The United States War against Online Gambling – An analysis of how the US sought and failed to stamp out Internet gambling.

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&#8220-The United States&#8217- War against Online Gambling&#8221- &#8211- An analysis of how the US sought and failed to stamp out internet gambling.


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The road to nowhere – European gambling law from Schindler to Bwin Liga and beyond.. An analysis of European Gambling Law by Niall OConnor

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&#8220-The road to nowhere &#8211- European gambling law from Schindler to Bwin Liga and beyond.&#8221-. An analysis of European Gambling Law by Niall O&#8217-Connor

The journey from the European Court of Justice&#8217-s ruling in Schindler to its most recent ruling in Bwin Liga has been a long one, during which, many lawyers have enriched themselves. Little has actually been settled to date, and many fear that under the leadership of Michel Barnier, that that is unlikely to change.


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Alain Badiou = Being and Event = Mathematics as Ontology

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Niall O&#8217-Connor has more in common with Robin Hanson than you would have thought one hour ago: They both love philosophy (i.e., blah blah blah).

Niall O&#8217-Connor:


On a broader point, you would be well served as a Frenchman to promote Badiou and his notion of “mathematics as ontology”. Moreover, you and your merry band of readers would all do well to put Badiou’s “Being and Event” on your holiday reading lists- for a little light vacation reading.


Introduction to Being and Event
Drawing from 8 March 2006 &#8220-Art&#8217-s Imperative&#8221- lecture

The major propositions of Badiou&#8217-s philosophy all find their basis in Being and Event, in which he continues his attempt (which he began in Theorie du sujet) to reconcile a notion of the subject with ontology, and in particular post-structuralist and constructivist ontologies.[3] A frequent criticism of post structuralist work is that it prohibits, through its fixation on semiotics and language, any notion of a subject. Badiou&#8217-s work is, by his own admission,[4] an attempt to break out of contemporary philosophy&#8217-s fixation upon language, which he sees almost as a straitjacket. This effort leads him, in Being and Event, to combine rigorous mathematical formulae with his readings of poets such as Mallarme and Holderlin and religious thinkers such as Pascal. His philosophy draws equally upon &#8216-analytical&#8217- and &#8216-continental&#8217- traditions. In Badiou&#8217-s own opinion, this combination places him awkwardly relative to his contemporaries, meaning that his work had been only slowly taken up.[5] Being and Event offers an example of this slow uptake, in fact: it was translated into English only in 2005, a full seventeen years after its French publication.

As is implied in the title of the book, two elements mark the thesis of Being and Event: the place of ontology, or &#8216-the science of being qua being&#8217- (being in itself), and the place of the event — which is seen as a rupture in ontology — through which the subject finds his or her realization and reconciliation with truth. This situation of being and the rupture which characterizes the event are thought in terms of set theory, and specifically Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory (with the axiom of choice), to which Badiou accords a fundamental role in a manner quite distinct from the majority of either mathematicians or philosophers.

Mathematics as ontology

For Badiou the problem which the Greek tradition of philosophy has faced and never satisfactorily dealt with is the problem that while beings themselves are plural, and thought in terms of multiplicity, being itself is thought to be singular- that is, it is thought in terms of the one. He proposes as the solution to this impasse the following declaration: that the one is not. This is why Badiou accords set theory (the axioms of which he refers to as the Ideas of the multiple) such stature, and refers to mathematics as the very place of ontology: Only set theory allows one to conceive a &#8216-pure doctrine of the multiple&#8217-. Set theory does not operate in terms of definite individual elements in groupings but only functions insofar as what belongs to a set is of the same relation as that set (that is, another set too). What separates sets out therefore is not an existential positive proposition, but other multiples whose properties validate its presentation- which is to say their structural relation. The structure of being thus secures the regime of the count-as-one. So if one is to think of a set — for instance, the set of people, or humanity — as counting as one the elements which belong to that set, it can then secure the multiple (the multiplicities of humans) as one consistent concept (humanity), but only in terms of what does not belong to that set. What is, in following, crucial for Badiou is that the structural form of the count-as-one, which makes multiplicities thinkable, implies that the proper name of being does not belong to an element as such (an original &#8216-one&#8217-), but rather the void set (written O), the set to which nothing (not even the void set itself) belongs. It may help to understand the concept &#8216-count-as-one&#8217- if it is associated with the concept of &#8216-terming&#8217-: a multiple is not one, but it is referred to with &#8216-multiple&#8217-: one word. To count a set as one is to mention that set. How the being of terms such as &#8216-multiple&#8217- does not contradict the non-being of the one can be understood by considering the multiple nature of terminology: for there to be a term without there also being a system of terminology, within which the difference between terms gives context and meaning to any one term, does not coincide with what is understood by &#8216-terminology&#8217-, which is precisely difference (thus multiplicity) conditioning meaning. Since the idea of conceiving of a term without meaning does not compute, the count-as-one is a structural effect or a situational operation and not an event of truth. Multiples which are &#8216-composed&#8217- or &#8216-consistent&#8217- are count-effects- inconsistent multiplicity is the presentation of presentation.

