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LONDON – British bookies are probably the only ones delighted that the royal baby, who left the hospital Tuesday evening with Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, remains nameless.
While half the betting market for the gambling giants disappeared after the royal couple announced they had had a baby boy, Prince William’s confession outside the hospital that the pair were still working on a name is keeping the betting alive.
U.K. betting outfits Ladbrokes, William Hill and online giant Paddy Power all have the name George currently installed as the firm favorite, with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power offering 5/2.
William Hill’s Joe Crilly said over $380,000 had been staked on the royal baby across a variety of betting categories. Before the boy was born, the bet that its gender would be a girl was the “red-hot favorite” with the punters.
It being a boy was good news for one lucky Austrian gambler who staked $1,500 at 11/10 on the male gender, which netted him $3,225.
The bookies had made the odds on to be a girl after Middleton in March this year was given a white teddy bear by a spectator at a public engagement and said “Thanks, I’ll give it to my d–” before cutting herself off.
But now that the world has gotten a glimpse of the future king, William Hill has closed its book on betting on the name.
“The amount of interest we have seen in the royal baby has been astounding, and we have taken over $307,000 (£200,000) worth of bets from over 100 countries,” said Crilly. “For a market of this nature, those figures are beyond anything we could ever have imagined.”
William Hill had said the royal betting market might see $150,000 wagered by the time of birth, a minimal sum compared to the hundreds of millions of pounds placed on the annual Grand National horse race.
Other names leading the front at the bookies still taking bets include James (5/1), Alexander (7/1) and Arthur (9/1).
Given that the royal baby will undoubtedly have more than one name, an accumulator bet might be best.
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