In a major development, Google has removed Paytm and Paytm First Games from the Play Store over alleged violation of gambling policies.
Paytm is one of the most popular and preferred e-commerce payment systems in India and had also recently launched a fantasy sports app called Paytm First Games, which attracted millions of players and is known for hosting esports tournaments.
Paytm First Games features a wide range of games such as Rummy, Poker, Fantasy Cricket and several others, often offering whopping prize pools as a reward.
According to reports, it is Paytm's proclivity towards promoting online gambling which has invited the action from Google, who have removed the apps from their Play Store:
Many believe that the move is a strategic one, keeping in mind that one of the country's most lucrative sporting events, the Indian Premier League begins in a day and has a notorious history for attracting gamblers.
Google clamps down on Paytm and online gambling
This move reportedly comes in the light of Paytm violating Google's stringent policies related to betting and gambling.
In an official blog post by Vice-President of Product, Android Security and Privacy at Google, she states:
"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"
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
With this ban, Paytm's sports subsidiary Paytm First Games is expected to take a significant hit, considering the number of active players involved.
From games such as Fantasy Sports to Ludo, the stakes involved tend to be ridiculously high, with earnings up to Rs. 5 Crore on offer.
Paytm recently took to Twitter to post an update about the status of their app, where they promised users that they were working alongside Google to reach to a consensus:
Soon after the news went viral, Twitter was abuzz with reactions ranging from memes to concern.
Check out some of the reactions below:
Published 18 Sep 2020, 18:10 IST