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Quick Take: How can you ban something online which is legal offline?

Children can’t play Chess tournaments on Chess24 or Chess.com for money online until they are 18, but can do so in offline Chess tournaments?

India’s draft real money gaming regulations, if passed, look to prevent children from playing games online for rewards. This makes sense: Children can be more vulnerable to gambling addiction. However, these regulations impact all casual gaming, which often relies on parents buying props or boosters for a few hundred rupees that their child can use. Games monetize by creating scarcity. That’s “real money” being used for a reward in kind, which would be banned by regulations.

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A question I asked about Chess and real money gaming still remains unanswered: Four out of the 13 people who became Chess Grandmasters below the age of 14 were Indian by nationality (according to Wikipedia). Are we saying that they couldn’t have played Chess tournaments on Chess24 or Chess.com for money online until they were 18, but could have done so offline in Chess tournaments? How can you ban something online which is legal offline?

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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