There goes the world’s best shot to strike it rich during this week’s papal conclave. Intrade, the online betting site that allowed people to bet on virtually anything, shut down unexpectedly late last night.
The most active prediction contracts ahead of the shutdown were about the papal succession process now underway and whether the Democrats will win the 2016 presidential election. It predicted Archbishop Angelo Scola of Italy as the favorite papal candidate with a 25% chance of election, and said Democrats have a 56% of winning the White House again in 2016.
Unavailable for U.S. users since December, when the Commodities Trading Future Commission slapped it with a lawsuit, the Irish-based Intrade is now off-limits for everyone. Reasons for the shut down are hazy, but the company did cite the possibility of “financial irregularities” in a note to customers. Ah well, insider trading could only be democratized for so long. [Fortune]