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The Commodities Futures Trading Commission rescinded a letter allowing PredictIt authorization to operate its non-profit online marketplace, where users may wager money on the likely outcomes of elections and financial events.
Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand launched the platform for research and instructional purposes, studying how markets might predict actual occurrences. In 2014, the agency approved its request to be immune from legal action by the CFTC and issued a letter of no activity.
In canceling the letter, the CFTC stated that the institution had not run its marketplace following its agreed terms with PredictIt in 2014 but did not specify which regulations it violated. The letter required that the website close its marketplace and cease issuing contracts to clients by February 15.
Users may wager on events, such as the 2024 presidential nominations and whether marijuana will be rescheduled by the federal government this year, using bank deposits or credit cards. PredictIt also allows cryptocurrency deposits in the form of USD Coin. People purchase shares as a result of an event, which can be sold or redeemed at a price that fluctuates based on how others wager and the event’s outcome.
It reacted to the CFTC with a statement asserting that it operates markets according to the stipulated regulations. In light of the agency’s ruling, the site stated that it would not create new events for customers to wager on, but it will continue to take deposits and allow withdrawals. “[the CFTC’s] action will not compromise the security of trader funds,” the statement added.
It does not yet know how it will settle markets with an expiration date beyond February 15, but it aims to continue operations until that date. According to the marketplace’s website, academic community members can use Predict. It is free data, and other outlets, including Vox, MarketWatch, and The New York Times, have cited its odds.
Other betting sites have attempted to allow users to profit on the results of real-world events, like Polymarket, which was fined $1.4 million in January for failing to register its services with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The agency instructed Polymarket to discontinue supplying the services if it did not register.