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Play Money Betting Markets are Useful for Making Predictions

Yes, I was skeptical too

Manifold.markets (and there are others) allow users to bet fake money on a wide variety of events – much as is the case at bookmakers like Paddy Power (although those are obviously real money).

Somewhat surprisingly, the fake money prediction markets seem to track the paid markets fairly well.

I like following betting markets on golf (and sometimes on sports – like when a group of friends does a small betting game around an even like the US Masters).

One event I’ve been following is the US Presidential Election. Here are the real betting markets on the presidential election (via oddschecker – an aggregator that – enjoyably – places “politics” under the “sports” dropdown):

Now converting those odds to percentages…both Trump and Biden are at around 44% and 45% each (that’s down a lot for Trump).

Now, over at the fake money prediction markets:

So, the play money markets are aligned in that they have Trump and Biden close, although they have the other candidates rated at a lower percentage than the paid markets (I’m unsure on why this is and am investigating).

Putting Prediction Markets to Work

There is a sense in which the public can use prediction markets to tell if a country (or company, or any organisation) is on the right track. It suffices to create a measurable poll. Here are two that I have created for Ireland around:

  1. Energy Policy: https://manifold.markets/Ronan/in-2030-where-will-irish-electricit?r=Um9uYW4
  2. Housing Policy: https://manifold.markets/Ronan/in-january-2030-how-many-properties?r=Um9uYW4

Cheers, Ronan

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