Royal baby’s imminent arrival sparks betting frenzy

Royal baby’s imminent arrival sparks betting frenzy

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As word spread throughout the world that Prince William’s wife, the former Kate Middleton, was in labor at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, phone lines at betting parlors in the U.K. began to light up (The above image is of a betting house advertising the odds on the baby’s hair color).

This from Agence France-Presse (AFP):

A flood of last-minute bets on Britain’s royal baby poured in on Monday even as Prince William’s wife Catherine was in hospital in labour.

Most of the money was going on the name of the third-in-line to the throne, with one bookie suspending betting on the subject.

“The money really is pouring in. We have taken about £30,000 ($45,000, 35,000 euros) in the last three hours. It’s unbelievable,” Rory Scott, a spokesman for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, told AFP.

“The majority of that is on the name. We have suspended betting on the date.”

More than £1 million in bets have been taken, and one company was forced to shut down incoming wagers in what’s being described in Europe as “the biggest novelty (non-sporting) market of all time.”

Some of the bets surrounding the royal event:

  • The name of the royal baby.
  • The hair color of the baby.
  • The sex of the royal baby.
  • The date of birth of the royal baby.
  • Whether Catherine’s sister, Pippa, will show up at the hospital.
  • What color dress Pippa will wear, and how many times she will brave the media gauntlet.
  • Who will hold the baby on the steps for the first public viewing (William is the favorite).

And if you think all of that is over the top, betting companies are already taking wagers on the second royal baby.