Google removes India's Paytm App from Play Store
New Delhi : Google has removed India's financial service app Paytm from its Play Store for repeated violation of its gambling policies. Paytm is India’s most valuable startup and claims over 50 million monthly active users. Its marquee app, which competes with Google Pay in India, disappeared from the Play Store in the country earlier Friday.
Google said that Play Store prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting in India. Paytm, which has promoted a fantasy sports service within its marquee app, repeatedly violated Play Store’s policies, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Google 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 it will also be deemed in violation of its Play Store policies.
Google's move was also a warning to other developers, reminding of their gambling policies. While sports betting is banned in India, fantasy sports, where users select their favorite players and win if their preferred teams or players play well, is not illegal in most Indian states.
“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.
“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.