The Commodity Futures Trading Commission gave its approval this week to one of a few start-ups that plan to allow people to essentially bet on the success of movies at the box office, but the thumbs up might not last: A U.S. Senate version of financial-reform measures being considered in Congress would outlaw such trading, according to MarketWatch.
We've told you about the Hollywood Stock Exchange, one of the firms that plans to let you vote online on how well a movie might do on its opening weekend. The commission's approval, however, went to a competitor called Media Derivatives.
The 3-2 vote was not harmonious. Dissenting commissioner Bart Chilton said the approval could set a bad precedent: ” … Unless some sensible judgment is exercised, we could approve terrorism contracts, or contracts on whether a certain movie star will die or become disabled, or contracts on the likelihood of UFOs hitting the White House.”
The Motion Picture Association of America and most Hollywood trade groups are vehemently opposed to such wagers, with the MPAA stating that they're “over-under bets on a movie's performance.”
We're betting that — with the powerful MPAA opposed and a bill working its way through Congress banning such trading — such gambling is not going to see the light of day. Any takers?