[ExI] online betting on ideas futures

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Sat Feb 8 05:49:45 UTC 2020


I play small-stakes online betting.  It is the real-money successor to ExI’s Robin Hanson’s Ideas Futures.


Today I think a lot of people came to the simultaneous collective realization that any of these many online betting sites have the option to just shut down, and keep everyone’s money.  If they did, there is very little anyone could do about it.  Who are you going to whine to, if they did?


Reason why I think the simultaneous collective realization happened this week: there was a disputed outcome on a meme that jillions of people bought: who will win the Iowa caucus.  Turns out… we still don’t know.  None of the online betting sites have paid, and they can’t yet, in case the decision is reversed.


So… I predict that some small percent of the sites will take the opportunity to slip out of business, to take everyone’s money and run.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they just never pay anyone who bet on Iowa (I didn’t.)  Then they stay in business but just never pay anyone on that one bet.



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