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The Next Online Betting Market: Hollywood?

April 28, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – A star-studded new Internet betting market may soon be available in the U.S.: federal regulators have tentatively approved a new plan to allow trading on Hollywood movie futures.

To be fair, if approved, this concept would be much more like another form of online stock trading than it would be straight-up Internet betting. (And just how different those two concepts are when you get right down to the realities is another debate).

Still, Cantor Fitzgerald, the firm behind Cantor Gaming, a major name in the Internet gambling world, is the biggest player in this new field, creating a more direct connection to the online gaming world.

Here’s how it’ll work: “Cantor, a subsidiary of the Wall Street brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and Media Derivatives, an initiative from Arizona-based Veriana Ventures, both want to sell a type of financial derivative called a futures contract for Hollywood’s coming attractions,” states The Los Angeles Times. “The price of each contract would be negotiated through the exchange by buyers and sellers before the specific film is released, but the ultimate value would be determined by the movie’s domestic ticket sales. … Each $1 million in box-office revenue would translate into $1 in contract value.”

“The idea is to give people a way to make an investment in how well a film will perform in theaters,” the article continues. “Those who sign on as buyers are betting that it will do better than the market expects, while those who agree to sell are betting it won’t.”

So, if approved, will this new online betting segment be represented in online gambling affiliate marketing? Almost certainly not, but it could prove a lucrative tool to introduce everyday movie fans to the world of online betting.

On the flip side of that coin, the fact that this sort of betting may soon be legal in the United States, while many other forms of Internet sports betting still are not, could provide more leverage to those lawmakers and advocates campaigning to overturn the UIGEA and introduce a freer online gambling marketplace in the U.S.

The plan hasn’t yet won full approval. Interestingly, the biggest opponent so far is the Hollywood establishment, which, according to Taragana Business News, has denounced the idea as “legalized gambling.” (Oh, the outrage!)

But really, how different would this be than betting on the winner of American Idol — already an extremely popular subject for online punters?