India’s online payment processor Paytm was out of the Google Play marketplace briefly for Google’s gambling policy. The app is back now, but the issue is far from over.
Google has a strict no-gambling policy for Google Play Apps. Google issued a blog post regarding the same on Friday. It said that if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows the users to play or participate in paid tournaments to offer real cash or prize, then it is a violation.
Paytm violated the rule. The app was promoting the app in which the users received stickers for each of the transactions.
The users were told that collecting five stickers can be used to redeem Paytm cashback. This was called Paytm Cricket League and coincide with the Indian Premier League that started on Sunday.
The expulsion created panic among customers. Paytm is used by millions of people in India. Paytm which is also an online bank reassured the customer that the money is safe. The offending promotion was removed from the app, following which Google restored it.
This has started a new debate on unfair practices. It said that Google is using its muscle against a local rival of its Google Pay services. The CEO of Paytm said that Google has acted as judge, jury, and executioner in this case. He also said that how can the cashback offer be considered as gambling.
However, it is said that Paytm promoted links to Paytm First Games division which offers fantasy sports, rummy, and other online games. Some others pointed out that it was a warning for all those who wanted to put coveted betting apps to Google Play ahead of IPL 2020.
The strict no-gambling policy of Google is only in India. It has relaxed its norms in selective markets. In the UK, selected EU market and in the US, the policy has changed a lot towards online betting and gambling.