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Paytm accuses Google of double standards in Fantasy games row

If you want to play real money games, you have to head to the Paytm First Games website to download the Pro version of the app.
If you want to play real money games, you have to head to the Paytm First Games website to download the Pro version of the app. (Paytm)

While Paytm First Games is back on the Play Store, the version you can download is a free app and does not allow real money fantasy gaming.

Paytm has accused Google of playing double standards when it comes to its policies on fantasy games on the Play Store. Paytm shared a blog post announcing the return of Paytm First Games to the Google Play Store and wrote that while Google does not allow its real money app to be promoted on Google Play, it can be promoted via YouTube by paying Google a hefty fee.

As Mint reported, while Paytm First Games is back on the Play Store, the version you can download is a free app and does not allow real money fantasy gaming.

“To put it simply, the Play Store will ban the Paytm app or the Paytm First Games app if we promote our pro app. But it will freely allow YouTube to promote our free app, for a fee," the blog states.

Also Read: Startups mount pressure on Google to soften stance on Play Store in India

“If Paytm promoted Paytm First Games, then Paytm app would also be violating their ‘policies’. But when YouTube promotes the same Paytm First pro app (for a hefty advertising fee), then it is not a violation of such ‘policies’ and suddenly does not create a risk to the customers," Paytm added.

As per the Mint report, Paytm First Games returned to the Play Store yesterday. And while the app currently lists many of the real money games that users can play on Paytm First, it does not allow them to actually make any transactions, since cash in and cash-out transactions for fantasy games are banned as per the Play Store policies.

If you want to play real money games, you have to head to the Paytm First Games website to download the Pro version of the app.

Also Read: Paytm is having its own ‘Mini’ Google IO moment on October 8: Here’s what it means

Free games that don’t require real money can still be played via the free app and according to a source, games like Rummy and Ludo will be added to the free app eventually.

Paytm has been in a tussle with Google ever since the latter temporarily banned it from the Play Store on September 18. While Paytm has been able to get both Paytm and Paytm First Games onto the Play Store again, it has been at the forefront of a vocal movement involving other startups in India to protest against Google’s Play Store policies.

This issue gained momentum last week after Google gave a deadline to the Indian startups to comply with its Play Billing policies. The deadline was later extended to 30 September 2021. As per the billing policy, Indian companies are required to pay a 30% commission to Google on sales through the Play Store, which is what these startups are not okay with.

Google has also started arranging meetings with developers to “understand their concerns" and will be arranging policy workshops with them to answer their questions.

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