Corner Bookie Could Become Extinct Like the Dodo Bird Thanks to Augur

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Aug/14/2015
Corner Bookie Could Become Extinct Like the Dodo Bird Thanks to Augur

The local corner bookie may soon be gone thanks to the fall introduction of Augur.  And it’s not just the local bookmaker who needs to worry.  Vegas and the online operators have something to fear as well.

What’s Augur?

It’s an online gambling platform that allows bettors to place wagers on future events.  The software will set the odds and collect bets.  It will also pay out winnings.  And the vig, currently 10 percent at most books online and in Las Vegas, will be a mere 1 percent.

There won’t be any one person, entity or a specific computer network running Augur and the money will be paid out peer-to-peer via Bitcoin.  This eliminates the necessity for any credit card company or banking institution.

Augur will utilize a new project called Ethereum, a decentralized blockchain-based cryptocurrency powered by thousands of computers. It also utilizes user-generated computer protocols that verifies and enforces the performance of a contractual agreement.

And Augur also has some substantial backing, $600,000 of which comes from tech guru Joe Costello, once a top pick by Steve Jobs to run Apple.

Augur will not be without its pitfalls, as Jim Epstein of Reason.com writes:

Augur’s biggest legal vulnerability is the community of human “reporters” who are needed to settle bets on the platform, says Cardozo Law School's Aaron Wright, who is writing a book about the legal implications of blockchain technology. Let’s say a group of people wager money on Augur over the outcome of a boxing match. Once the bout is over, human participants (who receive a portion of the trading fees as compensation) must report the outcome to the system before Augur’s software will disperse the money to the winners. "There’s at least an argument that the people doing that reporting are aiding or abetting unlicensed options and could be prosecuted," says Wright.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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