In an unprecedented move, Google on Friday removed Indian digital payment app Paytm and its gaming app Paytm First Games from Google Play Store for allegedly violating its betting and gambling policy.
“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,” Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy at Google said in a post.
Paytm’s other apps such as Paytm Mall, Paytm Money and others are still available on Play Store. The company operates Paytm First Games which is one of the sections on its main Paytm app that allows users to transfer money and pay for bills and daily purchases.
In a tweet, Paytm informed its users about the app’s unavailability on Play Store and said it will back very soon. “All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal.”
Paytm First Games, that offers fantasy sports for cricket, football, kabaddi, and others had recently brought India’s cricketer Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador. As the cricket tournament in India is back, users are expected to spend USD 1 to 1.5 billion on online fantasy gaming platforms such as Dream 11, Paytm First Games, MPL, and others.
Paytm First Game said it’s looking to reach 100 million users during the tournament. “IPL for fantasy gaming platforms is like Diwali for retail. It is 40-50%,” Sudhanshu Gupta, COO of Paytm First Games, told local media Economic Times.
Earlier, Google has removed Mobikwik, another payment app from Play Store for violating its advertisement policy.