NEW DELHI: Indian digital payments app Paytm, which was removed from Play Store on Friday morning over violation of Google’s sports betting policy, was restored hours later, after Paytm removed a ‘cashback’ feature from a recently-launched game on the app. Paytm said Google approached it over the cashback feature on the ‘Paytm Cricket League’ game on the app.
The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive a cashback, which Google found was in violation of its policies on gambling. “While it is clear that all activities on Paytm are completely lawful, we have temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements,” Paytm wrote in a blog post, published on Friday.
Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma lashed out at Google, accusing the tech giant of singling out Paytm for action, when several other apps offering cashback prizes continue to be hosted on Play Store. For its part, Google said it does not allow apps facilitating sports betting and will remove them from its Play Store.
“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,” Google said in a statement. However, Paytm First Games, its sports fantasy platform, which has more than 80 million active users, remains suspended. It had recently roped in Sachin Tendulkar as its brand ambassador ahead of the IPL.
‘Does giving cashback amounts to gambling?’
Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma on Friday thanked users for their support and wondered how cashback amounts to gambling. “You decide if giving cashback is gambling,” he tweeted