Tag Archive | "bingo"

Where Did the Money Go?

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Where Did the Money Go?


Where Did The Money Go?Charity bingo is big business in some states. In Texas charity bingo brings in about $700 million annually. There is a problem though; of that $700 million only $29 million actually made it to any charities. The problem is a lack of regulation and oversight. So just who is in charge of regulation of charity bingo in Texas? The answer is not clear. Just about everyone involved in charity bingo is more like a large corporation than a charity.

In Corpus Christi the Columbian Ladies of South Texas operate bingo games to make money for their church Our Lady of Guadalupe. The group is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus and host games on Wednesday nights. The group took in about $1.12 million last year and paid out more than $860,000 in prizes and expenses. After expanses the charity only got 3% of the $257,000 that was left over. The group is supposed to pay the charity 35% after prizes and expenses but they didn’t come close. The group’s treasurer Dee Escamilla told reporters “I can’t even come up with a figure.” The group is registered with the IRS as a 501(c) (3) which means there are a ‘nonprofit.’

So what does the group actually do? Betty Constante, a member of the group, told reporters “We give out scholarships and we have Christmas parties for the children, especially families right here from the bingo, because they’re the ones that support our bingo, and we help our church, the Lady of Guadalupe Church.” The Columbian Ladies offer scholarships that range from $1,500 on down. In 2012 the group paid out less than $8,000 to the charity which does not fund many scholarships. So where does the money go?

Last year the group hosted 157 bingo sessions which averages out to $48.76 per session for the charity. The group brought in over a million dollars and averaged $7,000 per session. The ladies get paid for their time and some make more than $75 per session; more than the charity receives. The women admitted that they actually started the group to start the bingo games and do not raise funds any other way. One member of the group made $12,000 last year. There is very little oversight. The Texas Lottery Commission is supposed to regulate bingo but enforcement is lax. A 2012 Sunset Advisory Commission report found that bingo has “very real opportunities for fraud.” In the meantime charities are being cheated out of their rightful share of bingo revenues.

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Mom Steals  £124,000 From Disabled Daughter

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Mom Steals £124,000 From Disabled Daughter


Mom Steals  £124,000 From Disabled DaughterA mom in the UK was spared a jail sentence after she stole £124,000 from her disabled daughter’s benefits and spent the money on online bingo and designer clothes. Julie Smith, 46, was given a large amount of taxpayer money to help her care for her daughter Haley who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk or talk. Between 2006 and 2012 Smith received the disability benefits that were intended for day care and specialist trips for Haley. Instead Smith squandered the cash on weekend trips, online bingo, gambling, designer clothes and used some of the money to finance her 30 a day cigarette habit and trips to a local pub.

In court Smith received a two year community order (Probation) and was ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid community service. Sentencing Judge Patrick Thomas told Smith “The figures here are enormous. The plain position is that you received money intended for the benefit of your daughter. You spent it in ludicrous ways, sometimes on internet gambling and also on luxuries you appreciated far more than your daughter did, as if the money was part of your own state benefit. You plainly knew what you were doing. The principle concern of the court must be for your daughter.”

Smith displayed a singular lack of remorse and denied she had done anything wrong. Smith said “I’m not a bad parent.” Ever the whiner Smith stated “I am a gambling addict. Caring for Hayley is full-on and I needed an escape. You want to switch off. But I’m not a bad parent. I love Hayley, she is my world. She’s never gone without.” Smith also has a 17 year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. She started stealing the funds in 2006. Smith told reporters “The money didn’t just go on me, it went on the whole family. It didn’t go on holidays or luxuries like that. I smoke 20 to 30-a-day and I hardly drink or go out. But I admit I did wrong and I want to say sorry to social services for that. The money was there and I got into a habit.”

Smith was finally caught when the council changed its policies and realized that the funds had not been accounted for. Smith said “They wanted receipts and I didn’t have them. I don’t think Hayley knows what has gone on. I haven’t much of a family– about half don’t know about it.”

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New Security Programs Identify Players and Location

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New Security Programs Identify Players and Location


New Security Programs Identify Players and LocationIn the United States one of the main issues internet gambling opponents cite is the possibility of underage gambling. Thanks to LaserLock Technologies those concerns have been addressed. LaserLock’s proprietary technology is designed to prevent fraud and counterfeiting through advanced authentication. . The new program will make it much easier for online bingo and gaming operators to identify the location of the player. LaserLock Technologies is based in Washington D.C. and markets security technologies to protect governments, health care providers, high end retailers, the gaming industry and documents. The company also produced programs that will protect branded products from counterfeiting. Because of the rapid growth of the online gaming industry there has been a constant demand for various security products.

