BCLC gets in on royal wedding action with Harry and Meghan novelty bets

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle posing for photos in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on Nov. 27. Getty Images

Think you know when and where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot? Want to bet?

The royal couple announced their engagement on Monday, and now British Columbians are being offered the chance to wager on the wedding buzz.

The BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has opened a slate of novelty bets built around the upcoming wedding, with categories ranging from the wedding month to the event’s guest list.

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The top line bet centres around when the pair will actually say “I do,” according to BCLC spokesperson Doug Cheng.

“Royal officials have said that it will be a spring wedding. But they didn’t give an exact date,” he said.

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“Right now May 2018 is the betting favourite with 11/50 odds, and March and April, they are tied with 23/5 odds. So what that means is a $10 bet would return $12.20 if you bet on May and the Royal nuptials do happen in May.”

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Another hot category, according to Cheng, is where Harry’s friends will take him for his bachelor sendoff — with Las Vegas leading the pack at 12/1 odds.

“So they must be predicting that Prince Harry is like a lot of people in this world and he might want to have a stag in Las Vegas. Other locations for the stag include Berlin, Barcelona, Prague, Amsterdam and New York.”

Bettors can also wager on who will be Harry’s best man and what designer will create Markle’s wedding dress, along with whether the bride will announce a new royal baby next year.

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Currently, the biggest payouts through the program would be on a successful dark horse wager on the wedding taking place in Las Vegas, Glastonbury, or at the Ascot Racecourse. Those bets, with long shot odds of 299/1 would return a $3,000 payout on a $10 bet.

Bets on the royal wedding are open until New Year’s Eve, and the maximum payout for a novelty bet is $25,000 according to the BCLC.

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The lottery corporation has been running its novelty bet program since 2014, with categories generally built around what Cheng called “water cooler topics.”

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The BCLC has previously opened betting on the Academy Awards, the U.S. presidential election and whether Vancouver would see a white Christmas in 2016.

For now, most of the action on the site centres around royal topics — but bettors with a less terrestrial outlook can also wager on when humanity will discover alien life.

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