Paytm is back on Google Play Store. Apparently, the app wasn’t pulled from the Play Store for violating Google’s gambling policies. Rather, it was temporarily suspended for launching a UPI cashback campaign titled Paytm Cricket League. The campaign was designed to offer Paytm users stickers for making payments and money transfers through the app which could then be redeemed for cashback. Google had found this to be a violation of its Play Store policies on gambling leading to the app’s suspension.
At the time of filing of this report, Paytm app is indeed available for download on the Play Store again, though its standalone fantasy sports app Paytm First Games is curiously still missing.
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The sudden disappearance of Paytm from the Play Store came on the same day Google issued a blog post highlighting its Play gambling policies in India leading to speculations that the Paytm app which competes directly with the global search engine giant’s Google Pay service was taken down for violating its guidelines. Paytm did come up later and said the app was unavailable for new downloads or updates but it will be back very soon. The reason behind the suspension wasn’t shared though.
Thanks everyone for your support! Paytm App is back, live in Play Store. ????????
We launched a UPI CashBack campaign this morning. Our app got suspended by Google for this.
India, you decide if giving cash back is gambling. ???????? pic.twitter.com/w5Rcrs6lLT
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) September 18, 2020
Google does not allow online casinos or unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting on the Play Store, the company said in a blog post on Friday. Apps that lead consumers to external websites that allow them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes are also not allowed on the Play Store, as per the guidelines.
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Paytm promotes fantasy sports within its main app while its dedicated Paytm First Games app is said to be an all-in-one gaming destination including one for fantasy sports. While Paytm has clarified on why it was suspended from the Play Store, and that it had nothing to do with gambling, there is still an air of mystery around Paytm First Games, a Paytm subsidiary that recently also came in limelight by roping in Sachin Tendulkar as brand ambassador. Paytm First Games can still be downloaded via its official website but the app’s Play Store link is still showing an error.