Badiou&#8217-s use of set theory in this manner is not just illustrative or heuristic. Badiou uses the axioms of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory to identify the relationship of being to history, Nature, the State, and God. Most significantly this use means that (as with set theory) there is a strict prohibition on self-belonging- a set cannot contain or belong to itself. Russell&#8217-s paradox famously ruled that possibility out of formal logic. (This paradox can be thought through in terms of a &#8216-list of lists that do not contain themselves&#8217-: if such a list does not write itself on the list the property is incomplete, as there will be one missing- if it does, it is no longer a list that does not contain itself.) So too does the axiom of foundation — or to give an alternative name the axiom of regularity — enact such a prohibition (cf. p. 190 in Being and Event). (This axiom states that all sets contain an element for which only the void [empty] set names what is common to both the set and its element.) Badiou&#8217-s philosophy draws two major implications from this prohibition. Firstly, it secures the inexistence of the &#8216-one&#8217-: there cannot be a grand overarching set, and thus it is fallacious to conceive of a grand cosmos, a whole Nature, or a Being of God. Badiou is therefore — against Cantor, from whom he draws heavily — staunchly atheist. However, secondly, this prohibition prompts him to introduce the event. Because, according to Badiou, the axiom of foundation &#8216-founds&#8217- all sets in the void, it ties all being to the historico-social situation of the multiplicities of de-centred sets — thereby effacing the positivity of subjective action, or an entirely &#8216-new&#8217- occurrence. And whilst this is acceptable ontologically, it is unacceptable, Badiou holds, philosophically. Set theory mathematics has consequently &#8216-pragmatically abandoned&#8217- an area which philosophy cannot. And so, Badiou argues, there is therefore only one possibility remaining: that ontology can say nothing about the event.


Niall is not happy…

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Niall O&#8217-Connor:

Cowardly bastards …if this can be confirmed I will pass the story on to one of my contacts at the Guardian. And I will ensure that the other cowards who received emails last Friday about the websites, but chose to keep quiet are also exposed- by informing their companies of this obscene example of corporate bullying.

Chris Masse is a total and complete fake -thats what Niall OConnor seems to think.

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Niall, my good Lord,

Firstly, thanks for your constant scrutiny of my web activities. I&#8217-m so honored &#8212-and you should be too, because I&#8217-m one of your feed subscribers.

As you point out, that post was not an instance of &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8221- &#8212-and was never branded as such. I have made a long-time policy on all the Midas Oracle blogs that their content is not about prediction markets only. That post was about US politics, and it consisted in a link to a story explaining why Oprah Winfrey is not able to help Barack Obama, because of demos and else. I thought my readers would like to read that story.

Niall, if you want an instance of &#8220-prediction market journalism&#8221- (not in its richest form, though, as we are just started experimenting and researching it), try that &#8212-and you&#8217-re welcome to criticize it and improve it on your own blog&#8230- if you can. (And if you want material for your next damning critique, try that.)

Your impulse to eviscerate the field of prediction markets (most of the times, with phony arguments, and at other times, with valid arguments) should be kept in check with both science and common sense &#8212-or you risk losing your credibility totally.

Best regards, my good Lord.

