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12 June 2010

Movie Futures Betting Market Delayed Again, by Greg Tingle - 10th June 2010

The betting public remain excited about betting on movies via futures, while Hollywood isn't so keen. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is fully expected to make some tough and important decisions within a a week. Media Man and Gambling911 act as director and producer with this timely update...

Federal (U.S.) regulators have postponed for a week the final decision on whether to allow a new online betting exchange to proceed to trade future box office receipts for movies.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission extended to 14th June Monday's deadline for deciding on the proposed futures contracts re the new Trend Exchange. The delay was requested by the exchange, an agency spokesman advised.

The big Hollywood studios almost universally oppose futures trading of box-office receipts. They point to a scenario where rival studios could sabotage films by betting against them! Not a bad defence, and not a bad strategy either. Media Man and Gambling911 think a number of safeguards should be built into the proposals to prevent corruption and other untoward aspects.

The news nor the buzz isn't all bad we learned. Investor groups that put up the money (funds etc) to make films say it would help generate new capital for the movie industry, which has seen better days.

Still Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures and WWE Studios are going strongly most analysts agree, while a number of movie houses could be going under soon (no names to protect the innocent and guilty).

The CFTC approved the establishment of the Trend Exchange and another exchange for futures, the Cantor Futures Exchange.

A number of Aussie's in the "Gumleaf Mafia", both based in Hollywood and 'Sin City' Sydney think the movie betting exchanges will add new life, spark and even employment opportunities in the industry, but actors are reluctant to go on record citing fear it could cost them potential acting employment opportunities if they spoke out on the matter at this time.

Media Man is chasing the story and following up with the offices of DreamWorks, Marvel Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, as well as seeking comment from Mickey Rourke (Iron-Man 2 and Sin City), Robert De Niro (Casino), Firass Dirani (The Killer Elite and Underbelly), John "Vulcan" Seru (Resistance and Underbelly) and George Miller (Max Mad director). *Miller is understood to be putting together Max Mad 4 (but with no Mel Gibson).

Rumours persist that Australian gaming and lifestyle tycoon, James Packer (50% owner of Betfair) has an element of interest in. A Media Man spokesperson said that if Mr Packer is in fact interested in becoming pro actively involved in the movie futures business they would be interested to meet and attempt to thrash out a deal. Mr Packer is a friend and business associated of sorts with the great Shane Warne (face of controversial 888). Media Man has previously conducted b2b with 888 and has also done some media appearances with Warne poker "partner in crime" Jeff Fenech (Aussie boxing legend and trainer), so based on the 6 degrees of separation rule, it appears that one of two catch ups between the Aussie 'Gumleaf Mafia' (open to interpretation) are in order. A Media Man spokesperson did reveal that MM top brass has been in pro active negotiations with long time Warne mate and associate, Kim Illman ("ambush marketing" gun and head of Messages On Hold). Illman also has links to Packer, Crown Casino and MM some time mentor of sorts, Max Markson (Markson Sparks!), so its apparent big things are likely to be in the works and "relationship marketing" forces are in play. Media Man has previously gone on recent with their being impressed with Betfair and PartyGaming (which has a spread betting deal in place with InterTrader). PartyGaming's is acknowledged as the online casino leader when it comes to Hollywood themed online slot games, two games of which feature long time James Packer friend Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible and Top Gun).

When quizzed more about the Australia connection to the Hollywood movie futures exchange Media Man disclosed as Packer deal would be their preference, but are open to Shane Warne and Max Markson also. When pushed further a MM director said "We want to be right in thick of the action re Hollywood betting exchange. Packer is the ideal partner, but Richard Branson is also ramping up Virgin Games and Virgin Gaming. Max Markson of Markson Sparks! is also well connected in Hollywood, and also Markson competitor of sorts, Harry M. Miller Group sports an impressive background in the arts - entertainment spectrum. The 'Gumleaf Mafia' getting more involved in ventures such as movie betting is only a natural turn of events. Paddy Power doing betting on Volcano eruptions is just the tip of the iceberg when its comes to innovative betting options. Party, Packer and Virgin all have the ability to blow Paddy Power out of the water. It's just a matter of time mate".

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming including sports betting is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover.

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