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WinZO sues Google for Play Store policy that only allows fantasy sports and rummy games

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Homegrown local social game platform WinZO Games on Tuesday said it’s challenged googlethe recent Delhi High Court policy for the selective inclusion of only daily fantasy sports (DFS) and Rummy games on its Play Store that leaves out different skill gaming platforms and local developers.



WinZO has asked the court for Google’s reluctance to apply the “arbitrary classification that will damage its company’s reputation”.

WinZO is one of the industry players, such as Mobile Premier League (MPL) and Zupee, who have called the policies arbitrary, unfair and restrictive.

Saumya Singh Rathore, co-founder of WinZO Games, told IANS that there is no assessment of the impact likely to result from such a clearly discriminatory and arbitrary classification by Google Play.

“We don’t understand how Google is allowed to select that within a set of legal/legitimate companies only DFS and Rummy will be on board and the other Skill Games excluded,” he stressed.

Google was still reachable at the WinZO lawsuit.

Google plans to conduct a pilot test for the local developers to distribute their daily fantasy sports (DFS) and rummy game apps in the Play Store in India as e-sports grow big in the country.

From September 28, the Play Store will start a temporary pilot that will enable the distribution of DFS and Rummy apps to users in India by Indian-based developers.

The pilot program will run from September 28, 2022 to September 28, 2023.

According to the WinZO lawsuit, the Google policy will not only reduce the marketing costs for monopoly players to one-fourth of their costs, but also create a misperception of legitimacy of DFS and Rummy over all other games like Carrom, Chess, Quiz, etc.

“Google’s policies could disrupt the competitive Indian 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,” the lawsuit said.

Google Play Store is the largest app distribution platform with a 97 percent market share in India.

Sameer Barde, CEO of E-Gaming Federation, had said Google’s move “helps grow legitimate skill gaming operators while eliminating unscrupulous fly-by-night operators,” almost implying that companies in the pilot excluded, are not legitimized.

The Director General of the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), Joy Bhattacharya, had said that the Google Play Store allows games “approved by the High Council of India as regular business activities”.

In the KR Lakshmanan vs State of Tamil Nadu (which most Rummy companies cite for legality), the Supreme Court concluded that Rummy was a game of skill and explicitly drew an analogy with other games of skill, such as chess and golf.

“The year-long pilot is damaging to thousands of companies and could lead to irreversible market disruption to a rapidly evolving gaming technology industry, leading to the death of many players as the strong grow stronger,” Rathore told IANS.

WinZO is demanding a ban on Google from implementing its revised Playstore policy, along with a ruling that Google must change its policy to allow all apps that offer skill games on the Play Store and not just a select few.

WinZO is available in 12 languages, with over 85 million registered users.

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