Senator makes move to ban it just as trading commission approves Media Derivatives plan
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., who oversees the commission and is chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, on Friday added a provision to financial reform legislation that would ban the commission from licensing firms to offer trading based on box office receipts.
Lincoln, whose sister Mary Lambert is a film director ("Pet Sematary"), unveiled a new version of her proposed Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act, that includes a movies-future trading ban.
The legislation would ban the commission from approving any market in “motion picture box office receipts, or any index, measure, value, or data related to such receipts, and all services, rights, and interests, except motion picture box office receipts, or any index, measure, value, or data related to such receipts, in which contracts for future delivery are presently in the future.”
“As Congress moves forward with financial regulatory reform, we are very grateful to Chairman Lincoln for seeking to put a stop to plans to allow wagering on box office futures, which are based on a faulty understanding of the film business and could cause real financial harm to both the film industry and other Americans drawn in by an online gaming platform that could be easily manipulated,” the group said in a statement.
It added: “This is just one in a series of upcoming regulatory steps, including requirements to have prior approval from the CFTC before these questionable contracts can actually begin trading.
"We intend to continue to urge the CFTC to reject both the proposal from Media Derivatives to offer a box office wagering service on its online marketplace, and a separate proposal that remains pending by Cantor Futures Exchange L.P. that would essentially allow real betting on what previously has been an online make-believe box office gaming site.”
In two separate letters sent Friday to Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Hollywood consortium asked that futures exchanges being established by Media Derivatives and Cantor Fitzgerald not receive sanctioning.