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Financial overhaul bans box-office futures trade; Hollywood happy

The financial overhaul bill passed Thursday by Congress has attracted the interest of Hollywood, which is cheering a portion of the bill that bans wagering of box office futures.

Groups such as the Motion Picture Association of America say such trading could seriously hurt their ticket sales.

“Trading in box office futures would be highly susceptible to maniputation and could depress box office receipts," said Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the MPAA.

Hollywood's fight against betting on their success or failure in ticket sales began when the Commodities Futures Trading Commission approved two applications by Cantor Fizgerald trading house and another trading body owned by Variana. The applications would create exchanges for people to bet -- in the same way people do for sports games -- on box office results.

In the end, the financial reform bill deemed that box office results weren't a commodity and should not be allowed to be traded as such.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 15, 2010; 5:01 PM ET
 
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