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Google sends Swiggy and Zomato notices over 'gamified' IPL offers

The companies were sent notices for running Zomato Premier League and Swiggy's Match Day Mania - which supposedly violates Play Store policies on gambling.

Google has sent a notice to food delivery giants Swiggy and Zomato. The notice claims that the IPL themed gamification features of the apps violate its Play Store guidelines on 'gambling'.

Zomato was running Zomato Premier League – an offer in which a user could earn cashbacks by making predictions on who would win ongoing IPL matches. Swiggy was running Match Day Mania offers in which users could earn coupons and cashbacks.

Swiggy's Match Day Mania offers
Swiggy's Match Day Mania offers
A glimpse of Zomato Premier League on the app
A glimpse of Zomato Premier League on the app

This development comes hot on the heels of Paytm's brush with the tech giant. Paytm was removed temporarily from the Play Store for running an IPL-based cashback promotion that reportedly flouts the Play Store's 'anti-gambling' policy.

Also Read: Paytm removed from Google Play Store for few hours over gambling policies

In a blog post, explaining the anti-gambling policy, Google states that it doesn’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," reads the post.

The rules of the Zomato Premier League game
The rules of the Zomato Premier League game

Google adds that it has these policies to protect users from potential harm. It explains in the article that when an app violates these policies, it notify the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance.

It added in the article that in cases where there are repeated policy violations, it may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. "Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently," it wrote.

The Economic Times reported that Google is also facing the ire of the larger tech and startup community in the country - for a policy that will require developers selling digital goods to use its in-app payment system, giving it a 30 per cent commission on each transaction completed.