Online Speculators Increasing Bets on Early End to Trump Presidency

May 17, 2017

Online betting markets are increasingly seeing action on bets predicting U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment in the wake of controversies surrounding the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

On online political stock market PredictIt, chances of Trump being impeached in 2017 hit a record 30% late Tuesday on heavy volume, following reports of a memo written by Comey that said Trump had asked him to end the FBI's investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

As of mid-morning Wednesday, the numbers fell to about 27% but were still significantly higher than 7% just last Monday. Trading volume was also at a record of 60,700 bets, up from just 5,500 on May 8.

PredictIt is jointly run by Washington political consultancy Aristotle and Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. All of its users are registered U.S. voters.

British bookmaker Betfair also said that punters had bet more than 5,000 pounds ($6,470) on an early departure for Trump in the hours after it was reported Trump had asked Comey to shut down the Russia investigation.

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Another British betting firm Ladbrokes cut the price of a Trump impeachment to odds-on at 4-5 from 11-10, equivalent to about 56% probability that Trump will be removed from office.

"Political punters are wondering how many more scandals can Trump overcome," said Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge.

"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."

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