American-Hungarian physicist may be key to answering 150-yr-old question of what exactly is a game of skill

 - Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) A system devised by an American-Hungarian physicist may offer a solution to the contentious question that has been the subject of furious legal battles on how to distinguish games of skill vs chance.

In a just released report, a Delhi-based policy think tank Evam Law and policy has come up with a mechanism of skill rating based on the ELO system for chess developed by Arpad Elo, the American-Hungarian physicist.

Since the Public Gambling Act granted exemption to games of skill in 1867, numerous legal battles have been fought in India over what defines a game of skill. In 1957, the Supreme court ruled that crossword is a game of skill. With online games gaining popularity in the last few years, it has become a subject of pitched legal fights. Some states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala brought in legislation to prohibit online skill games for money, but they were struck down by their state high courts.

Evam has come with a new framework called Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM) to enable a clear distinction between games of Skill and games of chance. This method pairs players based on their skill levels to ensure balanced and competitive matches.

SBMM is inspired by the ELO system devised by Arpad Elo to rate chess players. The ELO system adopted in 1970 removed subjective and arbitrary elements from chess and introduced a statistical model that operates solely based on the outcomes of the games played.

For example, if the ELO system had been there in the 1920s, Indian chess genius Mir Sultan Khan, who died unsung despite winning the British Chess championships three times, would have got his rightful place in the chess universe. SBMM further takes elements of newer models like Glicko and TrueSkill to offer enhanced accuracy and versatility.

Shashank Reddy, founder of Evam Law and Policy explains, “Implementing SBMM requires a well-designed skill-rating model that considers factors like relative computation, mean value representation, and quick convergence to ensure fair and engaging gameplay. The balance between accuracy and simplicity is crucial in selecting a skill-rating model that is both effective and user-friendly.”

He further added, “In the context of the Indian RMG sector, from a legal perspective, implementing SBMM helps differentiate games of skill from games of chance. Secondly, from a policy standpoint, SBMM is essential for promoting fair and responsible gaming practices in online RMGs.”

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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