A whirlwind of wagers has forced a major British bookmaker to suspend all activity a on a baby bet involving a royal couple.
Bookmakers have been taking bets ever since Prince Harry and his wife, American Meghan Markle, announced in October they were expecting their first child in the spring.
One of the wagers being offered was on whether or not the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would have twins.
But Ireland-based Paddy Power, one of the UK’s biggest bookmakers, said it was forced to suspend that bet following an “unprecedented” amount of wagering that came out of nowhere.
“We’ve stopped taking bets on Meghan Markle giving birth to twins, following a flurry of bets on Friday morning,” a Paddy Power spokesperson said in a statement posted to their website. ”There have been an ‘abnormal' number of bets on twins, forcing us to refuse to take any further wagers.”
Before Paddy Power pulled the bet, they were offering a 5/1 price that the royal couple would give birth to twins.
The rash of wagering that came pouring in this week has raised suspicions that someone is privy to inside information they may be sharing.
Whatever was going on, it was enough to make bookmakers nervous.
“Since the day began, the stream of bets has led us to believe that perhaps the punters—or an insider source—knows something more than we do,” the statement read.
Other books appear less concerned. Coral, a competitor to Paddy Power, has left the twins bet on the board. Its odds opened at 8/1 that the royals would have twins, but those odds have since been slashed to 4/1.
Big Name Action
Prince Harry, who is sixth in line to the British throne, and Markle, a former film and TV star, announced the pending birth of their first child last month.
And while wagers on the number of kids they’ll have in the spring have been curtailed, you can still get plenty of action. In fact, the offerings from bookmakers started heating up the minute the two were married in the spring.
One of the most popular wagers surrounds the name that the royal couple will give their child, or children.
Ladbrokes has installed Diana, the name of Harry’s late mother, as the favorite, should it be a girl.
Arthur was a big 2/1 favorite when Prince William and Kate Middleton were expecting their third child earlier this year, but they ultimately named him Louis Arthur Charles.
Don’t underestimate the size of these betting markets – one report predicts that the public will wager some £600m ($768 million) on the latest royal baby by the time they give birth in the spring.
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