October 31, 2004 | Boston GlobePlacing a presidential bet, though often illegal then as well, used to be as American as hanging red, white and blue bunting at a political convention. From the 19th century to the mid-20th, odds on presidential races were greeted with much fanfare and regularly posted on the front pages of the nation's leading newspapers in the weeks preceding the election. For Americans looking for action on the presidential race, there are a couple of types of venues. The most popular are the online futures markets such as at www.intrade.com. Sites like these discourage using the term "gambling" and prefer "trading." The business school at the UNIVERSITY OF IOWA runs a similar trading site called the Iowa Electronic Markets, open to the public. In fact, it's the only legal place to bet on the presidential race in the United States, since the university uses the website for research and educational purposes. (Unlike other sites, traders are limited to a maximum $500 investment.) This story also appeared on the websites of the LOS ANGELES TIMES, SEATTLE TIMES and the BALTIMORE SUN.
Contact: Robert Forsythe