Thursday May 1,2014 : INTRADE FOUNDER SWITCHES TO FANTASY GAMING
Bernstein's company may have been shut down last year, but he's back with a new enterprise.
Ron Bernstein, a co-founder in the now shuttered Ireland-based InTrade online betting and prediction site, has shown that you can't keep an entrepreneur down, resurfacing with a new fantasy sports venture.
The New York publication Dealbook reports that Bernstein is back following last year's regulatory shutdown of Intrade for financial irregularitie.
The Intrade connection remains in the form of a technology supply agreement with Bernstein's latest company, Tradesports.com, which announced its public testing period Wednesday.
Fantasy sports are exempted from the UIGEA because it is classified as a skill gaming genre.
Commenting on the new venture, Bernstein said:
“The Intrade model was just too gray, but the idea is so good, we couldn’t just let it go.”
Bernstein's co-founder, John Delaney, died whilst trying to scale Mount Everest in 2011.
Despite its Irish location, Intrade did a roaring business with US punters betting on a variety of events that included presidential, congressional and state elections in 2012. But by the end of the year the company was under pressure from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and it subsequently exited the US market.
Then in March 2013 independent auditors uncovered "significant" financial irregularities in the company's internal accounts, leading to a suspension of business activity and the threat of liquidation.
In November last year the Delaney estate made a settlement which ensured that Intrade clients were made whole again, but the company has remained inactive and Bernstein has hinted that further litigation may be on the cards with himself as plaintiff.
With Tradesports, Bernstein is trying to combine real-time trading with principles of fantasy sports.
Dealbook reports that the site features various competitions, each centred on a real-life sports game. After paying an entry fee, players buy and sell different prediction contracts, using virtual money. The skill element requires players to trade at least 200 shares in a minimum of three contracts. The player with the best record on outcomes across his or her contracts is awarded a real-money prize.