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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006, 14:23 GMT
Crucible event gets new sponsor
The World Snooker Championship will be sponsored by online casino 888.com for the next five years after signing a multi-million pound agreement.

Embassy's sponsorship ended last year due to a ban on tobacco advertising.

Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of World Snooker, said: "This is a very exciting and important day for snooker.

"We've secured the future of the World Championship, signed a five-year agreement with BBC TV and now we're able to reveal this new sponsorship."

On Friday, it was announced that the Masters, the sport's most prestigious invitation event, had secured Saga Insurance as its new sponsor.

Snooker has been forced to look for new financial backing after government legislation banned tobacco sponsorship.

888.com has also become an associate sponsor for the other premier UK events in the snooker calendar, the Masters, the Grand Prix and the UK Championship.

"Snooker is a national institution in the UK and is booming overseas, and we are excited to be playing a part in taking the sport into a new era," said 888.com's chief executive John Anderson.




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