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IEM Finds Competition in For-Profit Wagering Systems

The University of Iowa's market for U.S. presidential futures, founded 16 years ago, has been overtaken by a Dublin-based exchange that is now 25 times larger. Investors betting on the race between President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry have purchased contracts worth more than $4 million on Intrade, better known by its web address.

The Iowa Electronic Markets, a not-for-profit wagering system, has a potential payout of $162,000. The Iowa Electronics Market, run by Iowa's Tippie College of Business, has correctly picked the winner of three out of the past four presidential elections. Professors George Neumann, Robert Forsythe and Forrest Nelson hatched the idea for a presidential futures market after polls failed to predict Jesse Jackson winning the Michigan democratic primary in March 1988.

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