Late last week the New York Times had a short note on something that could be huge.

Think that this spring’s “Robin Hood” movie will be a blockbuster at the box office? Next week you will be able to put your money on it.

Cantor Futures Exchange, a subsidiary of Cantor Fitzgerald, expects to open an online futures market next month that will allow studios, institutions and moviegoers to place bets on the box-office revenue of Hollywood’s biggest releases. Last week, the company learned from regulators that customers could start putting money into their accounts on March 15.

If I read this right, it means that in the United States the legal precedent is being set to treat prediction markets as the ideal versions of futures markets, rather than as a form of gambling. This removes one of the obstacles to using prediction markets as a funding mechanism in science (something Tom Bell has talked about in an excellent article), and opens the door to futurists getting more serious about using prediction markets (something I advocate in my article "Futures 2.0").