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Google Removes Select Paytm Applications Citing Policy Violations

It is alleged that the application was allowing customers to play online games, which Google said was facilitating sports betting. Paytm response is awaited

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US-based tech giant, Google has pulled down popular financial application Paytm and Paytm First Games for alleged violation of its policies. It is alleged that the application was allowing customers to play online games, which, Google said, was facilitating sports betting. 

For now, Paytm and Paytm First Games has been removed by Google whereas other applications of the company such as Paytm money, Merchant app, Paytm for Business, movie ticketing application and Paytm Insider are still available on Google Play store. 

Earlier today, Google posted a blog titled “Understanding our Play gambling policies in India” where it highlighted the issues related to such apps that endorse or promote gambling in India. 

Stressing on the issue of online casinos available through the app, Google’s Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy said, “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.” 

“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.” He added. 

The Paytm hasn’t responded yet by any means on this matter till now. According to Google policies, redirecting users from one application to another is not permitted on the Playstore. However, it is worth mentioning that Paytm is still available for download on the Apple App store. 

To recall, Sports betting is banned in India. However, fantasy sports, in which users select their favorite players and win if their preferred team or players play well is not illegal as of now in most Indian states. 

Additionally, Google has also asked Disney+ Hotstar, one of the most popular on-demand video streaming services in India, to display a warning before running ads about fantasy sports apps, according to the TechCrunch report. 

Update: Paytm Response

Responding to reports, Paytm tweeted, "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". 

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