Paytm, one of India’s most popular digital payment solutions, has just had its Android app removed from the Google Play Store for repeated policy violations. The move came after Paytm promoted a fantasy sports service, which is basically a sports betting and gambling arena; an app feature that Google specifically prohibits on its Play Store.
In a blog post, Google’s Vice President of Product, Android Security and Privacy, Suzanne Frey explained that Google does not allow apps “that leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes,”.
The ban comes at a time when one of India’s most popular yearly sporting event, the Indian Premiere League (IPL) is about to kick start. Although direct betting in sports events is outright banned by the Indian government, betting for real or virtual cash via fantasy sports or teams is not yet banned in many Indian states.
Google however, will not allow such apps that could potentially harm the user through its platform. Banning a popular app like Paytm for policy violation will send a clear warning to other developers to not release apps that break Play Store Policies.
Paytm in a statement said that the app is temporarily unavailable on Google’s Play Store for new downloads or updates and will be back very soon. “All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal,” it added. To know more about the Play Store’s policy on gambling apps, Paytm here.