Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their child any day now. And just like with previous royal baby births, gamblers are lining up to place their bets on every aspect of the new addition to the family.
According to a report in The New York Times, William Hill is expecting to take $1.3 million in royal baby betting, with other bookmakers reporting six figures of action on the upcoming birth.
Royal Baby Captures Public Imagination
That may not be as much as these sportsbooks take on major sporting events, but it still represents significant wagering on an event that captures the public imagination each and every time a new addition is expected in a royal family.
“It’s not college basketball or the Super Bowl, but it’s a bit of fun,” BookMaker.eu entertainment specialist Angus Hamilton told the Times. “Royal babies are big news in the UK, but people are excited about this one in particular.”
There are a number of different markets available for betting on the royal baby, but two in particular get most of the attention.
First, like every other pregnancy in human history, everyone wants to guess on whether Meghan will give birth to a boy or a girl. You might reasonably expect oddsmakers would put the odds pretty close to 50/50, but there are always subtle hints that tilt the action in a particular direction.
In this case, Serena Williams is the one who has pushed the odds towards the couple having a little girl. In an interview with E! News earlier this month, Williams mentioned a friend being pregnant, and referred to the child as a “she.”
Williams didn’t specifically say that Markle was the pregnant friend, but the interview also talked about the relationship between Serena and Meghan. That was enough for people to believe that Williams accidentally gave something away, and Paddy Power now has “girl” as a 4/7 favorite over “boy” (11/10).
Bettors Think Name Likely to be Tribute
If guessing the gender of the child is the equivalent of playing red or black on a roulette wheel, then choosing the name of the baby is more like choosing the exact number that will be hit next, and oddsmakers are offering a laundry list of potential names for bettors to choose from.
With the public now thinking a girl is more likely than a boy, female names dominate the favorites. And at the very top of the list is Diana (3/1), the name of Harry’s deceased mother who tragically passed away in 1997 after a car crash in Paris.
Other names that have proven popular with bettors include Grace (7/1), Alice (10/1), Arthur (12/1) and Victoria (14/1).
Paddy Power and other oddsmakers are also offering some more exotic markets on the upcoming birth. Bettors can try to guess the day of the week on which the baby will be born (11/2 on any day), or they can bet on Meghan to give birth to more than one baby: along with 11/4 odds on twins, odds are also available on triplets (80/1), quadruplets (200/1), or quintuplets or more (500/1).