Chris Masse

Read the previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it’s death. You’re giving prosecutors all the evidence we need.
  • Is Justin Wolfers a libertarian? Probably not.
  • The information technology that caught Eliot Spitzer
  • Eric Zitzewitz’s 10 minutes of fame
  • Fun with conditional probabilities
  • Wrongly Crafted Headlines Of The Day
  • an American, petite, very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds


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Niall O&#8217-Connor (who maybe ate grilled snake for his Sunday morning breakfast :-D ):

The current trend to promote almost illiquid betting markets as being predictive, looks set to backfire bigstyle. In a nutshell, to date the so called &#8220-prediction markets&#8221- have called it wrong in New Hampshire (Democrats), Michigan (Republicans) and South Carolina (Republicans). Prediction market advocates, in many instances weighed down with the baggage of being too closely associated with the prediction market industry, are guilty of churning out subjective, biased research, in an attempt to promote the industry and lure traders into the markets. Unscientific comparisons are continually made between prediction markets and polls, and, moreover, markets are deemed to have been predictive, when all they have actually done is [respond] to the unwinding of the vote count. The publication of such utter garbage does nothing but a big disservice to the fledgling prediction market industry. Moreover, it is unfortunate that prediction market industry watchers, who purport to be independent and subjective, indulge the writers of such nonsense, in the process revealing themselves to be nothing more than placemen and sycophants of unquestioning loyalty. […]

Names, please, Niall.

  1. Who are those corrupted &#8220-prediction market advocates&#8221-?
  2. Who are those rotten &#8220-prediction market industry watchers&#8221-?

By the way&#8230- I will have the charts of the expired BetFair contracts, soon, I hope- and I will publish them here for all to see.

Niall OConnor, the one-data-point analyst

Here is what Niall O&#8217-Connor has published on his site:

Prediction Markets Tombstone

Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:

  • Davos – World Economic Forum
  • CME Group = Chicago Mercantile Exchange + Chicago Board Of Trade
  • Democratic and Republican caucuses in Nevada + Republican primary in South Carolina
  • The BetFair blog is not a serious publication.
  • MICHIGAN PRIMARY @ BETFAIR: Niall O’Connor asks the very pertinent question.
  • One thing John Delaney and his Irish employees at InTrade-TradeSports can learn from the BetFair-TradeFair folks at HammerSmith.
  • BetFair compound chart on the Michigan primary

The prediction markets deserve a fair trial.

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Niall O&#8217-Connor:

Sadly, from our analysis, the impression that one gets is of a market that is spooked by poll results– driven by stale news- and heavily influenced by gossip and rumour.


  1. Could Lord O&#8217-Connor cite the name of a more accurate forecasting tool?
  2. Could Lord O&#8217-Connor publish his own track record at predicting the US and British elections?
  3. Could Lord O&#8217-Connor give one example of an infallible human institution?
  4. Could Lord O&#8217-Connor state publicly whether he believes in knowing the future in advance with 100% accuracy? (If yes, then I&#8217-ll suggest to the CIA to hire him to get Bin Laden.)

Previously: Prediction markets are forecasting tools of convenience that feed on advanced indicators.

Prediction markets vs. Experts (a.k.a. pundits)

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Via betting expert Niall O&#8217-Connor, this Slate piece:

But in the run-up to this year&#8217-s midterms, Intrade futures prices are everywhere. RealClearPolitics offers &#8220-Live Intrade Quotes&#8221- alongside its polling summaries. HuffingtonPost now posts them on the front page in a snazzy, multicolored bar graph. The HuffPo graphics won&#8217-t help with Tradesports/Intrade&#8217-s defense. The headline shouts &#8220-Midterm Betting Odds,&#8221- and the caption adds, &#8220-Odds based on people betting real money on the Tradesports website.&#8221- Is betting real money on the midterms a form of online gambling?

My Answer: No. TradeSports-InTrade is a prediction exchange, which can give more objective outcome probabilities than bookmakers or sportsbooks, and the Huffington Post does a diservice to the public in presenting that as &#8220-betting odds&#8221-.

Never mind the current Congress – the real value of political futures markets like Intrade is their potential to put someone else out of business: pundits. Intrade&#8217-s predictions are erratic, unreliable, and meaningless – in other words, a perfect market in the conventional wisdom. Most Washington talking heads are just day traders in political gossip. Thanks to Intrade, you no longer have to listen to all the pontificators, because the market does it for you. In politics, it&#8217-s often hard to tell the difference between the conventional wisdom and &#8220-the wisdom of crowds.&#8221- One man&#8217-s CW is another man&#8217-s WC. As further proof that the market works, this wisdom is now available for free – which is exactly what it&#8217-s worth.

My Take: I agree with what I put in bold, but not with what&#8217-s in between and after.