Then I saw this over on InTrade.
Fortunately, I have this stuff kicking around in a desk drawer. So I've scanned it and uploaded it. And now I wait for verification, presumably along with hundreds of other would-be arbitrageurs.
Documentation RequirementsTo comply with Irish anti-money laundering regulations we require all Intrade customers to provide the following documentation:
- Proof of identity in the form of passport or drivers license (must include photo).
- Two proofs of address in the form of utility bills or bank statements (each different - not for the same utility or bank account), recent tax or insurance statements or certificates etc. These should show your residential address and not PO Box numbers.You will need to supply this documentation before you can deposit funds, withdraw funds or trade any markets. We understand this is a hassle but it is now a legal requirement for all Intrade customers.
While waiting, I head on over to the Deposit page to see if it'll let me put in some money [it won't]. And I find this:
Attention US Customers: If your credit or debit card was issued by a US bank then unfortunately you will not be able to use your card to fund your account. New regulations that came into force in the US in 2010 now heavily restrict the use of credit and debit cards on sites such as Intrade.Ah, yes. American anti-fun legislation that blocks unsophisticated would-be American arbitrageurs from the market.
How can price differences across markets persist? You need enough people with enough forethought to have standing up-to-date accounts on all markets who either are not American or who know how to route around the restrictions imposed on American traders.
I suspect that when I finally get the email from InTrade saying I'm good to go, the arbitrage opportunity will have passed.
Update: When the market does open up for me, I will spend a bit of time reading both contracts pretty carefully. I was almost burned in the Australian elections....
Update: InTrade approved my details at 00:30 NZ time this morning. I deposited $3k. Went to deposit $1k to BetFair to lay off the risk, and Bank of New Zealand declined the credit card transaction, almost certainly because it's part of a suspicious pattern of transactions. And they don't have a staffed phone line until 6:30 am. Great that BNZ is watching out for me; not so hot that they have zero people able to unblock transactions of this sort at legitimate business hours of 5 a.m. At least I knew enough to wait until I had balances sitting on both markets before trading on either...I usually have both markets as separate opened tabs, then try to click both as close to simultaneously as I can.
Update 2: I've made a play, but account fees at BetFair limit potential returns. Detailed here.
Update 3: Final arbitrage position statement.