Paytm, India’s eCommerce payment platform, was removed from Google’s Play Store after the global technology company alleged Paytm violated Google’s gambling policies, India.com reported, but the app was later reinstated.
“We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting,” said Suzanne Frey, Google’s vice president of engineering and product, in a blog post. “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.”
Frey added Google’s policies are designed to protect users from potential harm.
“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,” Frey wrote. “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.”
Google prohibits online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps on its play store and said it notified Paytm developers and contacted the company regarding its digital wallet and eCommerce app.
India.com reported Paytm has repeatedly violated the company’s policies including online casinos and other unregulated gambling apps.
Within hours of its removal, Paytm was reinstated to the Play Store, The Indian Express reported.
“We continue to work with Google to restore the app,” Paytm said in a statement. “We assure all our users that their balances and linked accounts are 100 percent safe. Our services are fully functional on all existing apps and you can continue enjoying Paytm like before.”
Akash Karmakar of Panag & Babu Law Offices, a New Delhi firm that represents technology and app companies, said while Paytm did not directly engage in, or promote sports betting or gambling, it had links to third-party sites which did.
“The ease of using Paytm on these third-party apps may have been viewed by Google as the element which makes Paytm as supporting these sites,” he told The Indian Express. “Google appears to have taken an ethical stand against apps that promote or even advertise unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. Since many other apps are also promoting betting and gambling websites through ads and pop-ups, if Google applies the same standard, I would expect more apps will get taken off the Play Store.”