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InTrade, Prediction Market to the Stars, Gets Banned From the U.S.

InTrade, the Dublin-based prediction market (i.e., betting platform) that we’ve written about regularly over the years (including a Q&A with its founder, John Delaney, who has since died), is under legal scrutiny from U.S. regulators and will therefore stop taking bets from U.S. customers. Here is InTrade’s statement, and here is the CFTC’s press release on the shutdown. What will U.S. regulators do next, outlaw online poker?





The Politics of Political Prediction Markets

For years, I have argued that the best way to track what really matters through election season is to follow the political prediction markets. The one difficulty is that these markets aren’t really available to the general public.  Sure, the University of Iowa runs a market, but because it’s for research purposes, the maximum bet is set at only $500. And while I track InTrade closely, they’re based in Ireland, and are frowned upon by American regulators. Likewise, Betfair won’t deal with American customers.  But all that may be about to change. Read More »





Prediction Markets on the Debt Ceiling, U.S. Credit Downgrade

Over at Intrade, there are two “hot” markets involving the odds that Congress will raise the U.S. debt ceiling.

- Congress to approve increase in U.S. debt ceiling before midnight on July 31, 2011: 40% (It was 65% a month ago)

- Congress to approve increase in U.S. debt ceiling before midnight Aug. 31, 2011: 75% (It was 85% a month ago)

And at Irish bookmaker PaddyPower.com, here is the line on a Moody’s downgrade:

Will Moody’s downgrade the U.S.?

-Yes: 9/2

-No: 1/8





Newt’s Not the News: Prediction Markets Double Rick Perry’s Chances for GOP Nomination

OK, so Newt Gingrich’s senior staff have quit. But Newt’s not the news. At least according to the political prediction markets. The real news is that Texas Governor Rick Perry is likely to enter the Republican nomination race. The connection, of course, is that many of the staffers who quit have close ties to Governor Perry.

The figure below tells the story. (Click inside for graph). Since yesterday’s announcement, you can see the markets have re-evaluated Perry’s chances of winning the nomination from around 5%, up to 11%. There’s a tip here for newsgatherers: Focus on the details, and you’ll notice that the Perry’s prediction market rally began just after 11am. But the story broke three hours later, just before 3pm. Read More »





R.I.P. John Delaney, Prediction Market Entrepreneur

I’m saddened to learn that John Delaney died attempting to reach the summit of Everest. Readers of this blog will know John as the leader of my favorite prediction market, InTrade (and before that, TradeSports). John, or his data, and sometimes his stories, have long graced the pages of this blog, including this Q&A with Dubner. His colleagues know him as an energetic entrepreneur, always trying new things. I also know John as a friend and a collaborator, who was also willing to help crazy academics like myself run new prediction markets, crunch data his markets had generated, or debate what it all means, over a Guinness.

And as much as I knew John as a madcap Irishmen, and true sports fan, I never expected to hear of him drawing his last breath just meters short of the highest peak in the world. Press reports — which include the agonizing detail that John died without knowing his wife just gave birth to a baby girl – are available here and here.





A Prediction Market Trading Pit for the Digital Age: A Guest Post From David Pennock

David Pennock is one of the smartest guys I know. As a scientist at Yahoo! Research, he’s on the bleeding edge of computer scientists working at the interface with economics. His latest project, called Predictalot, is an amazing new prediction market which allows people to trade on the millions of possible outcomes of the Sweet Sixteen. It’s a brilliant example of just why economists are going to have to get cozy with computer scientists. And David has generously agreed to provide a guest post describing what he’s up to. (And if you want more, he writes the always-interesting Oddhead Blog). Read More »





If There Were a Prediction Market for Events That Are Likely to Become "Talk of the Town" Articles …

We’d go long on this. Read More »





Prediction Markets vs. Super Crunching: Which Can Better Predict How Justice Kennedy Will Vote?

One of the great unresolved questions of predictive analytics is trying to figure out when prediction markets will produce better predictions than good old-fashion mining of historic data. I think that there is fairly good evidence that either approach tends to beat the statistically unaided predictions of traditional experts. Read More »