On PredictIt as a neutral 2020 election news source

by Randy Gingeleski

3 minutes to read

PredictIt is a market for "putting your money where your mouth is" about political events. And a great news source.

Post featured image

Do you want to bet on just about anything in politics?

It’s one thing to post on Facebook about what you feel, and another one to put a financial stake behind it — up to $800 per predictive event.

PredictIt.org is where a college in Australia makes markets for political opinions and hunches. Allegedly they do it all as educational research. I believe it, because there’s not a “house edge” built in anywhere.

PredictIt.org homepage

They just seem to cover operational costs like payment processing. It’s worth noting that anyone in the U.S. can deposit money and participate.

Even as a New Jersey resident, it was easier for me to deposit on PredictIt than my Super Bowl sportsbook.

Also to their credit is the number of political events they covers. Numerous sportsbooks might take a bet on the U.S. presidential election outcome — but how about for a politician’s number of tweets on a given day?

This all probably sounds like a glowing recommendation and would be a good lead-in to an affiliate link. But PredictIt doesn’t have an affiliate program, because of their not-for-profit nature.

And my most adamant referral is towards their… news coverage.

PredictIt newsletter

Some weeks ago I became curious about what the markets thought about this 2020 election. For the most part, I ignore “the news” but something or other had prompted me to seek out the wisdom of markets.

It might’ve been after the approximately-once-a-week time when I don’t ignore “the news” and will skim Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal… The significance of those is that they’re both paid, so have somewhat less reliance on page views (eyeballs). And they’re both biased but in opposite directions. They smooth each other out.

This is when I found PredictIt as the dominant player in its space, as described thus far. I signed up then made like $20 in longshot predictions on the election. It’s still early even now as of this post, so who knows what’ll happen.

This was seemingly the end of my interactions with the site until post-election. However, soon after a newsletter appeared in my inbox from PredictIt… unexpected, in itself.

Yet even more surprising is that it was pleasurable to read. It didn’t stir up any strong feelings one way or another about anything political.

The newsletter comes out a few times a week. Coverage is able to be very political yet also devoid of emotion. I’m obviously still subscribed, hence this post.

Email newsletters listed in Gmail

It meets a desire from people like me who are curious to follow election proceedings but don’t find pleasure in the typical news outlets’ other baggage.

The PredictIt letter goes over the ongoing political events that are making new predictions become available in their market, how events have unfolded or concluded, what betting activity has gone on, etcetera.

It perhaps also helps that they’re Australian.

In the future I might do a post covering newsletters in general. As someone who doesn’t use social media, it’s helpful to just collect things I’d be prone to read or skim in my inbox. No “endless scrolling” that’s so mentally dangerous.

But for now — check out PredictIt.org if anything it’s offering sounds like it’s for you.