Google Playstore has removed the Paytm and Paytm First Games apps for alleged violation of gambling policies. According to a report on CNBC-TV18, Google already notified the Paytm developers on the issue a few days back. They are also in touch with the team regarding the same.
Android’s Vice President of Product, Android Security and Privacy, Suzanne Frey also released a blog post speaking about these issues in general. It reads "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."
Redirecting users from one application to another is not permitted on the Playstore. While Paytm is largely recognized as a Digital wallet, PFG has real money gaming and fantasy betting on its platform which are definitely of some concern.
"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," says the post.
The Indian Premier League, the world's biggest cricket league is a big attraction for Indian fans and also pulls in significant amount of betting and illegal activities. With the league set to start in just a few days, products like Dream11 and PFG have to tread the line carefully. Sports betting in itself is banned in India, but these products have positioned themselves as strategic games.
A report on the Bloomberg Quint suggests that the trouble started from an IPL-linked promotion. Paytm was running a promotion allowing consumers to collect cricket cards linked to their spends. A certain number of cards would earn them a cashback.