The World Indoor Bowls Championship was first held in 1979 at Coatbridge in Scotland for men's singles only. The event was sponsored by Embassy in the early years and grew in stature. In 1988 the venue changed to Alexandra Palace and one year later Churchill Insurance took over the sponsorship when the championships were held at Preston Guild Hall. The Midland Bank and SAGA were two more sponsors during the Preston era. In 1999 Potters Holidays came in to take over the sponsorship and the event moved to Hopton-on-Sea, where it is still held today. The BBC also show live coverage of the championships during the last week which includes all four competition finals.
The men's pairs started in 1986, the women's singles in 1988 and the mixed pairs in 2004.