Earlier in the year three states legalized online gambling; Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. The new American gaming market has fueled a demand for virtual identity verification processes necessary to enforce underage restrictions at online gaming sites.  LaserLock’s advanced authentication products use geo-location tracking and biometric facial recognition via webcams to ensure adherence to laws dealing with the legal age and location of players. Neil Alpert, President of LaserLock Technologies, stated “Verifying a player’s identity is a simple process in a casino, but has become a major hindrance for legislators looking to legalize Internet gambling.”

Alpert went on to say “In an online environment, the risks for fraud increase dramatically as there are few ways to truly verify identity, age or location. LaserLock’s patented technology brings Internet gaming companies a solution that lowers that risk substantially by verifying a player’s identity each time they play and by providing an ethical component that protects the user.” The ability to correctly authenticate a player’s identity, age and location will help mitigate the risk to operators posed by underage gambling.  Michael Sonnenreich, Chairman of the Board at LaserLock, stated “This platform is one of several potential game changers for LaserLock. The future will see more states legalize online gaming and LaserLock’s solution is all encompassing and ensures the security and safety of internet gaming that lawmakers, casinos and the public all demand.”

LaserLock’s player identification solution goes beyond the low regulatory thresholds in some jurisdictions and is designed to protect players and operators. The solution also features that allow players and casinos to monitor behavior to prevent problem gambling. The prototype is being tested at several online gaming sites.

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Why is Bingo So Popular in Great Britain ?

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Why is Bingo So Popular in Great Britain ?


Why is Bingo So Popular in Great Britain?It’s no secret that the UK has one of the liveliest bingo markets in the world. Over three million people in the UK play online bingo weekly and millions more play at land based bingo halls throughout the country. Just about every town, village of hamlet has its own High Street bingo hall. Older players prefer live bingo games while the younger generation prefers online bingo games. So how did bingo get to be so popular in the UK?

Bingo became a cultural phenomenon in the UK from the 60’s to the 80’s. Hundreds of abandoned cinemas were turned into massive bingo halls capable of holding thousands of players. Online bingo is extremely easy to play and understand. Playing online bingo is as easy as setting up an account, making a deposit and taking part in one of the many bingo games available. Most online bingo sites offer a variety of bingo games including 75 and 90 ball bingo and some sites offer 80 and 30 ball bingo. In the UK 90 ball bingo is the most popular game. Setting up an account at a bingo site only takes a couple of minutes and is quick and easy.

Most online bingo sites offer low stakes bingo games. Online bingo sites usually offer players a generous welcome bonus and most offer free bingo which gives players a chance to test a site’s game software. Free bingo is also good for beginners and allows them to learn the online version of the game with no risk. Bonuses make bingo the most affordable gambling game on the internet.

Online bingo allows players from around the globe to connect. Most online bingo sites offer players the opportunity to chat with other players creating a sense of community. Research has shown that most players value social interaction and say that it is the main reason they play online bingo. Players can also win huge amounts of cash. In most cases online bingo jackpots are much larger than those at land based bingo halls. In face there are a few bingo millionaires in the UK. Networked sites offer hugs jackpots because of the large shared player pool.

At one time most bingo players were working class women but today things are different. Many bingo hall operators have refurbished old fashioned bingo halls to appeal to younger players. The move has been successful and operators have reported an increase in player numbers. The new generation of players ensures that bingo will survive well into the 21st century.

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Lack of Bingo Oversight Worries Some Florida Lawmakers

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Lack of Bingo Oversight Worries Some Florida Lawmakers


Lack of Bingo Oversight Worries Some Florida Lawmakers30 year old Matt West has been a runner and caller at Florida bingo halls for almost a decade. West has worked at Mr. Bingo in Panama City fir the last six years and said he has learned that bingo is “something people do in their spare time.” West pays winners at the hall and told reporters “The bigger the crowd, the faster the pace is going to be. Everything kind of comes naturally; you treat people like people, you take their money and you pay them out.”

Most bingo halls are open seven days a week mornings and evenings. Some players in a hurry play the pull tab games available at most bingo parlors. In Florida bingo players are still allowed to smoke and while there Florida legislators have crafted laws to slow the expansion of gambling in the state there is very little oversight for bingo. Florida’s laws prohibit gambling establishments from operating solely for the sake of gambling. Bingo games in Florida must sponsored by a charitable organization that has been in business for at least three years.

