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

The app then removed the cashback offer on its fantasy cricket game to end its ouster from the Play Store.

Paytm, the Indian financial services app, saw itself and its Paytm First Games (PFG) fantasy app removed from Google’s Play Store on Friday (18 September 2020).

But, Android users could access other related apps such as Paytm for Business, Paytm Money, etc. Paytm comes under One97 Communications and is one of India’s leading brands. As per a LiveMint report on 23 Jul 2020, “… the company is witnessing up to 3.5X growth in transactions on its platform amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It posted a tweet on its verified account where it acknowledged the situation, said the app will return to the Play Store, and assured its customers that their money is safe.

While Google didn’t present a specific reason for the move, its new blog post, “Understanding our Play gambling policies in India” seemed to indicate the reason.

Posted by Suzanne Frey, vice president, product, Android Security and Privacy, it said, “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.”

And continued, “We have these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, we notify 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.”

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

Recently, Paytm announced cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador for its fantasy sports gaming platform, Paytm First Games.

Paytm has tweeted that its app was live once again on Google Play Store. It wrote a blog post where it said, “We recently launched the ‘Paytm Cricket League’... allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive Paytm Cashback... Today afternoon, we received communication from Google that they are suspending our app because they believe this to be a violation of their Play Store policies on gambling.

While it is clear that all activities on Paytm are completely lawful, we have temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements.”