Company takes bets on US default, downgrade

A large European betting company is offering odds on whether or not the country will default on its bills and whether its credit rating will be downgraded

Paddy Power announced on Wednesday that it was offering even odds for Fitch Ratings to downgrade the U.S. credit rating. Odds that Moody’s Investors Service, another credit rater, will downgrade the rating are 5/4, meaning a $4 bet would yield a $5 profit.

On Tuesday, Fitch put the country’s AAA rating on negative watch, noting that political fights over the country’s $16.7 trillion debt ceiling were increasing the risk of a default for the first time in history.

The Irish bookmaker is also offering 5/4 odds that the country will default on its payment obligations by the end of the year, and 4/7 odds that the Treasury Department will be able to continue paying the country’s bill’s.

Odds that the shutdown, now in its 16th day, lasts through three weeks are 4/7. Odds that it will stretch longer than 28 days are a relatively long 9/2.

“The US Government has drawn the ire of the IMF, the Chinese Government and Fitch because of the shutdown and a downgrade could lead to further troubles for the nation,” a company spokesman said in a statement.

The company noted that all prices remain subject to fluctuation.