Wall Street's Nevada Frontier

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Cantor Fitzgerald, the trading firm that lost most of its staff in the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, has made good on its vow to return. And its resurgence has a twist: a subsidiary, Cantor Gaming, is the pioneer of mobile devices that, among other things, let sports bettors in affiliated casinos wager not just before but during games, making possible a series of bets on individual plays. Balancing the hunches of sports bettors isn't so different from the firm's historic specialty of making a market in Treasury bills. This week the electronic Casino City Times reports a bill that would extend the service from public casino areas to hotel rooms. As BusinessWeek reported of the technology's introduction:

Joon Ho Hwang, a gambling economics expert at Korea University Business School in Seoul, likens traditional sports betting to buy-and-hold investing. Says Hwang: "In-game wagering is allowing bettors ... to become quasi-day traders." That's catnip for gamblers.

Want to know more about what happens when Wall Street technology hits Las Vegas? This Cantor Gaming YouTube commercial has its own message of freedom:

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Edward Tenner is a historian of technology and culture. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center and holds a Ph.D in European history. More

Edward Tenner is an independent writer and speaker on the history of technology and the unintended consequences of innovation. He holds a Ph.D. in European history from the University of Chicago and was executive editor for physical science and history at Princeton University Press. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows and John Simon Guggenheim fellow, he has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton and has held visiting research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy. He is now an affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center, where he remains a senior research associate.

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