The flip side here is that people don't like the "stalker" adverts online either. You purchase some items and then suddenly you're served with ads from the same companies or same product categories over and over. The reaction there is "I already bought the product. You don't need to flood me with ads about it".
    I totally agree. This is just another form of customer abuse. Unsubscribe, block list, or whatever it takes to stop it is a valid response.

    Like I've mentioned in the past, I really can't tell how well any of the web browsers I use actually perform because they're all bogged down with ad/spam/privacy/malware blockers of one type or another. So far Apple's scheme of dumping random garbage into one icon slot in the "You Might Also Like" section of an App Store listing is only mildly annoying. But on some news web sites I only see 50% of the screen because the ad blocker has obliterated the other half. No matter what defenses I put in place, the ads keep finding a way around the blockers, e.g., pop under banners and close buttons that don't respond to clicks. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    Boy. Talk about reactionary. 

    But still it’s a good thing. 

    Just should have been proactive here. 
    Reactive, yes, reactionary, no. That’s a whole ‘mother thing.  

    Good catch. 

  • Reply 20 of 22
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,544member
    Never should have been there in the first place and BitCoin apps should be included.
    thtwatto_cobra
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