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Need ‘concrete reason’ to take down betting apps, Apple

Apple has said that it needs a ‘concrete reason or a legal requirement’ to comply with the Centre’s directive to take down betting apps from its App Store, reported Economic Times.

Apple has not refused to comply with the February order by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), but it has made it clear that it cannot ‘arbitrarily’ remove the betting apps and make them unavailable in India.

The company said that since the betting apps are valid and legal in other countries, it would be difficult for them to remove them in India. Apple has been asked to look into ways for implementing the order.

Apple executives and IT officials had met in March, shortly after the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) released a list of 138 gaming and betting application that were barred from operating in India.

The iPhone maker is in the process of ‘vetting’ the apps to ensure that only ‘wrong or bad players’ of the ecosystem are taken down, reported Economic Times.

As an interim measure, Apple has taken down some of the apps that the IT ministry had banned in February, while it is working on the best possible solution” for other apps.

Earlier in April, the Centre notified new regulations for gaming through an amendment to the IT Rules to protect online gamers from harmful content and addiction and prohibited games that involve wagering or betting with real money.

Following this, ministry officials have again asked Apple to ensure that any apps that allowed betting or wagering were not present on its App Store.

Minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government would establish multiple self-regulatory organisations (SROs) that will approve games that comply with the rules for operation in the country. Livemint

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