Regulatory Considerations - Gamified Day Trading Simulator

Goals

To identify U.S. regulatory considerations surrounding a gamified day trading simulator. Examples of similar types of products can be found here (Invstr, WealthBase, & TradeOff)



Early Findings

U.S. Regulatory Considerations Surrounding A Gamified Day Trading Simulator

  • Claims About Results of Product Use: A case study of the FTC recently challenging an online trading educational website suggests that making claims about the results of product use should be closely considered in terms of regulations. In the case study, the educational website was advertising a "patented strategy" that they said could be applied "to any asset class including stocks, options, futures and currencies" in order to make a lot of money. The website claimed their "training programs," which cost as much as $50,000, would educate consumers on how to "invest like the pros on Wall Street," no matter what their experience and goals were. The company claimed the strategies were "proven" and were "designed to make money in any market, whether it's going up or down." This type of messaging about the product was used across a range of digital and traditional marketing channels, which also attempted to lure prospective customers in with a $300 three-day "orientation" session. In response to these practices and other claims, "the FTC alleges the defendants don't systematically collect data sufficient to substantiate their earnings claims". This case study was published on the FTC website in early 2020 and can be viewed in its entirety here.
  • A deep dive analysis of the FTC's official website did not reveal anything specific to trading simulators.
  • The Code of Federal Regulations database can be found here. Areas worth exploring in the Code would be Commercial Practices (Title 16), Commodity and Securities Exchanges (Title 17), Internal Revenue (Title 26), Education (Title 34), Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights (Title 37), and Telecommunication (Title 47).
  • U.S. Laws for the Finance and Financial Sector are available here. (252 laws)
  • U.S. Laws for the Education Sector are available here. (226 laws)
  • U.S. Laws for the Economics and Public Finance Sector are available here. (641 laws)
  • U.S. Laws for the Commerce Sector are available here. (250 laws)
  • U.S. Laws for the Science, Technology, and Communications Sector are available here. (195 laws)
  • U.S. Laws for the Sports and Recreation Sector are available here. (46 laws)

Results of Early Findings

  • Research into trusted media sources, legal reference sites, legal blogs and similar online resources did not yield any specific information pertaining to regulations about gamified trading simulators specifically, nor trading simulators in general, nor financial simulators in general. However, a case study of the FTC challenging a similar type of company (an online trading education platform) was discovered during this research, which we felt was pertinent to consider. A deep dive analysis of the FTC website did not yield anything specific to gamified trading simulators specifically, nor trading simulators in general, nor financial simulators in general.
  • The official U.S. database of laws was located via the website for the U.S. Congress. Analysis of this database identified several areas of policy / sectors which can logically be assumed to be applicable to a gamified trading simulator (e.g. finance, recreation, economics, education, etc). Across these sectors, there are around 1,610 laws total. To continue with this research path, our team would need to analyze all these laws in order to identify those which may need to be logically considered for the development and operation of a gamified trading simulator. It should be noted that, as these are only the federal laws, there could also be various state laws that also need to be considered. Therefore, additional research would need to be done about state laws in order provide a comprehensive analysis of potential regulatory considerations. Additionally, the Code of Federal Regulations database would need to be explored. Areas worth exploring in the Code would be Commercial Practices (Title 16), Commodity and Securities Exchanges (Title 17), Internal Revenue (Title 26), Education (Title 34), Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights (Title 37), and Telecommunication (Title 47). Additional research needs to be conducted to explore these areas of law more thoroughly, as there was not enough time to conduct this level of research within this initial hour.
  • Additionally, as it was noted that you had originally inquired about the availability of Legal Specialists at Wonder (of which Wonder does not currently employ), we could instead assist you further by creating a contact list of legal professionals who may be best suited to consult with you about such a product (gamified trading simulator).

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.