I’m an avid darts fan. If it’s on the TV, I’m watching it. And I love everything that the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) offer me by way of entertainment. Today I read the news that the PDC’s World Championship sponsor, William Hill, had donated £9,000 to Parkinson’s UK, the PDC’s official charity partner.
I must admit, I’m torn over their donation. To put it simply, on the one hand – it’s £9,000 to a very worthy charity, and no doubt it’ll be put to good use; on the other hand – this is William Hill, one of the nation’s biggest bookmakers, albeit a currently failing bookmaker.
The Parkinson’s link is particularly poignant as Dave Clark, Sky Sports Darts presenter, has the disease himself. William Hill, as part of their sponsorship of the tournament, had pledged to donate £9,000 for every 9-darter (a leg won using the minimum amount of darts, which is, unsurprisingly, 9) that occurred during the championship. So it’s very generous of them to still offer the donation.
However, there were 66 volunteers at the Ally Pally who, by way of a playable darts fundraiser, managed to bring in £8,700 straight from the pockets of the punters who took part. William Hill, who, in 2015, made £1.5 billion in revenue, donated only £300 more than the spectators at the darts did collectively.
While every little helps when it comes to the regular person walking down the street, surely the same rule doesn’t, can’t, and shouldn’t apply to large bookmakers…large businesses in general in fact! The PDC’s website describes the donation as “fantastic”. Is it “fantastic” though? In actual, real terms? The fans’ donation is fantastic, unquestionably. Very generous. But Willy Hill can afford a lot more than the comparatively measly £9,000 that they offered up. Are they so loath to give money to charity that they’ll happily jump at the chance to give the most apt figure they can?
Is it even right that they should flaunt the fact that they made a donation to charity? I’m of the opinion that charity should be kept very much private. But perhaps that’s a topic for another blog.
By the way, Parkinson’s UK do great work and I’m sure they’d be appreciative of a donation – https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/content/donate