UK bookmaker Betfred has agreed a deal to return as title sponsor of the World Snooker Championship.
The deal will run for three years, from 2015 until 2017.
Under the agreement, the tournament, which is organised and run by the World Snooker global governing body, will be known as the Betfred World Snooker Championship.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: “We recently announced that we are staying at the Crucible until 2017, so this agreement with Betfred fits perfectly and gives us a firm foundation to keep growing the event in the coming years.
“The World Championship has a rich history dating back to 1927 and the international audience we are now reaching is extraordinary. Last year’s figure of over 330 million, in our key markets in the UK, Europe and China alone, was up 30 per cent on the previous year. That shows the extent to which we are developing as a global sport.”
Betfred will become the fourth gaming company to take on the title sponsor role of the tournament since legislation regarding the advertising of tobacco products brought an end to cigarette brand Embassy’s long-running support of the event in 2005.
From 2006 until 2008, 888.com served as title sponsor before being replaced by Betfred.com, which partnered the event from 2009 to 2012. Betfair took on the designation for the 2013 competition while Dafabet was title sponsor of last year’s tournament.