UK bookies aren’t convinced President-elect Donald Trump is actually going to become the 45th president of the United States. Betting on political outcomes is illegal in the US, but across the pond, placing a wager on an election is as common as fish and chips.
And bookmakers believe there’s still a chance Trump won’t occupy the White House in 2017. Ladbrokes, the British sportsbook that merged with its former rival Gala Coral in 2015, is asking whether President Barack Obama will still inhabit the Oval Office on February 1, 2017.
Though that would be an unprecedented development, the odds aren’t too far-fetched. The sportsbook is currently taking bets at 10/1 on Trump not being inaugurated on schedule.
PredictIt.org, the online prediction betting market, is also still selling shares of 2016 presidential candidates. Trump’s priced at 96 cents to Hillary Clinton at three cents.
Punting on Putin
The primary reason UK bookies are still taking bets on the likelihood of a Trump presidency is that calls for an investigation to determine if Russia interfered with the 2016 election are gaining support. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) concluded a week after the November 8 election that Russia was not only hoping for a Trump victory, but Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin was actively trying to undermine the outcome.
Obama ordered a “full review” of the alleged Russian interference earlier this month. Trump doesn’t believe Putin or Russia had any role in his upset over Hillary Clinton.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump told Fox News Sunday over the weekend.
The president-elect might think it is ridiculous, but UK sportsbooks cherish the novelty bet, and sometimes the ridiculous. It was only eight years ago that Irish bookmaker Paddy Power asked bettors if Obama would be assassinated during his first term in office.
Amid plenty of well-warranted controversy, the line was later removed.
Odds and Sods
Bettors looking for more reputable lines have plenty of options.
Paddy Power is asking which country Trump will visit first as President. England leads the way at 7/4, followed by Canada (5/2), Mexico (5/2), and Russia (11/4).
PredictIt has markets on just about everything to do with Trump’s administration. From asking who will serve as his White House communications director, to who he’ll nominate to the Supreme Court, the website has an array of offerings.
Ladbrokes, however, remains focused on the seemingly absurd. In addition to asking if Obama will still be president in February, the UK bookmaker is soliciting bets on whether Trump will leave office or be impeached during his first four years.
Nearly all the sportsbooks also pose whether Trump will win reelection in 2020. The Donald is currently the favorite, but Vice President-elect Mike Pence, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and First Lady Michelle Obama are following closely.