World

More betting online on Trump's early exit

NEW YORK/LONDON: Bettors on both sides of the Atlantic are ramping up wagers in niche online markets over whether US President Donald Trump will serve out a full term in the wake of controversies surrounding the dismissal of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Some, such as the online political stock market PredictIt, have seen record volume on contracts focused on whether Mr Trump will be impeached.

Others based in the UK are drawing bets on the less-specific question of whether Mr Trump will remain in office until his term expires in January 2021.

The contract on PredictIt titled "Will Donald Trump be impeached in 2017?" saw volume of more than 100,000 contracts in the last 24 hours after reports of a memo written by Mr Comey that said Mr Trump had asked him to end the FBI's probe into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia.

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

Bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair said bettors had laid out more than £5,000 (S$9,070) on an early departure for Mr Trump after it was reported that he had asked Mr Comey to shut down the FBI's investigation on the links to Russia.

In all, the question of whether Mr Trump will make an early exit has drawn more than US$270,000 ($375,000) in wagers, while a related question on when he will leave has garnered more than US$480,000. - REUTERS

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