Presidential betting site bars all Americans over gold trading

Intrade.com has barred all Americans from taking part in its prediction markets after the US Commodity Futures and Trading Commission filed a lawsuit against the website on the grounds that it enables participants to buy and sell commodities options.

Intrade is an Ireland-based betting website which permits visitors to place wagers on the outcome of real world events, ranging from which candidate will triumph in the US presidential election to who the next set of Oscar Award winners will be.

The site has achieved immense popularity via its combination of online gambling and coverage of current affairs. One leading political analyst has confessed publicly to scrutinizing the site's findings on a regular basis during the latest US presidential campaign, surmising that the aggregate opinion of traders would serve as a better predictor of its outcome than erudite pundits.

The site's popularity as a political soothsayer is set to take a dive however, following the lawsuit filed against it by the CFTC and the site's subsequent ban on participation in betting by all US nationals.

CFTC alleges that Intrade allowed US visitors to bet on the future prices of commodities such as gold and oil during the period from 2007 to 2012. This meant Intrade was providing commodities options outside of regulated exchanges in contravention of US law.