Update: After remaining unavailable for at least 4 hours PayTM app is back on the Play Store. Though the fantasy gaming app PayTM First Games remains missing from the app repository.
It is also reported that the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) had reached out to Google to offer a level playing field for all fantasy sports apps as apart from the PayTM First Games no other such apps were allowed on the Play Store. Though the association wants fantasy sports apps and their promotion to be allowed on the Play Store.
We thank Google for strictly adhering to its policies and safeguarding the interest of all Fantasy Sports operators – big or small. We are happy to see such strong moves by Google to reestablish a level playing field by removing any App that violates its policies.September 18, 2020
Barely a couple of days after signing up the cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador, PayTM First Games along with PayTM has landed in a big soup as both the apps have been taken down from the Play Store by Google.
Even though both the Android apps are no longer listed on the Play Store, PayTM’s other applications like PayTM for Business, PayTM Mall and Paytm Money are still available to download.
As of now, Google has not revealed the exact reason behind the removal of these apps, however, it is being said that the action is taken due to the alleged violation of gambling policies.
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A statement from Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy reads “ We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. 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.”
It further reads “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. And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts.”
Fantasy sports apps like PayTM First Games, Dream 11, Fantasy Akhada and MyTeam11 allow users to earn real money by participating in various games and tournaments. Notably Dream 11, Fantasy Akhada and MyTeam11 etc are not even available on the Play Store and can be installed from their websites thus by-passing Play Store Policies.
PayTM First Games was present on the Play Store and hence has been pulled down just a day before the IPL 2020 season commences. Interestingly, Dream 11 is one of the biggest fantasy sports apps in India and is even the sponsor of this year's IPL.
Dear Paytm’ers,Paytm Android app is temporarily unavailable on Google’s Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon.All your money is completely safe, and you can continue to enjoy your Paytm app as normal.September 18, 2020
We have reached out to PayTM for an update and are awaiting an official statement. The company has in the meanwhile shared a tweet suggesting that the app is totally safe and is “temporarily unavailable on Google's Play Store for new downloads or updates. It will be back very soon.”
While betting is strictly prohibited in India, fantasy sports lets you create your teams, predict scores based on live sports. The winner of these contests earns instant cash prizes making these games immensely popular. Google has reportedly warned other broadcasters from showing ads of fantasy gaming apps on their live broadcasting applications.