News prediction site launches in UK

News junkies in the UK can now get an additional fix by predicting the outcome of news stories, thanks to a new website launched out of Edinburgh.

Users of Hubdub, which launched in the UK yesterday, use a pot of virtual money to place bets on the outcome of any of over 2000 running news stories, covering the likes of politics, sport, business and entertainment.

Since launching earlier this year in the US, Edinburgh-based Hubdub has garnered a substantial and loyal following, with over 200,000 unique visitors per month, 800,000 predictions to date and over 2 million Hubdub dollars staked every day.

Lesley Eccles, one of the founders of Hubdub, commented: “It’s great to be launching in the UK, despite the recession. People are going to be looking for free entertainment and will turn to the web to find it. Hubdub is free, exciting and keeps you informed. In addition, news sites are looking to engage and interact further with their readers and Hubdub gives them a fantastic means to do so.”

Having secured partnerships with leading media news sites including Reuters and The Independent, Hubdub is taking prediction markets more mainstream and making them easier for casual browsers to appreciate. Sitting beside high quality news content, Hubdub provides news sites with additional ways to engage their readers, keeping them online longer and returning on a regular basis.

Husband and wife team, Nigel and Lesley Eccles, came up with the Hubdub idea in August last year and founded the company in November 2007 with three friends, Tom Griffiths, Rob Jones, Chris Stafford.

Globally, prediction markets, the mechanism behind Hubdub, are becoming increasingly popular. In the US, the Presidential election sent the numbers of users soaring. They have proven to be more accurate than polls, and because they respond in near real-time to developing stories, more agile too.

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