Feeds

Attack of the terror casinos, volume 2

Please step away from the slides

Business security measures using SSL

House of Cards The second and final day of The Growth of Gambling and Prediction Markets: Economic and Financial Implications began with a very interesting session led by Ricardo Siu of of the University of Macau about whether or not gaming markets are a productive economic sector in the purely economic sense of that word: namely, are they capable of indefinite and sustainable growth?

The gaming sector is notoriously difficult to analyze due to the fact that casino gaming is typically bundled with a suite of related hospitality services and prices, and costs of the games themselves are uncertain: under a basic profitability formula, a player who gambles $100 for an hour and loses would be treated the same as a player who gambles $100 for 10 hours and loses, although the economic effect on the house is very different.

In short, gambling is not a static product to be sold, but rather an elastic service whose profit margin – the house edge – can only be evaluated in a long term context. Ultimately, the productivity of casino gaming is inseparable from the development that surrounds it, although the casino itself benefits from the technological advances of the world outside.

The gaming sector, which most people consider unproductive or even undesirable, is generally attacked in the press as a drag on local economies, and another paper covered the impact on housing prices of casino development in America since the 1990 census. Somewhat surprisingly, at least to this author, when compared with non-casino jurisdictions casino development has actually raised area housing prices.

Plenary session - when markets attack

The day concluded with three papers covering prediction markets, the first by Robin Hanson, the world's leading proponent of prediction markets and former head of DARPA's notorious "terror casino".

Robin Hanson - futarchist, cryogenic enthusiast, and all around Kool Aid-chugger - is the son of Baptist preacher, and he brings to the cause an eerie religiosity. A former physics student, Hanson admits that he got a PhD in economics so people would take his ideas seriously: truly a cart-before-the-horse moment. One of the original attacks on the "terror casino" was that the market was too thin not to be manipulated, and could steer policy in the wrong direction.

So what would a true believer do? Of course, Hanson's paper claimed that market manipulation actually makes markets more accurate, not less, by increasing the so-called "noise" of the market. Of course, like virtually all the presentations at the conference, this was concocted as nothing more than a laboratory experiment. Real statistics from futures exchange Intrade, for example - a conference sponsor, no less - were few and far between.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.