How to Place a Bet on The Oscars
We've had an Academy Award party every year for the last four years and for fun, we usually have our guests fill out a prediction card on who they think will win each of the categories.
The prediction cards went a little further last year when two of our guests started placing side bets of $5 per category (and just in case the Florida Gaming Commission reads The Penny Hoarder - I, in no way, sanctioned these bets :) ). It was a fun way to add a little bit of competition to what can sometimes be a dull night.
Anyway, the Oscar nominations are only a few weeks away and if you're interested in placing your own side bets, there are actually a couple of ways you can do so online. Here's my favorite way...
Use Intrade to Bet on The Oscars
One of the most popular places to place a bet is on the prediction market, Intrade.com. It's most famously known for its participants betting on political elections, but Intrade also offer a variety of other markets including an entertainment market.
Right now, the only Oscar category you can bet on is the"Best Picture," but it's likely that they'll add more categories after the nominations are announced in January. The films you can currently bet on are The Descendants, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Tree of Life, War Horse, My Week with Marilyn, The Artist, Hugo and The Help.
If you've never used Intrade, it can be a little difficult to understand the betting procedure at first. You won't need to learn how to spread bet, but you do need to understand how prediction contracts work.
For example, the most expensive contract to buy right now is for "The Artist" to win Best Picture. Currently it costs $3.98 to buy a share and you can buy and sell these shares (just like you would in the stock market) up until the moment when the Best Picture winner is announced. If "The Artist" is chosen as the "Best Picture", those holding a share are paid $10. Of course, if another film wins, you'll lose the entire $3.98.
You also don't need to wait until the "Best Picture" is announced before selling your shares. Let's say that the buzz for "The Artist" continues to grow over the next couple of months and the contract price is pushed up to $6.00. You could sell your shares immediately, eliminating the risk, and pocketing $2.02 for every share that you own ($6.00 - $3.98 = $2.02 profit).
Problems with Betting on Intrade.com
If you live in the United Staes, you probably remember that Congress passed a law a few years ago prohibiting banking institutions from knowingly transferring funds to an online gambling institution. That makes it a little harder for our American readers to fund an Intrade account, but it's still possible through bank wire and cashier's check. You'll want to do your own homework though before undergoing that option.
Intrade also charges a $4.99 monthly fee to participate in their markets, so you'll want to keep that in mind before you decide to join.
If you have any other questions, there is a great list of FAQ's on Intrade's website.
Good luck Penny Hoarders!