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Explained: Paytm app back on Google Play Store; here’s why it was removed

According to Google, Play Store prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate or promote sports betting in India. Paytm’s umbrella app promotes fantasy sports, which has repeatedly violated Google’s Play Store policies.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 20, 2020 10:24:28 am
Paytm app returns to Google Play Store

Google on September 18 restored payments app Paytm on its Play Store, hours after removing it citing violations of the app store’s gambling policies. Google’s action came a day before the commencement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 tournament as a part of the company’s crackdown on apps that promote sports betting.

Notably, Paytm is one of the biggest competitors of Google Pay in the Indian digital payments space.

But why has Google taken down the Paytm app?

According to Google, Play Store prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that facilitate or promote sports betting in India. Paytm’s umbrella app promotes fantasy sports, which has repeatedly violated Google’s Play Store policies.

In a blog post published on Friday, 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.

“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. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.”

Has Google taken action against any other such apps?

Fantasy sports app Dream11, which is the title sponsor for the IPL tournament this year, has not been allowed on the android-maker’s Play Store because it allows users to win actual money.

It is learnt that Google has also approached video streaming app Disney+ Hotstar — the official online broadcaster of the IPL — to display warning notes before showing advertisements of fantasy sports apps.

Will Paytm users be affected as a result of this?

Any Android user who wants to install or update the Paytm app will not be able to do so when an app is not available on the store. However, those who already have the app installed on their devices will be able to continue using it normally.

Also, since only Google has taken the app down, iPhone users (who use the iOS version of the app) will remain unaffected.

While the umbrella Paytm app has been taken down, other apps developed by the company such as Paytm Money, Paytm Mall, etc. continue to be available on Play Store.

In a tweet, Paytm said: “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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