DARTS chiefs have launched an investigation into suspicious betting on a world championships match lost by a local player.
The probe was launched after large bets were reportedly placed on the correct result of the World Darts Championships match featuring Davey “The Badger” Prins, from Peterlee, which he went on to lose.
Mr Prins, 43, was beaten 3-0 in sets by Dutchman Willy van der Wiel at the Lakeside Country Club, in Surrey, last Sunday.
Bookies have refused to pay out after being made aware of “unusual betting patterns” on the result.
A spokesman for the British Darts Organisation (BDO) said: “The BDO has been advised that there are betting patterns relating to the above match that may warrant further investigation.
“The BDO takes its responsibility to protect the integrity of the great sport of darts very seriously.
“Using its powers under the Betting Code, it will now open a formal investigation into this matter.”
The BDO has instructed its lawyers to help with the investigation which will also involve the Gambling Commission.
The spokesman added: “As part of the investigation, information will be gathered from all pertinent parties, including the players themselves, the match officials, the bookmakers, and others, in order to determine, based on the available evidence, whether or not there is a case to answer for breach of the BDO’s rules.
“If it is determined that there is a case to answer, the BDO will pursue it vigorously.”
Bookmaker William Hill said it closed its book on the match and have frozen all pay-outs because they were unhappy with the betting patterns they were seeing.
A spokesman said: “In this instance we couldn’t see any logical reason that would explain the betting pattern we were seeing so we closed our book on that particular game and reported it to the Gambling Commission as we are obliged to do.
“We have not made any allegation as to the outcome of the match.”
Mr Prins could not be contacted for comment but is understood to deny any wrongdoing.