Paytm brings back Cricket League taking on Google Play Store

Paytm, which was briefly removed from Google Play Store for alleged policy violations earlier this month, said on Monday that it has brought back the Paytm Cricket League with UPI cash-back and scratch cards.
Paytm digital payment IndiaUsers can collect stickers of their favourite cricket stars as they pay digitally for their mobile bills, recharges, buying groceries or money transfers, Paytm said. Once they complete a set, they can redeem it for cash-back up to Rs 1,000.

Every sticker collected by the user is automatically added to the cricket album. There are three different milestones to be achieved for getting cash-back — 11 unique cricket players, 11 unique bowlers or 11 unique batsmen.

Whenever a milestone is achieved, the users get a scratch card with an assured cash-back.

“We are excited to bring Paytm Cricket League back on our app to reward users with UPI cashback on reaching various milestones, accomplished by collecting player stickers,” a Paytm spokesperson said in a statement.

Earlier, Paytm in a blog post stated that Google mandated it to remove the UPI cash-back and scratch cards campaign to get re-listed on the Android Play Store even though offering both is legal in India.

Paytm said that the cash-back was being given following all rules and regulations set by the government.

The company alleged that it was arm-twisted by the search engine major to comply with what it called biased Play Store policies that are meant to artificially create Google’s market dominance.

Later, the Paytm app was restored on the Play Store after a gap of a few hours.

We maintain that promotional campaign was within guidelines and there was no violation. We believe that such arbitrary actions and accusatory labelling go against the laws of our country and acceptable norms of fair competition by arbitrarily depriving our users of innovative services, Paytm spokesperson said.

Google spokesperson on September 21 said offering cash-backs and vouchers alone do not constitute a violation of Google Play gambling policies.

“Last week we reiterated our Play Store gambling policies. Our policies don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting, including daily fantasy sports in India.

In the case of repeated policy violations, Google may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Google said its policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.