Update (18/9/2020): Paytm app is back in the Play Store after the company removed references to the cashback contest offer.
Google has removed the Indian payment giant Paytm’s app from the Play Store for repeatedly violating its gambling policy.
The app with more than 50 million users in India, has a section named Paytm First Games that also includes fantasy sports games. With a popular cricket tournament, Indian Premier League starting tomorrow Paytm was hosting a fantasy league promising prices worth millions of rupees.
Google has also booted the Paytm First Games app from the Play Store.
Are you ready to play the Paytm Cricket League? #PCL 🏆
Collect player cards, create your own team & win prizes worth up to ₹5 CRORE!
— Paytm (@Paytm) September 17, 2020
In a statement, Google said that as a global policy, it doesn’t allow any unregulated
We have the same goals for our 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.
The company also said that if violations are repeated, it can take down developer accounts of the offender as well.
Because of Google’s guidelines and Indian laws on gambling, fantasy sports app Dream 11 asks its users to sideload their app on Android.
TechCrunch reported that Google has also asked Disney+ Hotstar to display warnings before running ads for fantasy sports apps for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.
In a tweet, Paytm said that its Android app is temporarily unavailable on the Play Store and it’ll be back soon.
Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google's Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon.
All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal.
— Paytm (@Paytm) September 18, 2020
We’ve asked Paytm for a statement, and we’ll update the story when we hear back.