There are a couple of bitcoin betting sites, but they all seem to require making a deposit with them. Is it possible to somehow use the Bitcoin contract system to establish a distributed betting pool? Once the bet is decided one way or the other, the transactions would become active.
The problem of course is who decides which side won. That could be the betting site operator. This way, you still have to trust them enough to make a fair judgement call, but at least they cannot just take everyone's deposits and run. The worst they can do is declare the wrong side of the pool the winner. Or maybe stay inactive, thereby locking funds (though this could be fixed by a decision deadline in the original contract).
Or this could be distributed as well. Maybe a majority of pool members gets to decide by some kind of voting process (requires fair losers). Or the block chain miners get to decide by including one of the two possible transactions into the block, just like they decide on double-spending right now?
Does any of this seem feasible (and meaningful)?