London - British bookmakers are taking money on
speculation that the royal baby could come sooner than expected, with the Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge fudging the date to retain some privacy and shake off
the world's media.
Prince William and Kate's first child is officially due
in mid-July with the couple saying they have no idea of the sex of the baby,
who will be third in line to the British throne.
But bookmaker Paddy Power on Wednesday cut the odds on
the baby arriving in the first week of July to 4-1 from 8-1, after a surge of
money from gamblers, who believe the couple could be taking a lead from Princess
In 1982 Princess Diana - who died in a Paris car crash in
1997 - fooled the public by saying William was due on 1 July and he was
actually born 10 days earlier.
Bookmaker William Hill said its latest betting activity
suggested the baby would be born on 17 July and female.
All the bookmakers reported an increase in betting
activity on the royal birth as the date approaches.
William Hill said turnover has trebled in the last week
with over £50
000 wagered on the various markets and this figures expected to double in the
next week or so.
Paddy Power expected royal betting turnover to top £300
000 in coming weeks, a 30% increase on the royal wedding in April 2011.
"The imminent arrival has sent a royal bump of joy
across the country and it's clear punters love nothing more than a royal
flutter," a Paddy Power spokesperson said in a statement.
Buckingham Palace sources have said Kate intends to have
the baby in the Lindo Wing at St Mary's, in Paddington, west London, where
Princess Diana gave birth to both William and his brother Prince Harry.
Gamblers are favouring Alexandra, Diana, Charlotte and
Elizabeth for girl's names and George for a boy.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
Beyoncé reportedly has ''never genuinely liked'' Kim Kardashian West, and only tolerates her because of their husbands Jay Z and Kanye. Read More »
Kim Kardahsian West is slowly starting to resurface after being robbed at gunpoint. Read More »
10 epic pics.
All the deets.
South AfricaCity Press
Johannesburg CBDResourcing Solutions
HousesR 3 740 000
HousesR 4 950 000
HousesR 6 850 000