Dublin firm sees $12m US election bets
A DUBLIN-based company has seen just over $12m gambled on who will win the US presidential battle between George Bush and John Kerry.
Trade Exchange Network Ltd runs a number of popular online gambling exchange sites out of its Parkwest, Co Dublin office, which generates turnover figures of several hundred million dollars a year.
Betting patterns on one of its online trading exchange arms, Intrade.com, which specialises in politics, strongly predict that the US presidency will be staying in Texas.
George W Bush futures on its Intrade betting exchange market have consistently traded significantly ahead of Mr Kerry, the company said yesterday.
Trade Exchange chief executive and major shareholder Irishman John Delaney said: "When thousands of people bet millions of dollars, the empirical evidence suggests that they are better predictors than opinion polls.
"In an opinion poll you are likely to say who you want to win, rather than who you think will win. There is a very significant difference between the two!"
Besides the presidential election, Intrade facilitates betting on current affairs, the weather etc, as well as more diverse topics like what will be the outcome of popstar Michael Jackson's controversial court trial.
Mr Delaney set up Trade Exchange when he left his job in the Irish Financial Services Centre a couple of years ago.
It has so far attracted investment of between $10m and $20m from Irish, UK and US investors - including Queensland Press, an associated company of News International which is run by media baron Rupert Murdoch.
Its political exchange betting predictions have achieved a high profile in the run-up to this year's US elections, having been used by many US television news giants, including CNN, CNBC and Fox.
Trade Exchange Network makes its money by charging four US cents every time it facilitates members trading on contracts against other members within a secure online environment.