IPL – Are Prediction Games Equivalent to Betting/Gambling?

The Union Sports Minister, M.S.Gill denounced the SMS game introduced in IPL (fans can make ball by ball predictions for cash prizes) saying that it’s almost equivalent to betting/gambling.

“This is viewed as ‘openly encouraging gambling and betting’, which official bodies do not resort to, even in countries where betting is legal; all this ‘to make money and enlarge their TV viewership base’,
The actions of the BCCI are bound to impact the thinking in other sports sometime or the other. We have already had, sometime back, a match-fixing scandal in the game.” – source

Prediction games are a big craze these days and most of the sports websites have partnered with players in this domain to power sections of their fantasy games channel (for instance, ESPN has partnered with LordsofOdds).

At the core, prediction algorithm takes several factors into account – for instance, historical context, details like pitch condition, weather, toss, etc.

What’s your take on sports minister argument? How valid is it?

Going by this argument, there are stock analysts who too predict the performance of stocks based on certain parameters – so where do you draw the line between betting and prediction?