Why book­ies just love the US president

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Lon­don

– Don­ald Trump is prov­ing such a good source of in­come for Bri­tish book­mak­ers that one bookie has a de­part­ment solely devoted to bets re­lated to the US president.

In­ter­est in po­lit­i­cal bet­ting has surged as suc­ces­sive votes around the world have rocked the es­tab­lish­ment, with Trump’s vic­tory last year against Hillary Clin­ton com­ing hot on the heels of Bri­tain’s Brexit vote.

Joe Lee, head of Trump bet­ting at Paddy Power, said at the Bet­ting on Sports con­fer­ence in Lon­don on Thurs­day: “The most pop­u­lar are, will he be im­peached? for which he is odds-on, and will he last the four years? We also have a mar­ket which asks, will France ask for the Statue of Lib­erty back.”

Lee said the odds on im­peach­ment were un­re­al­is­ti­cally short. “(Odds of) 4/7 are an in­cred­i­bly short price for a sit­ting president as it is an in­cred­i­bly hard thing to do (to im­peach a president).”

Lee, whose firm paid out £4 mil­lion (R71 mil­lion) to pun­ters who backed Trump to beat Clin­ton in 2016, said the ty­coon’s suc­cess had opened up the mar­ket for the next US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion to in­clude some un­likely names.

“The fact that (Face­book co-founder) Mark Zucker­berg and (rap­per) Kanye West are on the mar­ket prices list for the next US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion sums up the shake-up Trump’s elec­tion has had,” said Lee.

Matthew Shad­dick, head of po­lit­i­cal bet­ting at Lad­brokes, said his firm was also tak­ing bets on many Trump-re­lated is­sues, although they refuse bets on his as­sas­si­na­tion.

Shad­dick agreed the odds on the im­peach­ment of Trump were un­re­al­is­tic and put it down to over­re­ac­tion to news.

He added that there is a no­tice­able up­surge in bet­ting when there is an anti-es­tab­lish­ment can­di­date on the ticket in elec­tions.

“If you com­pare the French pres­i­den­tial elec­tion ear­lier this year and the forth­com­ing Ger­man one, we took a record amount on the for­mer. The tak­ings on it ex­ceeded what we an­tic­i­pated by three to four times be­cause of the me­dia in­ter­est in (far-right can­di­date) Ma­rine Le Pen. The Ger­man elec­tion, we will barely take any­thing be­cause An­gela Merkel is seen as a shoo-in.”

But Lee and Shad­dick agree the huge tak­ings in the past two years on po­lit­i­cal events will di­min­ish as there is lit­tle on the im­me­di­ate hori­zon of in­ter­est. – AFP

The most pop­u­lar is, will he be im­peached, for which he is odds-on, and will he last the four years? Joe Lee Head of Trump bet­ting at Paddy Power

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