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Apple opens the iPhone to lotteries
Apple has modified the iPhone SDK terms to allow lottery-style applications, so now you can lose your shirt from anywhere.
Until now lottery addicts have been limited to applications that listed the winning numbers, or been forced to run up the browser to buy themselves a piece of the dream, but now lotteries and sweepstakes can be embedded in the application itself thanks to a change in the iPhone SDK.
The new rule is unambiguous:
"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"
The only limitation is that developers must "clearly state in binding official rules for each promotion that Apple is not a sponsor of, or responsible for conducting, the promotion". Which seems fair enough.
So we could see a deluge of such applications, and indeed the first one, called "KaChing Button" is already in the Application Store and offering $1000 a day to someone selected randomly from those who download the app and press the big, red, button which comprises the application's only functionality (other than the accompanying sound effect).
Making the noise of a cash register is probably marginally less annoying than a farting noise, and the potential to win a grand is significantly motivating, but we´ll be waiting to see what other applications turn up in the iTunes store now that Apple has loosened the rules. ®