WASHINGTON, July 22, 2013 — For Americans, royal watching is a fun and harmless distraction, similar to the season finale of “American Idol.”
It is a chance to peer into the life of real-life princes and princesses. It is what the Disney Corporation built its entire industry upon.
The British royal family is the perfect mixture of reality show, fairy tale and historical novel all rolled together.
The royal family is a soap opera, and like any good soap opera it’s easy to get addicted.
The story comes complete with the matriarch keeping it all together while dealing with the disliked son and his marrying the wicked step-mother. The beautiful young princess, tragically killed in a car accident, and the youngest son who has started to mature from an insensitive fool into a good looking, heroic statesman who by the way can’t seem to find a girlfriend that makes him happy.
And now the handsome young prince and his commoner bride are about to have a baby.
While Americans seem less interested in the imminent birth than they did when Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in April 2011, some are keeping a close watch on the baby news coming out of London.
For some, regardless of how interested they are about the birth, find it an event worth a wager.
Bookmakers are reporting about $1.5 million in bets placed in connection with the royal birth, and they expect their heaviest action to come in the hours after Buckingham Palace announce that the princess has gone into labor.
A United Kingdom online gambling site says that the betting on the birth is not like “Super Bowl big” but it is “significant and interesting.”
Betting is taking place in more than 100 countries with most of the action focusing on the date of birth and the name of the baby, although bets can be found on the actual time of birth as well as who will be holding the baby when it leaves the hospital.
The Brits have gone on a betting spree and so are American’s who are visiting Great Britain. “We’re getting a lot of Americans who are visiting London walking into our shops and saying, ‘Hey, we’ve never placed a bet before. Can we put one on the royal baby?’” says Rupert Adams of William Hill online gambling.
Canada is second behind the United Kingdom in amount gambled but Adams believes that that number would easily be passed by Americans if it were to be legal.
According to Ladbrokes Sportsbook, the best odds for names right now are Alexandra, Victoria and James. Other names with good odds are Elizabeth and Diana at 8/1.
If a gambler were looking to make some serious money, although it comes with a big risk, the names North and Psy will pay $5,000 for every $1 bet.
Bookmakers say that four months ago the biggest bets were on the gender of the baby being female. This came after Middleton thanked a fan for a teddy bear that she was presented with, and according to those nearby started to say “I will give the bear to my d…” before stopping and saying “baby”. The betting calmed down after a statement was released last month revealing that the couple does not know the sex of the baby.
With nothing but gossip to go on, people are betting on anything they can think of to pass the time as they wait for the announcement.
Some Sportsbooks are taking odds on the baby’s future university, future job and name of first girlfriend.
Some of the long shots about the baby of Cambridge as of this writing are for the baby to be named Chardonnay although the odds are getting better. Two days ago the chance of the wine inspired name was a long shot at 5000/1 but is becoming more likely everyday and is now a mere 250/1.
People seem to believe the baby will most likely have brown hair and are in doubt that the baby will be a redhead.
The baby only has a 1 in 5000 chance to represent its country playing soccer but his or her chances of having David Beckham as a godfather have increased from 50 to 1 all the way down to 16 to 1.
Americans who have had a premonition about the royal birth and who have dreams of striking it rich are out of luck unless they are traveling to Las Vegas or Atlantic City in the next few days. Online gambling has been illegal in the United States since a ruling in November 2002.
But a trip to place a bet could be worth the trip after the 500 to 1 payout is received once little Prince Elvis is born.
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