Trump’s flip-flop on North Korea shows why he’s a true blessing for betting markets

Place your bets.
Place your bets.
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
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On Friday (June 1), Donald Trump said that denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea are once again back on for June 12. The announcement came after a senior North Korean envoy, Kim Yong-chol, hand-delivered a peculiarly large letter to the White House—which Trump declared in a press conference to be “very nice,” although he later admitted he didn’t read it.

Trump’s on-again, off-again summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made for a frustrating diplomatic episode, given the historic nature of the talks. But there’s at least one group of people who may see an upside to Trump’s generally capricious temperament: gamblers. After all, this is just the kind of thing that makes for an intriguing prop bet.

To illustrate the volatility of the summit, here’s a brief timeline:

Those who see their stake in the talks as solely financial are likely glad to see the story take so many twists and turns. On Irish betting site Paddy Power, the odds that Trump would not meet with Kim at all in 2018 were 7/4 (36%) as of March 9, the day after the meeting was announced. Across other sites, those odds slowly crept up during the spring, before crashing back down following Trump’s May 24 letter. Now, they’re back around 40%, according to European betting site BetDSI.

In other words, the betting markets think there’s still an almost even chance the summit doesn’t end up happening, despite yesterday’s announcement that it’s back on. If one were to hypothetically place a $10 wager on the summit not happening (in such places where doing so is legal, of course), that person would make back $25 if proven right, as of today.

If betting on gravely serious diplomatic talks makes you feel uneasy, then Paddy Power offers a hilarious number of special Trump bets that are much lower stakes. Here are just a few:

  • 9/1 Trump has a US Navy ship named after him
  • 10/1 Trump references a country that doesn’t exist in 2018
  • 16/1 Trump employs Sean Hannity at the White House
  • 16/1 Melania Trump files for divorce before Nov. 8
  • 50/1 The White House claims Trump shot a hole in one while golfing
  • 175/1 Trump publishes the “precise dimensions of his hands” on Twitter

If you decided to take your $10 and put a wager on Trump publishing the size of his hands (at a very generous 175/1), you would stand to win a whopping $1,750. That’s a great way to make money hand over fist.