Online gaming operator Betway has secured its first major sporting event sponsorship, taking over as the new title sponsor of the 2014 Premier League Darts tournament.

The Betway Premier League Darts tournament, the UK & Ireland's biggest indoor sporting event, begins tonight and is played over sixteen consecutive Thursdays through to May 22nd in arenas across the UK and Ireland.

Betway said that the agreement, which represents Betway’s first major sporting event sponsorship, will enhance the company’s brand in competitive UK online sports betting market.

“We are delighted to announce the sponsorship of the 2014 Premier League Darts tournament,” said Betway’s executive director Bob Dutnall. “This sporting event, which has international appeal, has become a top event in the darts sporting calendar. The sponsorship adds to our brand in online sports betting where we are building a leading position.”

Barry Hearn, chairman of tournament organiser the Professional Darts Corporation, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Betway as the new title sponsor of Premier League Darts in our tenth season of this prestigious event.

“This will be the biggest ever Premier League Darts season, with 100,000 fans set to see the world's best ten players over the next four months, and with live worldwide television coverage the tournament will take the Betway brand worldwide.”

Last year’s event was sponsored by McCoy’s crisps, with William Hill as a betting partner. Previous editions have also seen 888 as a sponsor.

In the tournament, ten competing players face each other once over the opening nine weeks before the bottom two players are relegated following "Judgement Night" in Cardiff on April 3rd. The remaining eight players then meet each other once more in the final six league nights, before the top four progress to the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on May 22nd to compete for the £150,000 first prize.

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen's rivals for the Betway Premier League Darts title include six-time winner Phil Taylor, the 16-time World Champion, 2011 Premier League champion Gary Anderson, former World Champions Adrian Lewis and Raymond van Barneveld, Australia’s Simon Whitlock, English duo Dave Chisnall and Wes Newton and Scottish pair Robert Thornton and Peter Wright.

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