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Know why Paytm app was removed from Play Store by Google



Paytm App Removed From Google Play Store


“Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google’s Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon. All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal,” read a tweet from official handle of Paytm app. The message left its users in a tizzy, but the company soon clarified that their money is safe.

The move by Google to remove Paytm from Google Play because of the addition of the fantasy cricket tournament that the company recently included, which violates Google Play policies. Also with this Google Play has barred the Paytm First Games app that also included the same fantasy cricket features with real money betting.

New users on Android devices are also not able to download the app from the preloaded Google Play. However, existing users who have the app already installed on their devices can continue to use the mobile wallet and other services provided by the company.

What is the issue?

Sports betting is banned in India, but fantasy sports like Dream 11 where users select their favourite players and prepare their own team on the basis of their performance and chances and win real money if the chosen player do well is not illegal in most Indian states.

Google said that Play Store prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting in India. Paytm, which promotes fantasy sports service within its marquee app, repeatedly violated Play Store’s policies.

“We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies,” said Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy in a blog.

Google has told several companies in India to pause all advertising campaigns to drive users to websites that offer installation files of sports betting apps.

What will happen next?

Google claims that these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, Google notifies the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance. And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.

So Paytm will have to adhere to the rule laid down by Google or remain barred.

The move by the internet giants can be seen as a preemptive attempt from the company to remind other developers about its gambling policies a day before the popular cricket tournament Indian Premier League is scheduled to kick off.

What is Paytm First Games

Paytm First Games offers over 50 games where the most popular is fantasy sports where players apply research and strategy to engage with live sporting events. The platform currently engages with over 80 million gaming enthusiasts with the majority of them from smaller cities and towns. The company has recently roped in cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador.

The company has also earmarked ₹300 crores to invest in growing the market for fantasy sports and other online gaming events this fiscal.

Interestingly, fantasy app Dream11, the title sponsor of this year’s IPL, has never been available on Play Store.



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