Irish betting site Intrade halts trading amid finance concerns

 
City A.M. Reporter
IRISH online betting exchange Intrade, which let customers stake cash on everything from the Papal conclave to the date of the next major terror attack, said yesterday it had ceased trading after the discovery of possible financial irregularities.

Intrade, whose users bought or sold shares representing the likelihood of an event occurring, said it had closed and credited all open bets as of the end of business on Sunday to its customer accounts.

But members’ accounts would be frozen until the company concluded an investigation in the coming weeks, it added.

Intrade’s auditors last month expressed concern over payments made to founder John Delaney – who died in 2011 in an attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest – and other third parties.

In November, the company said it would no longer accept US customers because of what it called legal and regulatory pressures, after which trading volumes on the site dropped sharply.

“Due to circumstances recently discovered we must immediately cease trading activity on www.intrade.com,” the company said in a statement on its website.

“These circumstances ... may include financial irregularities.”

Intrade, which was founded in 1999, gave no details of the irregularities and said it had acted in accordance with Irish law. The firm’s operations manager Carl Wolfenden declined to comment further.