â€śAnd, of course, we love a good, happy news story, so itâ€™s nice to feel a part of it somehow,â€ť she added.
Lately, the news stories around betting in Britain have not been happy.
On Tuesday, The Times of London reported that the British treasury would reduce the maximum bet on fixed odds betting terminals from about $140 every 20 seconds to around $3, sending share prices in betting companies plummeting. The betting industry had lobbied vigorously to stave off a crackdown on the machines, which generated a profit of $2.5 billion in 2016.
Last year, sports and betting companies were the top donors to members of Parliament, according to official declarations published in August. The Ladbrokes Coral group appeared more than 15 times on the register, more than any other donor. But the efforts did not save the terminals, dubbed â€śthe crack cocaine of gamblingâ€ť by one lawmaker.
Indeed, visits to five betting shops around London on Tuesday morning found not a single person who had bet on the babyâ€™s name. Instead, gamblers sat riveted in front of terminals, feeding in money. Dave Rioux, 40, a hotel receptionist, said that betting shops were much more common on the streets of London than in Mauritius, where he comes from, and that he found himself gambling three times a week. He is trying to stop, he said, but â€śitâ€™s hard to get out of the system.â€ť
Late at night, he said, he sometimes sees bettors so distraught over their losses that they beat the machines with their hands.
â€śNovelty betsâ€ť â€” on the color of the queenâ€™s hat, for example â€” help bookmakers to rehabilitate their reputations, said Leighton Vaughan Williams, director of the Betting Research Unit at Nottingham Business School.
â€śItâ€™s a positive spin on bookmaking in general,â€ť Mr. Vaughan Williams said. â€śIt gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling about betting, that it is a fun thing to do. Itâ€™s not a new thing. But itâ€™s really a public relations exercise.â€ť
Oddschecker, which compiles information from numerous bookmakers, offers odds on such possibilities as â€śMeghan to be photographed drinking a pint of Guinness,â€ť â€śConfirmed that Meghan is pregnant before the wedding dayâ€ť and â€śAny Spice Girl besides Victoria Beckham to attend the wedding ceremony.â€ť
Unlike sports betting, where the odds are driven by a small number of very large bets by professional gamblers, novelty pools attract a large number of small bets. In widely traded markets, the resulting odds reflect the â€świsdom of crowds,â€ť and are close to true probabilities, Mr. Vaughan Williams said.
In the case of Prince Williamâ€™s two earlier children, bettors had gotten it right, showing a preference for George, and then, two years later, Charlotte, said Ms. Bridge, of Ladbrokes.
By Tuesday evening, Mr. Apati had spent his second full day updating the odds in public, this time outside Kensington Palace, and he was beginning to feel the wear and tear.
Arthur, he reported, was â€śslightly on the drift.â€ť The name had peaked on Monday night, with odds of 7 to 4, but then the money began to flow to James, perhaps because people saw it as a better value. It was nearly sunset, and Mr. Apati was beginning to think that the name would not be announced until Wednesday.
â€śI was hopeful that it would be today,â€ť he added, a little wistfully, â€śso that I could go to sleep.â€ť