Bengaluru: Google on Friday removed Paytm and Paytm First Games App from Play Store for allegedly violating its gambling policies.
Google, whose Google Pay directly competes with Paytm, suddenly pulled the plug on its rival, a day after it issued a blog post highlighting its Play gambling policies in India.
Paytm has more than 50 million monthly active users in India.
By doing so, Google sent a strong signal to apps that have been indirectly helping Indian users access unregulated gambling or sports betting.
Suzanne Frey, Vice President, (Product, Android Security, and Privacy), Google, said in a statement “We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. 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.”
Paytm tweeted acknowledging the ban stating “Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google’s Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon.” Existing users who have the Paytm app installed on their Android devices can continue to use the service but, they won’t be able to receive any updates from the Play Store until the ban is lifted.
The possible reason for the ban could be because of Paytm First Games App, which allows users to win cash prizes which then can then be transferred to the Paytm wallet. Paytm First Games is a fantasy gaming platform for cricket, basketball, football, and kabaddi.
Paytm Money, Paytm Mall, and Paytm for businesses are available for download. Existing users can continue using the app except for both new downloads. Updation of the app is not happening currently.
With Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 commencing tomorrow it would be interesting to see developments of similar kinds of apps (in the same business) and how Google responds to them.