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Darts Players Warned With Fines & SUSPENSION for ‘Sneaking’ Alcohol Into PDC Events

PDC have issued a warning to players after it emerged that players have been found sneaking alcohol into PDC events and tournament venues in water bottles. 

The PDC have consulted with the PDPA (players association) and the DRA (disciplinary committee) and as a result, have issued a letter – and warning – to all players.

It states that fines and disciplinary action will be taken moving forward if players are found to be bringing their own alcohol into tournament venues. 


Now, it’s well documented that darts and alcohol have a very strong association. 

Darts started out as, and still is, a pub sport.

Both fans and players drink alcohol when watching or playing darts and this is true for both amateur/casual players but also the pro’s as well. 

Since Barry Hearn and the Matchroom Group took control of the PDC brand in 2001, there has been a push to clean up the image of darts as a sport and or dart players individually in order to improve marketability and grow viewership. 

It’s hard to argue that they’ve not succeeded with this.

Especially given that at the time of writing this we have darts at an all time high in terms of popularity and viewership and even have an emerging star (Luke Littler) with mass appeal.

While the audience arguably drink more than even when attending the darts, players are now not seen consuming alcohol, especially during tournaments! 

Water is consumed on stages and while rumours always come out about players drinking at the practice boards and how that aspect hasn’t really gone away, the public definitely don’t see it and it’s rarely talked about. 

^^ This is fine, so, what’s the issue with players sneaking alcohol to tournaments?

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PDC Send Letter to Players Warning Fines & Suspension

Professional darts has grown exponentially and to keep it sustainable, the PDC have deals and contracts with venues throughout the UK (and overseas) to host tournaments and events. 

The PDC are essentially promoters for the events so they hire venues and within most of the agreements, the venue will earn revenue from the bar. 

I’m a former nightclub and event manager and for a venue to keep hosting events like this, it needs to generate enough revenue with bar take typically being the highest percentage. 

I can’t talk about the specific PDC agreements with each venue but usually there will be a hire fee and then a split whereby the promoter will take the ticket revenue and the venue takes bar/food etc… 

These can vary so I’m not speaking on specifics but enough venues must be finding this an issue with players taking their own alcohol to events that it’s spurred PDC action. 

The claim is that there are repeat offenders being caught sneaking their own alcohol into the venues. This is obviously not a good look for the PDC but also they want to keep venues on side. 

With an ever growing calendar of events and overseas expansion for tours, they need consistent venues to work with, you can’t expand abroad if you need to keep finding new venues in the UK all the time!

As a result, the PDPA (on behalf of the PDC) have issued a letter to all players stating that players will now face disciplinary action if they are found to be taking alcohol into tournaments moving forward. 

The statement reads: 

“There has been an increase in the number of instances where players have been found to have brought alcohol into venues at floor events. This has been distinguished in water bottles and other containers.

“This is expressly forbidden and players have previously been notified that this is a breach of the Tournament Rules. 

“The PDC have discussed this with the DRA and the PDPA and it has been decided that to deter such actions more robust sanctions are needed for players who are caught bringing alcohol into venues at events. The new approach is to issue incremental fines for such breaches.”

The disciplinary action will be as follows: 

1st breach – £250
2nd breach – £500
3rd breach – £1,000
4th breach – referral to the DRA Disciplinary Committee with an expectation of a suspension

The counting of the breaches will start again in each new season. 


Let us know what you think of this in the comments👇

Are players taking liberties sneaking alcohol into venues (especially when the game should be the main priority really) and do you think the PDPA/PDC are being a bit lenient with these disciplinary actions?

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