Gamblers Are Making Big Bets Against Donald Trump

January 20th 2017

Mike Rothschild

Gamblers around the world are betting Donald Trump's term in office will be cut short, ending in impeachment or his resignation, with the new president entering the White House amid controversy over conflicts of interest and investigations into his teams ties to Russia.

Popular online gambling site Paddy Power is giving 7/4 odds on Trump not completing his first term, and 4/1 on Trump being impeached within six months. These are favorable odds that are drawing large amounts of money from gamblers willing to risk a little for what could be a decent payout.

Trump Odds

Trump, according to the odds, is unlikely to serve a second term, with bettors needing to risk $5 to win only $2.

Trump Odds

Up until the 2016 election, online gamblers have had tremendous success forecasting presidential politics. In 2008, 90 percent of bets came in on Barack Obama winning, with gamblers also betting on the correct result in 48 out of 50 states.

In 2012, Obama's odds of winning a second term were as high as those of Trump's not doing so, with Obama's victory a 1-5 bet, meaning gamblers had to risk $5 to win just $1.

Gambling on presidential elections is an old tradition, with a paper written by two University of North Carolina professors presenting evidence that it goes all the way back to 1868, with organized betting markets, daily odds updates in newspapers, and tens of millions of dollars changing hands.

According to their research, the favorite to win based on gambling odds did indeed win every contest except for Woodrow Wilson's surprise re-election in 1916.

That streak ended in 2016, causing disastrous losses for gamblers who bet heavily on Hillary Clinton. The odds on every major betting site favored her, and her win seemed so assured that Paddy Power paid out almost a million dollars to Clinton betters — only to lose millions to the few gamblers who took the long odds on a Trump win.

Given the success of presidential bettors compared to their few failures, the odds on Trump's impeachment are worth noting. Then again, in an election where so many people got so much wrong, these odds may not mean much.