Alphabet Inc’s Google has removed Paytm and Paytm First Game Fantasy apps from Google Play Store for alleged violation of Google’s policies on gambling.
While the tech giant did not cite any specific reason for the said removal of the app from its store, a blog by the company stated that “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”.
Google’s Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy further adds in the blog, “In the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts”.
Paytm earlier did not cite any justification for the said suspension but later issued an official statement stating that Google has suspended Paytm’s App from its play store because the App violated play store’s policies on gambling.
The official statement by Paytm read as under, “We continue to work with Google to restore the app. We assure all our users that their balances and linked accounts are 100% safe. Our services are fully functional on all existing apps and you can continue enjoying Paytm like before”.
“All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal”, added the company in its tweet.
Notably, the Google Play Store of android users indicates that ‘URL is not available’ and hence it cannot be downloaded. Paytm however emphasized that this suspension is temporary and the company is working to restore the App.
The Paytm payment app and Paytm First Game Fantasy remain available on Apple App store and the android users who already have access to Paytm in their phones would not lose the access. The App will continue to function regardless suspension from play store.
According to reports, Paytm, the competitor of Google Pay App had been heavily advertising a ‘Scratch and Win’ promotion for all payments made via its app and it plans to take down such promotions.
Paytm First Game Fantasy enables players to stake real money and win real prizes as it leads to an external site for playing fantasy matches. The sport betting is illegal in India and also violates Google’s policies therefore this App was also taken down. The taking down of alleged betting app by Google just ahead of IPL might result in huge losses for the Paytm.
Interestingly, Google has also issued warnings to multiple other apps, including popular streaming service Disney+ Hotstar, for displaying disclaimers before broadcasting advertisements related to online gambling, reported News 18.
Paytm has 50 million active users in India and the other applications like Paytm for Business, Paytm mall, Paytm Money etc. are still available on Google Play Store.