After a hiatus of two weeks, Paytm First Games app has been relisted on Google PlayStore. Both the Paytm and Paytm First Games apps were removed from Play Store on September 18 as Google cited various policy violations from the fintech company’s payment and gaming applications.
Paytm was restored the same day three weeks ago, but Paytm First Games app has been restored now after it removed the real-cash based bids feature and instead added the feature of bonuses on bids, Paytm said in its blog post.
Furthermore, the reason cited for the sudden removal of the Paytm’s gaming app from the Play Store was that it does not allow real-money based fantasy gaming applications on its platform and also bars the promotion of such gaming apps. In fact, cash-based games from Dream 11 are also not available on Play Store due to this policy.
Meanwhile, Google affirmed in its blog post that it does not allow casinos and unregulated gambling apps which facilitates and enables sports betting. In addition, it has also decided to further tighten its anti-gambling policy and restrict such apps for customer safety and an overall secure environment.
On the other hand, Noida-based One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm pointed out a severe discrepancy in Google’s policy regarding the promotion of fantasy gaming apps. It went on to say that while Google has restricted its app on the Play Store, the company was easily able to promote its First Games Pro app on YouTube after paying a hefty fee to Google. Besides that, Paytm also cast aspersion on Google citing that unlike the Play Store, suddenly such paid promotions didn’t create any risks to the customers. Moreover, Paytm’s First Games Pro is only available on its website and also avails the adding of real-time money through net banking, UPI and debit/credit cards.
Paytm’s CEO Vijay Shankar Sharma has expressed resentment against Google’s biased and monopolistic policy decisions and said that fantasy gaming is a free and legal business in India. Subsequently, Paytm has also released its own Paytm Mini App store which claims to be like Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store. As of now, Paytm’s App store comes with an in-built custom mobile website that runs on the Paytm app itself and offers an app like experience to users without any requirement of downloading them.