If you want a sure thing, Trump is it
If you are a political know-it-all, I suggest you put your money where your mouth is, because the one thing there is no shortage of in these divisive times are cable news-watching political experts.
They are everywhere.
They write me, they comment on our articles and they correct me when I am wrong, which of course is all the time.
I suspect they clock more hours in front of cable news than they do on their time cards at work.
They know the truth.
They know who is lying.
And they are experts on “fake news.”
I was surprised to learn this week there is an opportunity to put their knowledge toward a lucrative investment.
It turns out there is online sports betting service in Europe — BookMaker.eu — that is making sport of our politics, and in at least one instance, it came out the worse for it.
Back in January, the betting site proposed a bet before President Trump’s Oval Office address on border security based on the president’s truthfulness.
It offered odds of minus-145 if the president had more than 3.5 lies and plus-115 for fewer than 3.5 lies. If you bet $145 that Trump would lie at least four times, you won $100.
It turns out that 92 percent of the bettors who took the bet wagered that Trump would lie a lot. Using The Washington Post Fact Checker as the umpire of truth, Trump clocked in with six falsehoods during his speech. That cost the bookmaker $276,000.
Included among the winning wagers was one for $25,000, one for $20,000 and one for $15,000, or three gamblers who thought they had a sure thing.
The bookmakers were gambling that, because Trump was constrained by an eight-minute window for his address, he wouldn’t have the time to lie four times.
But he did.
Apparently BookMaker.eu is hoping to recoup some of its losses. It announced another proposition this week based on Trump’s truthfulness during the duration of his presidency.
With the news that Trump has passed 10,000 false statements during his time in office this week, the bookmaker is offering an over/under on what the final number of falsehoods will be.
It has set the betting number at 22,500, with gamblers allowed to choose above or below that number with a line of 115, which means you need to bet $115 to get a $100 profit.
The bookmaker has done its homework. While it took Trump 828 days to get to 10,111 false statements, there has been a surge in falsehood in recent months. According to The Washington Post, Trump averaged eight false statements a day in his first 100 days in office, but has averaged 23 falsehoods a day over the past seven months.
In gambling parlance, he is a horse for the course.
If you want a more straightforward score, you can also place a bet on who will be the next president.
On another online website, Trump was the early favorite since he is almost guaranteed to be one of the two finalists in the race. If you bet $100 and he is re-elected, you win $100.
Joe Biden is the favorite among Democrats at plus-$600. So if you bet $100 on Biden now and he wins, it pays $600.
Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg have $800 payouts, Kamala Harris $900 and Elizabeth Warren $5,000. If you want to play the local angle with Kirsten Gillibrand, her payout would be $6,600 on a $100 bet, and if you wanted to play a longshot on someone not even in the race — Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the payout would be $10,000 on a $100 bet.
I wonder if this is why Gov. Cuomo is such a big proponent of sports betting.
With Saratoga still two months away, if you are asking me for a sure thing, I’m thinking the over on 22,500 falsehoods.
This is a president who is just getting warmed up.
Ken Tingley is the managing editor of the Post-Star of Glens Falls.