As the William Hill PDC World Darts Championship (WDC) kicks off today at London’s Alexandra Palace (17 December – 3 January), UK bookmakers are gearing up for an extra busy Christmas period with a record £50 million expected to be wagered on the tournament.
PDC event organisers announced that a record 66,000 WDC tickets had been sold for this year’s tournament.
Furthermore UK broadcaster Sky Sports, who last year saw +4 million viewers watch dedicated coverage of the tournament on Sky Sports Darts channel, expects this year’s PDC Championship to break all darts viewing records.
This week title sponsor William Hill announced that it had agreed terms to extend its sponsorship of the WDC until 2020. The bookmaker stated that its decisions had been made due to incredible popularity of the tournament, which has seen the WDC become one of William Hill’s prize sponsorships.
At the start of the PDC World Championship Michael van Gerwen, the current world number 1, is the 5/4 favourite to win the WDC. Followed by sixteen-time world champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor at 9/2, and the defending champion Gary Anderson who is a 6/1 shot to retain his title at the Alexandra Palace in London.
“The popularity of darts has grown immeasurably over the last few years, said William Hill spokesman Tony Kenny, “Interest in betting on the sport has also never been stronger – and that’s why we’re anticipating a record industry turnover on this year’s tournament.
“Michael van Gerwen has been in sensational form this year – and there’s no surprise that over twenty percent of the bets placed on ‘who will win the tournament’ have been on Mighty Mike,”