You can now read 10 articles a month for free. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

6

2

Final

editorial

InTrade should be allowed to accept bets from Americans

Continue reading below

If you were confident enough to put money on, say, an obscure congressman being elected president in 2016 or Argo winning Best Picture, you could buy shares on InTrade, the online predictions market. But InTrade, now the target of federal regulators for delving into oil and other regulated commodities, stopped taking trades this month, even the whimsical ones. That’s a shame.

There’s little harm in letting Americans back up their political and pop-culture predictions with actual money. Last fall, InTrade, an Irish company whose website updates constantly as if it were a stock exchange, helped provide a more accurate snapshot of where the presidential campaign stood than polling alone. A recent University of Michigan study might explain why; it found that people’s expectations of what will happen — which is what prediction markets measure — are more predictive of actual results than asking voters what they want to happen, which is what polls gauge. It’s a useful lesson: Don’t bet against bettors.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week