has a strange fascination with the royals.”
After all, the public won’t know until at least April 29 if James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” – the odds-on favorite for the couple’s first dance – was in fact chosen.
2011 CBS Interactive Inc.
Bookmakers’ core client base – typically male, betting on sports such as horse and dog racing – might not know the difference between Blunt’s ballad and Bryan Adam’s “Everything I Do,” which is also on offer.
Betting on the couple’s honeymoon destination closed down at William Hill on Jan. It might seem that nothing is off limits yet even bookmakers draw the line somewhere – rejecting wagering on the likelihood of a terrorist act on the day of the ceremony.
“We don’t look to bet on anything that’s distasteful so we refused that request,” Haines explained. So why not the wedding?”
Royal Wedding Specials
Among the categories for wagers being placed at Paddy Powers this week:
LONDON – Two of the favorite pastimes in Britain – royal-watching and betting – are morphing into one raucous market centered on the royal wedding.
Prince William and Kate Middleton aren’t even married yet – that will take place April 29 – but some Britons are already betting they will end up getting divorced.. Bets are still open on the location of William’s stag party and who his bachelor brother Prince Harry will take to the wedding as his date.
Most bookmakers are running a variation of the divorce question, with almost certain odds that the couple will make it to their 10th anniversary.
Middleton will arrive at her wedding ceremony by car and leave by carriage, so she won’t have to worry about the current odds of a Tube strike on her wedding day. “This is all about fun.”
But since they never know when the palace – or the tabloids – will spill the beans, betting is time-sensitive. “Whether it was someone from Kenya … The ‘X Factor’ (singing competition), horses, lotteries … Not like horses.”
“People will place bets on just about anything,” the 34-year-old said. After news of their engagement broke in November, the when – as in, what month – brought in 30,000 ($48,000) worth of bets for Ladbrokes, spokesman Alex Donohue said. “They’ll probably wait until the last minute.”
Special Report: The Royal Wedding
“There’s a real tradition of betting on what the royals will do next,” said Darren Haines, a spokesman for bookmaker Paddy Power. The market is small now, but expected to swell as the big day draws near.
London retiree Lisa Barret thinks that’s an “awful idea” for a market.
Walking into a Ladbrokes shop in central London, Will Tanner called the wedding-special market “absolutely barking mad.”
By comparison, more than 300,000 ($476,000) worth of bets were placed during the final episode of Britain’s beloved “X Factor.” Still, Adams said he expects volume to ramp up heavily right before the wedding.
One of the most popular wagers for the past several years has been on if, when and where Kate and Wills would marry. television viewership total be?
Will it rain on the wedding day?
What titles will the royal couple take?
Where will royal couple spend their honeymoon?
What will be their official London residence?
Who will be the next monarch?
Will they be divorced by 2020?
With those questions answered, bookmakers are looking to capitalize on the royal wedding mania by adding novelty bets before more details emerge. “The vast majority of people placing a bet want to place a bet and get a result within a short period of time,” he explained. Wedding-special markets need constant review because, unlike a football or rugby match, decisions are already in the works.
The market is “pretty quiet” so far, he said. The Associated Press contributed to this report. The where – now confirmed as Westminster Abbey – drew about 15,000 ($24,000) worth of wagers for the betting firm.
“You don’t gamble on something like someone’s marriage,” the 55-year-old said while out shopping for groceries in London.
“Nobody would risk 5,000 unless they knew already that they were definitely going to go to Kenya,” Adams said. “The U.K. who knows? We were uncomfortable to bet on it.”
The odds are unlikely, the topic is disrespectful but when two people disagree on a subject, it’s time to lay some money down.
William Hill is looking to add 3 or 4 new wedding specials a week. Will she walk into Westminster Abbey right on time, be three minutes late, or make guests wait 11 minutes for a glimpse? How long will the train of her dress be? Gamblers are invited to place bets on all the above.
But the royal wedding market gives the country’s betting houses a rare chance to draw in female customers.
The average wager – 3.5 ($5.50) – reflects that gamblers are betting money they don’t mind losing, a spokesman for bookmaker William Hill said.
“Reality TV and royal wedding (bets) appeal to women because it’s what they read about, it’s what they’re interested in,” Paddy Power’s Haines said.
Bookmakers beg to differ and are eagerly considering suggestions for additions to the “wedding special” options as April 29 approaches. a (real) estate agent … 10 after an attempted wager of 5,000 ($8,000) in favor of Kenya by a new account raised red flags.
“It’s largely people speculating, more for fun and a conversation piece than those who are genuinely expecting to make money,” said Rupert Adams.
What color dress will Kate wear?
What will be the length of Kate’s train?
What color hat will the Queen wear?
What designer suit will Prince William wear?
Who will be Maid of Honor?
Who will be Prince Harry’s guest at the wedding?
Where will Stag Night take place?
Who will attend the wedding?
Will Kate include “obey” in her vows?
What will U.K. All Rights Reserved. “It’s a little too girly for me, a little too soft. William Hill has seen about 1,750 wedding-related bets worth about 27,883 pounds placed since news of the engagement.
London accountant Rana Theva is not surprised by the betting fervor.
“Why would I want to bet on shoes and dresses?” the 47-year-old health worker said. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
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