It's one of the classic Monopoly thoughts we all have as kids. "Hey, wouldn't it be great if this was REAL money?" From April 20, the creators of Hollywood Stock Exchange will be turning their game into a bone fide futures trading system. Who wants to play now?
HSX, owned by a UK investment firm, applied to regulators to become an active trading system back in late 2008. Now they're entering the final stages before the site can start dealing in real currency next month.
Working very much as it does today as a game, HSX will allow
players gamblers investors to buy contracts on films at one millionth of the projected final box office value. If the movie is expected to make $100m, then trade value will start at $100 per contract. As a film gets closer to full release, trading will begin and values will fluctuate until the film opens, box office takings are assessed, and HSX contracts pay out at final value.
Full details on how the new system will work are yet to be revealed. But it's obvious things will become a lot more serious, and people with insider knowledge of the film industry will be in a lot of trouble should they abuse the system.
Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a virtual-to-real dollars conversion opportunity for those of us who have played the virtual HSX. I have more than $200m in the virtual bank. I'd happily take a ten thousand to one conversion!