Google has pulled Paytm, one of the biggest payment apps in India, from its Play store for policy violation. The app is currently unavailable for download on Google’s app store but is working if you already have it up and running.
Paytm repeatedly violated Google’s policy by redirecting users to external links to unregulated gambling and sports betting websites, reported TechCrunch. Google maintains a similar policy across most markets and apps that direct consumers to participate in paid tournaments to win real money are prohibited.
Gambling apps are currently permitted only in the UK, Ireland, and Frace only and with several restrictions. Fantasy sports where people select their favorite players and win cash prizes if they perform well are not illegal in most Indian states, though. Many of such Fantasy sports are heavily marketed across all digital platforms during IPL season (that starts tomorrow) and the Paytm ban should serve as a warning for anyone who isn’t playing strictly by the book.
The apps should be back on Playstore once Paytm brings it in compliance with store policy – which should be soon.
“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,” said 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.