Bucket shop

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A bucket shop is a dishonest trading operation that attempts to profit from market price changes adverse to its customers' interests. Bucket shops date back to the 1800s. The first "bucket shop" in Chicago appeared in 1876.[1]

In these shops customers could wager small sums on the price movements of stocks and commodities. The shops leased tickers from telegraph companies on the same terms as brokers did and used real-time quotations from exchange floors as the basis for customers' wagers. However, they did not actually place any of their customers' transactions on any of the stock and commodity exchanges, and their transactions did not affect actual commodity or stock prices. Their trades were fictitious and did not result in delivery; by the 1880s the shops were outlawed as gambling dens.


  1. CBOT: Our History. Chicago Board of Trade.