Commission Must Act on NADEX Political Betting Request by January 4

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Commission Must Act on NADEX Political Betting Request by January 4

The North American Derivatives Exchange (NADEX) has filed with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to permit offering of betting on the upcoming political elections.  The deadline for a decision is January 4 and should the Commission fail to act, NADEX could begin offering such bets (or trades) within the next couple of weeks.

Three of those on the Commission must vote against the proposal for it to be discarded.  So far, only one Commissioner has come forward to oppose the NADEX request.

Bart Chilton, one of the five CFTC commissioners, told CNN he considered the idea of placing bets on the upcoming elections "political poker”.

"I'm not sure that we want to throw our political process into the trading pits, where just a few well-heeled speculators could theoretically wager on the outcome of an election," he said.

He also said the idea could trivialize the existing futures markets. "That's a slippery slope," he said.

The Exchange insists that trading futures based on elections should not be considered gambling. Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, disagrees, told CNN such an proclamation is a little bit far fetched. 

"It is gambling, of a sort," he said. "But then, most things connected to the stock market and connected markets seem like gambling to me."

NADEX may have the holidays on its side as the first two days of January will be days off for the CFTC. 

- Aaron Goldstein,

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