Despite only assuming office in January, United States President Donald Trump continues to be besieged by a raft of controversies including last month’s contentious dismissal of James Comey as Director for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and many punters are now reportedly wagering money that the 71-year-old will not be able to serve out his full four-year term.
According to a report from The Guardian newspaper, online political stock market platform, PredictIt, saw record volumes last week on contracts concerning whether Trump is to be impeached, while similar services in the United Kingdom are taking wagers on the less specific question of whether the Republican will still be in office when his present term expires in January of 2021.
The newspaper reported that PredictIt, which only permits registered United States voters to trade, saw in excess of 100,000 betters sign up to its “Will Donald Trump Be Impeached In 2017?” contract within a day of the release of a memo from Comey that alleged Trump had asked him to end the FBI’s investigation into supposed ties between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.
The Guardian also reported that the price for a “yes” Trump impeachment contract at PredictIt, which is run by Washington-based political consultancy Aristotle in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, increased from 24 cents to 33 cents last Wednesday to imply a 33% probability that such an eventuality would occur. This compared to only 7% just over a week previous but the prospect has since slipped back to around 27%.
In the United Kingdom, the hours after it emerged that the president had allegedly asked Comey to cease his probe into Russian ties to the White House, reportedly saw bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair take early Trump departure wagers worth more than $6,470, while the grand total currently stands at over $480,000. Similarly, rival firm Ladbrokes recently cut the odds on impeachment from 11/10 to 4/5, which is equivalent to about a 56% probability.
“Political punters are wondering how many more scandals Trump can overcome,” Ladbrokes spokesperson Jessica Bridge told the newspaper. “And despite the short price on offer, money has poured in for the president to be impeached, leaving us with little option but to cut the odds.”