Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hollywood thinks it's too important for you to wager on...seriously?



The New York Times is reporting that Hollywood unions and trade groups are lining up in opposition against a proposed futures trading market that would allow people to place bets on box office results.

From the NYTimes:

Both the Cantor futures exchange and Veriana Networks would allow investors to buy or sell — or “short” — contracts based on a movie’s box-office receipts, in essence betting on how well a film will do when released in theaters. On the proposed Cantor exchange, for example, contracts would trade at $1 for every $1 million a movie is expected to bring in at the domestic box office during its first few weeks in theaters. If a contract is bought for $100 and the movie grosses $110 million, the trader makes $10. If another investor shorts the movie, selling the $100 contract, that investor loses $10.
Watch out! California's heavy-hitting thinkers are jumping into the fray - by them I mean Boxer, Feinstein and Henry Waxman:
Over the last two weeks, California’s two senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, sent the commission a joint letter urging caution in approving the contracts. Representatives Lamar Smith of Texas, Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia and Henry A. Waxman of California sent similar letters.
So let's be clear here. Elected officials are involving themselves in this attempt to prevent the public from betting on box office success, because of "the possibility that box-office performance would be hurt by short-sellers."

Hollywood results are too important to wager on, but over at Intrade you could bet on the last presidential election. As of now, you can place bets on immigration reform, the close of the DJIA, and the 2012 presidential nominees, but California legislators are stepping in to make sure we protect the integrity of opening weekend results for the next Twilight film.




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