The British may not appreciate or understand Donald Trump’s brand of politics, but as of Thursday, they think he’s a good bet to win the Republican nomination. That’s the message, at least, from the United Kingdom’s biggest bookmaker.
Just days after the British Parliament ducked a controversial vote to ban the New York billionaire from the United Kingdom, London-based William Hill on Thursday made Trump its favorite in the GOP race, setting the New York billionaire’s odds at 5 to 4 – up from 33-to-1 longshot odds offered when the campaign began.
The gambling site still has Hillary Clinton as an overwhelming 8-to-11 favorite to win the election next fall.
In the odds to win the presidency, Trump follows in a fairly distant second at 10 to 3, Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio come in at 6 to 1, Ted Cruz, despite his recent surge in Iowa is at 16 to 1 and Jeb Bush is given a 22-to-1 shot.
Trump’s also running second on the Irish betting site PaddyPower, where Clinton is at 5 to 6, Trump is at 7 to 2 (interestingly, the Irish seem to think there’s a scenario for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who at 100 to 1 is given better odds than Democratic contender Martin O’Malley, a 150-to-1 longshot who is actually in the race).
The unexpected rise of Trump has been costly for William Hill, according to a spokesman.
“The run of cash for Donald Trump has been astonishing. He is a six-figure loser for us and by far our worst result,” said William Hill’s Rupert Adams.
Unlike Las Vegas, which does not take bets on the American presidential election, the British bookmaking operation offers gamblers some intriguing opportunities for 2016 – and beyond.
Former GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney, who lost in 2012 and has repeatedly insisted he is not interested in the 2016 race, still gets 80-to-1 odds of winning the Republican nomination. That’s significantly better than the 100-to-1 shot the bookmaker is giving Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon and tea party favorite who just weeks ago sat atop the GOP field alongside Trump.
Could Trump’s unprecedented success be fueling interest in future presidential runs by other celebrities?
William Hill is also offering gamblers 100 to 1 odds on actor George Clooney, 200 to 1 on rapper Kanye West and 250 to 1 on actor Will Smith becoming president during their lifetimes.
There are odds on President Lady Gaga, too. 500 to 1.