The new royal baby has been born. Good news for Kate and William and also for the betting shops. Apparently a large number of people bet on a girl being born on the estimated due date July 13th, and the punters seem to believe the gender would be female. As a consequence, a large amount of money was made by UK betting shops. The next bet is, of course, on his name. Some websites seem to suggest the bookmakers favoured the name James, such as a website in the Netherlands (http://wereldnieuws.blog.nl/politiek/2013/07/19/britse-baby-kan-nu-ieder-moment-komen). A Canadian website suggested a few days before the birth that “James or George were the favourites” for a boy (http://o.canada.com/2013/07/17/escape-from-royal-baby-media-circus-leads-to-londons-betting-shops/. On the webpages of one of the UK’s larger betting shops today’s (22nd July) top 13 boys’ names were: George, James, Alexander, Louis, Arthur, Henry, Phillip, Albert, Spencer, David, Thomas, Richard & Edward.
Betting on aspects of the royal birth and baby is a way of being involved in the same way that betting on your football team to win its first away-game of the season is part of being a supporter for some. Luckily, there are many more options to waste your money, punters can also put money on the colour of his hair, baby’s first word, and if you want to wait a little longer for your money: the name of his first love, age of first nightclub visit photograph, first official visit overseas, whether the prince will ever compete in the Olympics, and the university where he will study.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health
School of Health & Social Care
Bournemouth University, UK