BETTING ON BABY: British betting agencies including Coral and Ladbrokes have suspended all bets regarding the Duchess of Cambridge and whether she is pregnant once again, due to a recent avalanche of wagers. According to an article in the New Idea, an Australian magazine, Jessica Hay, a friend of Kate Middleton’s from Marlborough College, said: “Kate’s inner circle are buzzing with the news that she is pregnant. I’ve heard it from several different friends of theirs now, and they’re saying that they think there’s going to be an official announcement in weeks.”

Kensington Palace said: “We do not comment on rumors of this kind.”

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Before Coral suspended betting, the firm offered odds of 10-1 that the Duke of Cambridge and his wife would announce this month that they are expecting a second baby. “With Prince George’s first birthday just around the corner, the latest gamble strongly indicates that he could soon be joined by a little brother or sister,” said Nicola McGeady, a spokeswoman for Coral. “In fact, there could even be double celebrations in the Windsor household next Tuesday,” she added, referring to Prince George’s first birthday.

Coral has now reported an influx of wagers on the gender of the little royal’s future sibling. “Suspending betting on William and Kate announcing baby No. 2 has caused a betting frenzy, with punters racing to place bets on the gender and baby name,” said McGeady.

According to Coral, almost 70 percent of bets have been placed on the Duchess of Cambridge giving birth to a baby boy, which is the 10-11 favorite, while it’s even money that Prince George gets a little sister, with a number of wagers on twins at odds of 20-1.

Regarding baby names, Coral noted James as the favorite at 3-1, ahead of Alexander at 6-1, and Louis at 10-1. Elizabeth was noted as the top girls name at 5-1, ahead of Diana at 6-1 and Victoria at 7-1.

Ladbrokes is another agency that has stopped taking bettors’ money. “Despite Kate’s friend having not spoken to the Duchess in several years, punters are still convinced the young couple have been making the most out of their new home, and the odds suggest a second nursery is imminent,” said Ladbrokes spokesperson Jessica Bridge.

While these firms have closed the door on betting on another royal child, William Hill is keeping its books open for wagers. “The betting suggests Prince George won’t have to wait too long for a sibling, but the latest reports suggesting there is already a royal [baby] bump might be wide of the mark,” said William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

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