In late 2014, Victoria University economics major Matt Burgess created an app allowing people to bet on politics, and it’s taking the US election by storm.
With the help of Lou Evans, Professor Neil Quigley, and VicLink, Burgess initiated the development of New Zealand’s first online marketplace for predicting and forecasting political events.
The interactive app—originally called iPredict (now PredictIt)—encourages members to do more than just vote, it encourages them to bet on their expected outcome.
If your predicted event occurs, the trader—the person behind the proposition, will be paid quite simply for having made it public; with the point of the game being to understand and express what everyone else is thinking.
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PredictIt is now run from Washington DC and has 17,000 active traders. It is unsurprisingly most popular with highly educated young men.
According to PredictIt’s terms and conditions, to remain legal, there is “a limit of 5000 total traders in any particular contract,” and “a limit on investment by any single participant in any particular contract [of] $850.”
Salient can report that PredictIt’s expansion into the US has allowed debate to finally move away from John Key’s ideal vacation spot.