You think Donald Trump is bad!

05/01/2016 | By | 2 Replies More

There has been lots of discussion about Donald Trump’s rants of a mad man recently. So here are some more: –


This was the hearing that was called  when the DOJ OLC reversed a long-standing policy by declaring that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting and not all forms of betting. This policy reversal potentially ‘opens the door’ for online gambling in all 50 states.

One sided views

For my interests furthering the industry, I have been listening to the various points of view from both sides of the debate. But it often seems one sided.

On the plus side, a few voices are pointing out the rather obvious fact that a regulated industry is better than a black market. But on the dark side, to remain topical, the remainder of the house are positioning sports betting as the work of the devil!

If you listened to this as an outsider then apparently placing $10 on your team to win, finances terrorism, criminal activity, assumes people can not be remotely responsibly for their actions and is responsible for global warming, the California drought, ISIS, murder, that bloke that cut you up this morning etc. etc. Basically everything bad in the world.

Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, nobody was able to actually put forward any evidence to prove that. Also, maybe I missed it, but gambling citizens money on bizarre and risky financial assets doesn’t do any of that and is perfectly acceptable and causes not a jot of harm to anybody. Funny that, isn’t it!

Turn gambling into a risk / prediction market

I got the feeling that if gambling was turned into a financial asset, it would be perfectly acceptable. If you re-market it as a prediction market, it may gain more traction I reckon.

Start up a sports exchange as a ECN and let people trade it freely, a bit like Betfair when it started! If you think about the logic, mitigating risk is an entirely acceptable activity and has wide scope.

It’s really no different from what happens in financial markets already. There are processes and checks in place that could be immediately transplanted into the prediction market to fulfil the same requirements as a financial markets. Surely if they are acceptable for the, vested, interests in financial markets, it will work elsewhere?

Debate it much as you like but the world is a global place now and free movement on capital and services must surely benefit it, unless you are being deliberately protectionist. The Internet has broken down barriers for everything and major US companies are benefiting from it. If betting exchanges are treated as true exchanges then there should be no limit on their adoption and scope.

But encouraging people to losing money by playing bingo, virtual sports or a casino, doesn’t really achieve much and can be argued against on moral grounds. That doesn’t have much appeal or scope does it? A re-branding exercise is required IMHO. Or a competitor with a clean set of heels.

Without it the industry will be treated with the contempt it often deserves.


Tags: , , ,

Category: Industry news

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mushin says:

    The trouble with trying to compare betting or trading sports markets with the more conventional stock markets and other financial instruments is that the underlying risk involved in sports markets is considered trivial. Who cares if one football team beats another, or one horse can run faster than another? The ability to correctly assess an manage the risk inherent in such events is not considered valuable or useful to society as a whole.

  2. Peter Webb says:

    Y I get that, when I’ve argued in favour of prediction markets people have argued that in response. But there is so much speculation that has little value in financial markets that I doubt that this is valuable or useful to society.

    Financial markets have long lost the ability to function as they were really meant. Speculation, which could be aligned to gambling, outranks true investment and capital raising by a massive magnitude.

    Maybe the future is with insurance markets where positions are hedged like a betting exchange?

    I’ve been working with a football club recently so I’d argue that outside of gambling there is a useful function for predictive markets in sport.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.