Patt Morrison for April 26, 2010

Betting on & in Hollywood?

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Chris Hondros/Getty Images

You may soon be able to bet on how well movies will do in the box office

Two companies recently got regulatory approval to go ahead with plans for futures trading on Hollywood movie releases, but not everyone is happy about. Most of the big Hollywood studios in fact are a little less than thrilled about brokers betting on the success or failure of their films. The “industry” has been lobbying Congress to intervene, and intervene they have. The Senate just approved a bill that bans betting on Hollywood films and lawmakers heard testimony this week about whether box office receipts are actual commodities to be bought and sold. Many in the entertainment business are worried about manipulation, insider trading and whether all the betting will affect audiences and thus the profitability of their investments. There is a lot of opposition in Hollywood and in Congress, so will betting on Hollywood have a happy ending or go down in flames?

Guests:

Representative Henry A. Waxman, D-California’s 30th District; Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee

Richard Jaycobs, President of Cantor Futures Exchange


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