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Paytm Removed From Play Store by Google For Violating Policies

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Google has removed the popular Paytm app from the play store after it violated the gambling policies set by Google. The app has over 50 million monthly active users in India.

Paytm is owned by the Indian company One97 Communications Ltd. However, it has received massive funding from Fintech firm Ant Financials, which is a part of China’s Alibaba group. It is based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Apps that provide online casinos and other mediums of unregulated gambling are not allowed on the Google play store. Paytm app promoted fantasy sports service by the name of Paytm First Games. It was available in a separate app too, named Marquee.

Both marquee and Paytm have been removed from the play store for violating the policies.

The Android-maker, which maintains similar guidelines around gambling in most other markets, additionally noted that if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes will also be deemed in violation of its Play Store policies.

In an email Google has sent to many firms in India and was reviewed by TechCrunch, the company has asked developers to pause all advertising campaigns in their apps to drive users to websites that offer installation files of sports betting apps.

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This happened a day before IPL was scheduled to begin in India

Google made this announcement a day before the popular IPL tournament was scheduled to kick off. In the previous seasons of IPL, millions of cricket fans in India fled to apps to take part in sports betting. Sports betting is banned in India.

But fantasy sports in which users select their players and win if their player plays well is not illegal in most Indian states.

A person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that Google has also asked Disney+ Hotstar to display a warning before running ads about fantasy sports apps.

“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,” wrote Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security, and Privacy, in a blog post.

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“And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently,” she added.

“This is the problem of India’s app ecosystem. So many founders have reached out to us… if we believe this country can build a digital business, we must know that it is at somebody else’s hand to bless that business and not this country’s rules and regulations,” he said.

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has claimed that it complained to Google to take a step against the companies that promote fantasy games through the play store.

Tweets by Paytm about the issue

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Paytm Removed From Play Store by Google For Violating Policies


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