Gambling company BetVictor is sponsoring four world ranking events on snooker’s global tour this season, creating the brand-new BetVictor European Series.
The European Masters, German Masters, Snooker Shoot Out, and Gibraltar Open will make up the quartet of tournaments – with each to be staged in the early months of 2020.
An order of merit ranking list will determine which player performs the best on the European Series, with a £150,000 bonus on offer for the in-form competitor who earns the most money in that spell.
Prize money for three out of the four events has also been increased, notably for the Shoot Out and Gibraltar Open with the winner of each now set to pocket £50,000.
Stuart Bingham, by contrast, collected only £25,000 for capturing the Gibraltar Open crown in March this year.
These two events in particular have suffered in recent seasons from a poor turnout in terms of entries from the marquee names.
While the increase might still not be enough to tempt the biggest stars, there will be several who will now think twice about skipping these tournaments in favour of a rest before the World Championship.
Overall prize money for the 2019/20 season is now just shy of £15 million.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: “We are delighted to announce the new BetVictor European Series, a fabulous addition to our tour.”
“The race to win the series and earn a huge bonus of £150,000 adds an extra element of intrigue throughout the four events.
“Each event is superb in its own right, but the support BetVictor brings takes it all to a new level and ties them together into a distinctive series.
“I would love to see a few players in the mix with the chance to win the bonus going into the last tournament in Gibraltar, that would bring a thrilling conclusion to the series.
“For the players it’s an extra incentive to get their name down for these events and make sure they have the chance to boost their prize money in dramatic fashion.”
Director of Sportsbook at BetVictor, Matt Scarrott, added: “We have a strong relationship with World Snooker having partnered with them on a number of events and I’m confident that this brand-new series will add to World Snooker’s international success.”
“The global growth in the sport’s popularity is a testament of the fantastic work World Snooker have been developing over recent years, and we’re delighted to be part of this successful journey.
“We’re particularly proud to see the last of the European Series tournament take place in Gibraltar – home to BetVictor.”