Link: it may be rude to laugh, but…

I’ve been watching these “online trading platforms” for some time. Which aren’t really trading platforms so much as gambling sites, where you get to bet on the outcome of almost any event you like. So you could bet on the outcome of the papal election. Or you could bet on whether Apple’s share price is going to go up or down in the next hour/morning/day/week.

But bear in mind that all this “trading” is almost completely unregulated. And for some time now, my question has been: where is the protection for the casinos website owners?

Because this is the real world, not a well-oiled statistically-programmed slot machine.


  • my name is Raj Rajaratnam;
  • and I know about this deal involving a bank and a famous investor that’s due to be announced tomorrow;
  • but I don’t want to buy shares on an exchange because, like, last time I had a hassle with the SEC and insider-trading laws and soap-dropping-in-the-shower; BUT
  • there are a dozen competing “online trading platforms” that’ll take the other side of my bet;
  • and they’re not regulated at all…

At worst, they won’t pay me out – but then they’ll go out of business, because not paying your winners is not good customer policy. And then what can they do – tell the SEC about it? Please. The SEC will laugh in their unregulated faces.

So attention all lawyers, auditors, consultants, investment bankers, CEOs, disgruntled managers, general business folk and private individuals – if ever you’ve wanted to take down a casino without being escorted to the door by Congolese gentlemen sporting ray-bans – here is your opportunity. Inside-trade with neoliberal abandon.

And on that point: The world’s (now-former) leading predictor betting site announced the following over the weekend:

“due to circumstances recently discovered, we must immediately cease trading activity”.

Citing: “financial irregularities” “that appear to have run afoul of Irish law”.

The article is all convinced that it has something to do with them trading-while-not-being-an-exchange.

I disagree – I think it’s the customers who may have “run afoul of Irish law”. By being a bunch of Rajaratnams. Oh – and did I mention that customer accounts have been frozen?