Financial Doom? InTrade Shuts Down Suddenly Do To ‘Circumstances Recently Discovered’
Intrade, the worlds largest prediction market, has shut down suddenly, leaving customers with a worrisome and cryptic message upon their website. What 'circumstances' has Intrade recently discovered that has IMMEDIATELY caused them to cease all trading activity? They've announced that they have 'closed and settled all open contracts at fair market value as of March 10th, 2013' to 'mitigate any further risks to members accounts'. What in the world does the Board of Directors of InTrade know that you and I don't? Did they have inside info on the next pope? Were mass bets placed on a date for WW3 kick-off or an attack by North Korea? First from NPR and then from the Intrade website with a video discussion from Bloomberg below.
The online betting market Intrade has shut down. Intrade allowed customers to wager on the outcome of events such as presidential elections. The company says all betting is on hold until it can investigate possible financial irregularities.
The selection of the next pope had been a hot topic on the site Intrade. That's where anyone can place real money bets on future events like the outcome of a presidential race or who will win an Oscar. But that all changed yesterday when Intrade abruptly halted trading, pending an unspecified investigation. NPR's Dan Bobkoff has that story.
The message below can now be found upon the InTrade website.
To Our Customers:
With sincere regret we must inform you that due to circumstances recently discovered we must immediately cease trading activity on www.intrade.com.
These circumstances require immediate further investigation, and may include financial irregularities which in accordance with Irish law oblige the directors to take the following actions:
Cease exchange trading on the website immediately.
Settle all open positions and calculate the settled account value of all Member accounts immediately.
Cease all banking transactions for all existing Company accounts immediately.
During the upcoming weeks, we will investigate these circumstances further and determine the necessary course of action.
To mitigate any further risk to members’ accounts, we have closed and settled all open contracts at fair market value as of the close of business on March 10, 2013, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of our customers’ use of the website. You may view your account details and settled account balances by logging into the website.
At this time and until further notice, it is not possible to make any payments to members in accordance with their settled account balance until the investigations have concluded.
The Company will continue the maintenance and technology operations of the exchange system so that all information is preserved properly.
We are not able to provide telephone support or live help services at this time, please contact the company by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We appreciate your custom and support over the years. We are committed to reporting faithfully the status of things as they are clarified and hope you will bear with us as we do all we can to resume operations as promptly as possible.
The Board of Directors of Intrade the Prediction Market Limited