If you are betting on the Trump exit markets be careful to check the precise terms of the bet

January 4th, 2018

What happens, for instance, if the President dies in office?

Inevitably the publication of the new book on the Trump White House Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff has led to an enormous amount interest in betting on whether Mr trump Will survive his first term.

This is currently, by a big margin, the busiest current political betting market and I would expect that to continue for some time.

I’d also expect a lot of fluctuations as one new development after another changes perceptions as to whether something will happen or not.

The picture being described by Wolff is so extraordinary and far beyond what anyone, I would suggest, many people had realised. That the man who is almost certainly the most powerful in the entire world should operate in the manner that he does is, surely, something that cannot continue? But it may do and so we are talking about bets on it. Top politicians in difficult situations have a remarkable record of resilience and so far Mr Trump has shown that he can carry on.

The Betfair Exchange, which has a market currently valued at £0.75 million, states explicitly that the death of the President would count with one big exception. Its rules are:-

“When will Donald Trump officially cease to be the President of the United States of America?

This includes, but is not limited to, if Donald Trump leaves office due to death (excluding assassination), incapacity, illness, impeachment or resignation (or anything comparable). ). All [unsettled] bets will be voided if Donald Trump ceases to be President of the United States of America due to an assassination or an assassination attempt.”

Ladbrokes, on the other hand, do not include the possibility of death but state that the specfics cessation of his Presidency. It is defining the bet like this:-

“To Leave Office Via Impeachment Or Resignation”

So if he dies in the declared time frame bets would be losers. For this reason I would argue that the Betfair terms are better if you think that he will go early. There is another contingency included. I’ve used part my Alabama winnings to have a small on him not making it but I’m ready to move in and out should circumstances change.

Mike Smithson