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Is cashback gambling? Vijay Shekhar Sharma asks of Google

Earlier today, Google pulled down Paytm's mobile application from its app store, citing policies on gaming and betting as the reason for the move.

September 21, 2020 / 09:12 PM IST

Expressing his surprise at Google's decision to remove the Paytm app from Play Store, the fintech company's founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has said availing a benefit under a scratch card cannot be termed as gambling.

Calling the tech giant the "judge, jury and executioner", Sharma said his company had launched an IPL game wherein the winner earns a sticker which offers cashbacks. This, he said, is being equated with gambling by Google.

Earlier today, Google pulled down Paytm's mobile application from its app store, citing policies on gaming and betting as the reason for the move. The search engine said it does not permit online casinos or support unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Sharma said Google had only reached out regarding Paytm First Games. Highlighting that Paytm has already complied with Google's concerns and accordingly removed the scratch cards, he said the company has been targeted for its promotion scheme and is now unable to acquire new customers.

"We are at the mercy of our gods at Google," he remarked.


Emphasising the need for a vibrant startup ecosystem in India, Sharma said this is a problem faced by many in the startup world, where a monopoly of certain players exists. He said that Indian companies are being subjected to actions by those beyond the purview of the country's laws.

Google had not specified which service on the Paytm app was non-compliant. As per reports, redirecting users to other platforms from within the apps is not allowed under Google's policies, which Paytm was doing for Paytm First Games in this case.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Sep 18, 2020 05:41 pm
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