Winzo teams up with IITs to develop model for determining games of skill

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Winzo, the online gaming company, made an announcement on Monday revealing its strategic partnership with renowned educational institutions such as Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), Stanford University, and California State University. Their collective goal is the development of a comprehensive model capable of accurately distinguishing gaming activities where skill predominates from those dependent on luck.

Among the prestigious IITs involved in this collaboration are IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, and IIT Madras.

The initiative, which commenced last year in September, was prompted by a significant legal development. The Supreme Court ordered an interim stay on the Karnataka High Court ruling that online games like rummy are not taxable as “betting” and “gambling” under the Central Goods and Services (GST) Act, 2017 which now attracts 28 per cent tax.

Winzo clarified that the study was initiated due to the surrounding independence of proposed self-regulatory bodies (SRBs) within India’s online gaming sector.

The collaboration’s focus has been the development of statistical tests employing authentic game data, user behavior analysis from over 100 million users across billions of gameplay instances, and other relevant factors. These were aimed at determining the dominance of skill versus luck in various games.

As reported by The Business Standard, Paavan Nanda, co-founder at Winzo, highlighted, “We worked with top statisticians and engineering departments globally to build and validate a method that can be used by any entrepreneur in partnership with these institutions now.” He further emphasized, “By democratizing assessment of games on skill, we aim to empower startups and lower their financial challenges – something we faced during our early years.”

“The research is based on billions of game plays across millions of users. Nevertheless, the methodology is transferable and can be used even by early-stage companies,” added Mike Orkin, professor emeritus at California State University.