WASHINGTON — What are the odds that President Donald Trump will make a false statement — or four —in his speech tonight from the Oval Office?
Bookmaker.eu is taking bets on the truthiness of Trump’s remarks on border security with the magic number set at 3.5 falsehoods. Bettors can place their money on whether they think Trump will make more than or fewer than 3.5 false statements during his 8-minute address.
According to the odds Tuesday afternoon, a person who bet $250 could make $100 if Trump makes more than 3.5 false statements.
If Trump makes fewer than 3.5, a person would have to bet $100 to make $200.
There is so much interest in Trump that more than $100,000 worth of wagers have been placed on the relative veracity of Trump’s address.
“Fact-checking the president has become a requisite after any major speech, so we decided why not give our players an opportunity to make some money while doing so,” the Costa Rican online sports betting concern explained.
“Right now the action has been predominantly one-sided as 92 percent of the action has been on the over,” added bookmaker odds consultant John Lester.
Lester, a Vegas native, said that the time limit on Trump’s remarks – eight minutes – “more than anything has led us to the total of 3.5.” Another factor was Trump’s pattern of framing border security as a matter that involves terrorism, drug dealers and the need for a wall.
Bookmaker.eu, which also dabbles in politics, will rely on the Washington Post Fact Checker to determine the number of Trump falsehoods. Glenn Kessler, the Post’s chief fact checker, figured Trump made 15 false statements per day in 2018.
The site also is taking wagers on whether Trump declares a national emergency on the border, and how much longer the government shutdown lasts. Another site, Mybookie, also is taking bets on the color of Trump’s tie, the length of his speech and how many times he says “wall.”
While betting on U.S. elections is illegal within the United States, U.S. politics have provided frequent fodder for overseas oddsmakers over the years. British bookies took a bath when Trump beat the odds and won the White House in 2016. Still online sites are taking bets on such burning questions as the identity of “anonymous” — the senior administration official who confessed to being part of the “resistance” inside the Trump White House in a New York Times opinion piece.