WinZo defies Google’s policy to allow certain fantasy games and rummy apps on Play Store

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: Indian gaming platform Winzo has sought an injunction against Google’s pilot that will only allow certain fantasy and rummy apps on its Play Store, claiming the decision is “arbitrary, unfair and restrictive”.

WinZo said the policy casts doubt on Google’s stated position as an intermediary obligated by law to maintain platform neutrality.

“WinZO seeks to prevent Google from implementing arbitrary classification that will impact the reputation of WinZo’s business,” the gaming platform said in a statement.

Google, which previously removed fantasy games apps and rummy games from the Play Store, will allow some apps to run on its platform as part of a pilot project for one year starting September 28.

As part of Play Store gambling policies, Google has previously banned online casinos and stopped supporting all unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting, “including daily fantasy sports in India” and has removed several apps it said violated the guidelines.

Google Play had said it was running a time-limited pilot program enabling the distribution of daily fantasy sports and rummy apps to users in India by India-incorporated developers in a way that provides a safe and enjoyable user experience.

WinZo alleged that Google’s policy could lead to distortions in India’s competitive gaming ecosystem by resulting in unparalleled access to the 2.5 billion monthly active users in 190 countries where the Google Play Store is available.

READ ALSO | SC issues advisory as part of TN’s appeal to reinstate ban on rummy and online poker

According to Winzo, Google’s policy will only benefit a handful of players who have already established a monopoly for more than a decade and the update is not only seen as anti-competitive but also as a death knell for innovation.

“All other app stores in the country including Apple Store, Vivo, Oppo, MI Store allow all skill game products which are protected uniformly by the Constitution of India. Google, however, till date did not allow any game with pay to play on google play store.It should be noted that google playstore is the largest application distribution platform with 97% market share in India , which is an Android-centric market,” WinZo said.

The gaming platform said that Google would facilitate seamless and hassle-free installation of DFS and rummy products from its Play Store without any warning other skill game apps distributed through their websites would display a disastrous and fake warning that the app might damage their device when a user tries to download any other paid game.

“This is going to be the death of fair and wildly discriminatory market practices for innovative developers working on projects outside of DFS and Rummy,” WinZo said.

An email query sent to Google elicited no immediate response.

NEW DELHI: Indian gaming platform Winzo has sought an injunction against Google’s pilot that will only allow certain fantasy and rummy apps on its Play Store, claiming the decision is “arbitrary, unfair and restrictive”. WinZo said the policy casts doubt on Google’s stated position as an intermediary obligated by law to maintain platform neutrality. “WinZO seeks to prevent Google from implementing arbitrary classification that will impact the reputation of WinZo’s business,” the gaming platform said in a statement. Google, which previously removed fantasy games apps and rummy games from the Play Store, will allow some apps to run on its platform as part of a pilot project for one year starting September 28. As part of the Play Store’s gambling policies, Google previously banned online casinos and stopped supporting all unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting, “including daily fantasy sports in India” and it had removed several apps that he said violated the guidelines. Google Play had said it was running a time-limited pilot program enabling the distribution of daily fantasy sports and rummy apps to users in India by India-incorporated developers in a way that provides a safe and enjoyable user experience. WinZo alleged that Google’s policy could lead to distortions in India’s competitive gaming ecosystem by resulting in unparalleled access to the 2.5 billion monthly active users in 190 countries where the Google Play Store is available. READ ALSO | SC issues notice in TN plea to reinstate ban on online rummy and poker According to Winzo, Google’s policy will only benefit a handful of players who have already established a monopoly for over a decade and the update is not only seen as anti-competitive but also as a knockout blow to innovation. “All other app stores in the country including Apple Store, Vivo, Oppo, MI Store allow all skill game products which are protected uniformly by the Constitution of India. Google, however, till date did not allow any game with pay to play on google play store.It should be noted that google playstore is the largest application distribution platform with 97% market share in India , which is an Android-centric market,” said WinZo. The gaming platform said that Google would facilitate seamless and hassle-free installation of DFS and Rummy products from its Play Store without any warnings. Other skill game apps distributed through their websites would display a disastrous and fake warning that the app could harm their device when a user tries to download any other paid game.” This is going to be the death of gambling practices. fair and extremely discriminatory marketplace for innovative developers working on projects outside of DFS and Rummy,” WinZo said. An email query sent to Google elicited no immediate response.

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