Google has pulled the Paytm app from the Play Store in a shocking turn of events, for allegedly breaching its anti-gambling policies in India. In breach of Play Store policies, the US tech giant also removed Paytm’s fantasy sports app called ‘First Games’ for encouraging gambling.

Suzanne Frey, the Vice President of Product for Android Security and Privacy, said in a statement released following the removal of the two apps: “We do not authorise online casinos or support any unauthorised gambling apps that make sports betting easier.” This includes if an app leads users to an external website that allows them to take part in paid tournaments in order to win real money or cash prizes, it breaches our policies.

If an app breaches these rules, we alert the developer of the breach and delete the app from Google Play before the developer complies with the app.And in the case of persistent breaches of policy, we can take more drastic measures that could involve terminating Google Play Developer accounts.

The Paytm app may not be available for download from the Play Store, but users have been assured by the company that all the money is secure in their pocket. Paytm also says the service will continue to function as usual for folks who already have their Android devices installed on the application.

Paytm First Games, which promotes a fantasy sports programme, is the programme at the core of the controversy and is available as part of the company ‘s flagship financial app. It is, however, said to have repeatedly violated the Play Store policies of the company that ban online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps that encourage sports betting in India. Before pulling the app, Google is thought to have approached Paytm about its issues, and the two firms are now said to be working out a way forward.

PAYTM IS BACK

Update: Hours after Google removed the Play Store, Paytm was restored to the Android platform for downloads.

“While it is clear that all activities on Paytm are absolutely lawful, we temporarily removed the cashback aspect in an attempt to meet the requirements of the Play Store policy,” a Paytm blog post said while announcing the return of the app.

By Mr.B

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