With protests taking place throughout the country and a poll showing 40 percent of voters want him impeached, all within his first two weeks as president, Donald Trump clearly has plenty of political enemies.
And the gambling industry has certainly taken notice.
Across the world, online gambling websites are offering increasingly attractive odds that Trump will either be impeached or resign before his first term as president ends in 2020.
As of Friday night, Paddy Power, an Irish company, is offering 2-to-1 odds that Trump will be impeached, with 15-to-8 odds that he will resign. Bet365, meanwhile, rates the likelihood of impeachment and conviction slightly lower, with 6-to-1 odds, but has the chances of him resigning at 11 to 8. And Ladbrokes has the possibilty of either happening at 11 to 10. Those odds were slightly more favorable to Trump before his inauguration, per Fast Company.
The impeachment of a president has only occurred twice in U.S. history, with Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton and 1998, and both men were later acquitted by the Senate. Trump, however, enters office with the lowest favorability rating of any president since Harry Truman, according to Gallup.
Still, despite the shortening odds being offered on his ouster, Trump remains most gambling sites’ favorite for the 2020 presidential election. Paddy Power and Bet365 have him as the 6-to-4 favorite, as no Democrats have yet emerged as a likely potential candidate. Paddy Power’s most likely candidate is Virginia senator and former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, while Bet365 has former first lady Michelle Obama.
However, the friendly odds for Trump’s impeachment are not strict probabilities. Rather, they are set by gambling companies in order to maximize bets in their favor. And given Trump’s unpopularity and the intensity with which many seem to dislike him, bookmakers may simply be trying to entice the public into taking a chance on a possibility that at the moment seems remote, given the Republican Party’s control of both chambers of Congress.
A campaign called “Impeach Donald Trump Now” has gathered more than 550,000 signatures calling for Trump to be removed from office due to his extensive business holdings and potential conflicts of interest. Political scientists have also speculated that Trump’s unpredictability may lead to grounds for impeachment, per the Washington Post.
There are comparatively few American bookmakers, as online gambling remains controversial in the U.S. One of the few companies, Bovada, is not offering any odds on a possible Trump impeachment, but is taking bets on Trump’s proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, with the odds favoring construction to begin after July 4, 2017, without a ribbon cutting ceremony.
While gambling on politics may seem strange to many in the U.S., it is relatively common in the U.K., where bookies were recently devastated financially by wrongly predicting that the U.K. would vote to remain in the European Union, per The Independent.