Winzo, an Indian online gaming platform, sued Google to cease the tech giant from authorising them to allow real-money games for rummy and fantasy sports on its platform, stating that Google’s decision was discriminatory. Meanwhile, Winzo provides paid games in the same categories as many others, such as puzzles, car racing and carrom, and hence will not benefit from the new Google policy.
For many years, Alphabet Inc unit Google did not authorize any game involving real money in India, but in September, such games for rummy and fantasy sports can be added to its Play Store marketplace in India as part of a one-year pilot program. Google stated in its policy update that the two categories in question consisted of games in which participants used their knowledge of sports events and sportspeople, thought out or memorized the fall of the playing cards.
There was no mention of other formats and treatments of other games. In the lawsuit that Winzo filed at the Delhi High Court, the firm said it had contacted Google on September 10 to contest the updated policy, calling it “unfair” but did not get any response. This has forced them to seek court relief.
The law stated that Google’s decision “amounts to unfair trade practice,” as per Moneycontrol reports. One of their sources told that the lawsuit was filed on September 19, Monday, and the hearing would be held in the coming weeks. Google refused to comment on the matter for now.
The legal challenge comes as a panel of the Government of India sought to form a regulatory body to compartmentalize online games based on either chance or skill and form rules to stall restricted formats, and take a more stringent stance on gambling websites.
Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, one of the foreign investors, have supported the gaming startups such as Mobile Premier League (MPL) and Dream11, two popular fantasy cricket platforms.