So will gamblers be rolling in the dough? Or do the bookmakers see the wedding as a chance to clean up?
Neither, said Adams. Gamblers were most likely to place “a small bet for a joke,” for example by placing 10 pounds on William splitting his trousers or Prince Philip falling asleep. The average royal bets tend to be between 2 pounds and 6 pounds, he said. In contrast, the average soccer bet is about 14 pounds. And unlike a sporting event, where the results can only be guessed at ahead of time, those close to the royals may already know, for example, whether Elton John will sing live or whether Middleton will be wearing red heels as she walks the aisle.
Bookmakers have little choice but to manage their risks, declining suspicious bets or just paying out when a clever insider slips a winning wager through the net.
“We’re betting on things, quite a few things that some people know the answer to,” Adams said. “If we break even, we’d be happy.”
After the wedding, interest in the royal couple will likely wane _ although it won’t disappear. Gamblers are already being offered the chance to bet on the names of the couple’s children.
Martin Benedyk contributed to this report.