After what some are calling a tumultuous press conference following a Helsinki summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump appears to be in hot water. That’s at least what Irish sportsbook Paddy Power is currently banking on.
Paddy Power reported that its odds of President Trump being impeached before the end of his first term had be cut from 12/1 to 8/1 and now all the way to 2/1. That reflects a spike in bettor activity following comments in which the President seemingly failed to condemn Russia for intervention in the 2016 US presidential election.
Addressing the Russia probe carried out by American politicians, Trump called it a “disaster” for the United States and that it had “kept (the nation) apart”.
“It has kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. People are being brought out to the fore so far that I know virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they will have to try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign. .... And it has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world.”
Later speaking at the White House after he appeared to deny Russia’s involvement in the election, Trump attempted to clarify his words by claiming he’d had a Freudian slip.
“I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't.' The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia. I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.”
Bettors certainly aren’t buying that explanation and the drastic changes in the odds are a learning moment for the bookie. Lee Price, a spokesman for Paddy Power, told the Washington Post that while the news is troubling, it means big money for the sportsbook.
“What this whole Moscow gruel has taught us is that the Donald is still the biggest ticket in town — and people love to bet on his downfall. Given the complexity of the impeachment process, that’s an unprecedented price in terms of how short it is. No president in modern history has had such short odds.”
What’s even more fascinating is the amount of action Trump’s actions receive even when compared to domestic and United Kingdom-based politics.
“Since Trump’s inauguration, we’ve had more bets on his impeachment than we’ve had on any Brexit market, any U.K. election market, or any of the other 100 or so specials we have on-site about the president.”
Paddy Power is no stranger to taking wagers on markets some would consider to be outlandish. It maintains a Nobel Peace prize market that Trump found himself a favorite in early this year, and also opened an extensive North Korean market on Kim Jong-Un.
The bookie is typically light hearted and tongue-in-cheek with many of its public statements regarding its sometimes wacky markets. Its humorous Twitter account is well-known amongst competitors complete with its unique #Whatoddspaddy promotion that’s a special feat (and treat) all its own.
Another Paddy Power spokesman addressed the recent activity of bettors with Yahoo News.
“After the carnage of the last few days, we’ve seen plenty of punters Putin money on Trump’s impeachment again — although I’m sure they’ll soon get a message, in Russian, urging them to stop.”
On the flip side, those who wish to bet that Trump makes it through his first term have been handed a golden opportunity. At 1/3, the odds for Trump, or really any other president in history, staying in office have never been more profitable.
Even California Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, called talk of impeaching Trump “premature.”
“We should do all we can to make sure that he’s held accountable, that we conduct the investigations the Republicans have been unwilling to do. If impeachment is the case, it’s because we found impenetrable evidence that we take to the American people and will be accepted by both Republicans and Democrats.”