Regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 November 2023

Google bars Paytm from play store for violating gambling policy

The decision was prompted by the latter's move to allow its customers to collect cricket cards linked to their purchases or payments

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 19.09.20, 02:31 AM

Google on Friday restored the Paytm app on its Play store after removing it for violating its policy on sports betting activities. The app was back on the Google Play store on Friday evening after the Softbank-backed Paytm removed the “cashback” feature from a recently-launched game on the application.

Google had removed Paytm from Play Store for violation of its gambling policies.


Paytm’s fantasy sports app — Paytm First Games (PFG) — had also been barred.

Incidentally, on Tuesday, PFG had brought in cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador as it looked to cash in on the Indian Premier League (IPL) fever.

Google’s decision was prompted by Paytm’s move to allow its customers to collect cricket cards linked to their purchases or payments. Once a customer collected five such cards, he or she would earn a cashback.

In a blog post, Suzanne Frey, vice-president, product, Android security and privacy, said Google did not 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. 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,” she added.

Paytm, which has more than 50 million monthly active users, sought to assuage its customers saying all their account balances “are 100 per cent safe”.

Paytm added that all its services are fully functional.

Paytm disclosed that it has temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements.

While it is learnt that Google had notified the developers of Paytm a few days ago, its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma told a television news channel that while Google’s decision has surprised them, an email was sent only after informing that the application has been taken down.

Gambling ad ban needed

Staff Reporter, Calcutta: Consumers are in favour of the government prohibiting the advertisements of gaming platforms that encourage gambling.

According to a survey by LocalCircles, ads from gaming platforms were one area with which most consumers were not happy.

When asked if the government should prohibit advertisements from gaming platforms, 77 per cent of the respondents said “yes” while 18 per cent disagreed and a small 5 per cent were unsure about it. This particular poll received 7,293 responses, a statement by LocalCircles said.

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