Royal Birth Sparks Betting Frenzy

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Royal Birth Sparks Betting FrenzyPeople on both sides of the Atlantic eagerly anticipated the birth of Kate Middleton's royal baby. In the UK where betting on just about anything is legal gamblers spent big bucks betting on the royal baby's name, sex, weight, hair color and birth date. Bookmakers took in some serious cash and one spokesman for a prominent bookmakers said it was one of the most lucrative non sporting events ever. Bookies in the UK had odds of five to one that the baby would be a girl after Kate made a slip after she said while accepting a gift that it would be great for her "daugh ... baby." It should come as no surprise that many gamblers were shocked when the Duchess gave birth to an 8-pound, 6-ounce boy.

Bettors in the UK have spent over a million pounds betting on the royal baby. Although the average bet was for about one pound the money kept piling up for bookmakers. Alex Donohue, spokesman for the British gambling site Ladbrokes, said that after an announcement was made that Kate was going into labor 50,000 wagers were placed because people wanted to "get involved." Donohue added "Never underestimate the British public's obsession with the royal family. This is such a big story. And besides, it's summer. The weather is good."

While most of the bets were related to the baby's name some of the other bets that have been made include;

When the royal couple will have their second child?

What university will the child attend? (The University of Glasgow has odds of 5,000 to one).

Bets were placed on hair color, eye color and weight. (Odds are 700 to 1 for red hair).

The online bingo industry also got into the act. Royal baby promotions appeared on several bingo sites that target players in the UK. One online bingo operator offered 90 ball games with a jackpot of £806 per line-a reference to the baby's birth weight of 8lbs 6oz. Another operator offered players a promotion titled £300 New Kid On The Block and another offered a game called the £1K Little Prince. Several sites hosted special bingo tournaments and posted news updates about the royal birth on their sites. Usually during the summer online bingo operators cut back on their advertising budgets but the royal birth and the excitement it generated gave them a good excuse to create lucrative promotions.

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