Chance, skill and gambling

Chance, skill and gambling
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, May 12 2009. 12 23 AM IST
Updated: Tue, May 12 2009. 12 23 AM IST
Union sports minister M.S. Gill is the last person to understand Chaos Theory.
The minister’s inability to understand the Indian Premier League’s 6UP SMS game, his new whipping child, is evidence enough.
Also Read IPL Team Analysis
Gill claims that 6UP will encourage gambling. In the game, a participant sends an SMS as to how many runs will be scored off each ball in an over, before the start of an over.
This is more in the nature of estimation and prediction and not betting. In cricket, the outcome of bowling, in terms of runs scored, or a wicket taken, is a non-linear process. There is an indeterminate mix of skill and chance involved here. Wind speed, the surface of the ball (whether it is smooth or worn out), pitch conditions and other variables go into the making of an outcome.
As any student of high school physics knows, solving non-linear equations is nearly impossible: A slight variation in initial conditions of any variable can lead to very different outcomes. But here is the rub: Skill, too, matters. How does one disentangle skill and chance? Without that separation, 6UP can’t be termed gambling.
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Tue, May 12 2009. 12 23 AM IST
More Topics: IPL feature | M.S. Gill | 6UP | Gambling | 6UP SMS game |