Google removes Indian app for betting violation

Paytm had introduced a fantasy cricket tournament with cash prizes.
Paytm had introduced a fantasy cricket tournament with cash prizes.

Paytm was reinstated in the Google Play store after removing is new online fantasy cricket tournament.  

India.- Google briefly removed a mayor local payments app from its online app store because of a fantasy sports feature.

It removed the Paytm app from the Google Play store just ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament.

Sports betting is illegal in India but fantasy sports betting is allowed because it is considered a skill-based game, and the market is booming.

The IPL is India’s biggest sports competition and Paytm, the third most popular payments app in India after Google Pay and PhonePe, had launched a fantasy tournament with cash bets to coincide.

The firm said in a release that the Paytm Cricket League “allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive Paytm Cashback.”

It was this that led Google to temporarily unlist the app from the Google Play store, arguing that it violated its policies on gambling in India. The company also frowns upon apps which lead consumers to external websites where they are encouraged to participate for real money prizes.

The app was readmitted to the Google Play store after the cashback feature was removed.

When the app was removed from the store, Paytm assured existing users their funds were safe, that they could continue using the app and that it would soon be back on the online store.

Paytm said: “While it is clear that all activities on Paytm are completely lawful, we have temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements.”

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