The law also requires that all revenues generated by bingo games to go to the sponsoring organizations after operating costs have been deducted. Local bingo games have donated millions to various charities over the years. Gregory Wilson, Florida’s Chief Assistant State Attorney said that bingo’s legal status was from the days when churches used bingo as a fundraising tool. Because bingo games were well established before Florida passed gambling laws legislators created exceptions to let bingo games continue. Bingo revenues must be donated to charities under the current laws.

The statute that governs bingo does not require bingo halls to file financial reports with the state that shows operating costs and the amounts donated to charity. George Hughes of Bingo Paradise told reporters “We work from trust. We do our thing and they do theirs. We take our (money) to the lodge and then give it out to the people.” The unregulated relationship between operators and charities has led several operators to take advantage of the state’s “very general guidelines.” In recent months there has been an influx of former internet cafe patrons. Most of the returnees are seniors looking for affordable entertainment. So far there have been no real scandals in the bingo industry and lawmakers have seen no real reason to regulate the games.

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Bingo: The Fun And Easy Way To Win Money

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Bingo: The Fun And Easy Way To Win Money


balls-bingoNot too long ago, bingo halls were seen as places the older generations would socialise and have great fun whilst doing so; however, bingo halls are now packed to the rafters with all generations, from parties looking for fun before hitting the towns, or simply a place to meet up and enjoy the thrill of winning money in a friendly environment.

Winning in bingo comes down to pure lady luck. Although this may be the case, experienced players know there are ways to increase the chances of winning. Listed below are a few ways of bumping up your chances of shouting, “BINGO!”

Arrive Early and Avoid Busy Nights

Arriving early ensures gaining the best seats. Being first also allows time for socialising and a few drinks before the Bingo starts. Depending on the night, some sessions are better attended than others, so from an odds/winning aspect, the possibilities of winning are better when opposition is at its least. Playing with fewer people in the hall is a strategy many winners opt for. This strategy also avoids the noise and chaos of a crowded hall.

Choosing the Right Game

There is more than one way of playing Bingo; some players prefer the traditional 90-ball Bingo because there are 3 ways winning, whilst others like a 75-ball pattern game because the top prize is bigger. The right choice comes down to your comfort level and the potential payout, the odds and your experience. If you’re not 100% sure of the rules, don’t play the game.

Play Less Cards

Contrary to popular belief, buying more tickets isn’t the safest way to win a game. Not only does this initially cost more to secure the winning card, the jackpot is financed by all the losing ones; unless the player(s) are experienced at managing their cards, the chances of missing a number or two increases, so the likelihood of winning actually decreases.
Bonus Balls

A lot of games feature balls of a different colours, the ‘bonus balls”. These award a prize or double the amount of the win if part of the successful grouping or pattern features one of them. Experienced players look out for these opportunities and choose games based upon the highest payouts.
Bingo Online

If you can’t be without your Bingo fix, you can create an account online with literally hundreds of sites. You can try it first and play for fun to pass the time, or you can pay into your account and play with others in cyber rooms designated to the site for money. There are also Bingo apps and games for Smartphones – the list is endless!

Whether you play for the social side and to make new friends, or you are a diehard player with your own honed strategies, Bingo is a great game to win money and bring others together.

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Why Bingo Today Isn’t Just For The Elderly

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Why Bingo Today Isn’t Just For The Elderly


Why Bingo Today Isn't Just For The ElderlyWhen you think of Bingo, you probably imagine a  bunch of old men and women sitting at long tables at the American Legion  with cards strewn about. This is the image that most people think of.  While this may have been the case from the 1970s to the 1990s, but the  21st Century is a completely new time. Bingo is something that all ages  enjoy, not just the elderly. This article is going to go into further details as to why. Here are some tips to help you find the largest bingo resource on the internet.

Online Bingo

Bingo has become a game that many enjoy gambling on. Online Bingo sitesoffer games for children and young adults to enjoy. There are boards that one can gamble real money on, and there are sites that are purely for enjoyment. These sites have offered people the ability to play without ridicule.

123 Bingo Online

123 Bingo Online is the top online Bingo sitesthere is. There are ways to boost winnings. Members can chat with friends  while playing various boards and it is trusted by many.

Bingo Flash

Bingo Flash is the next best online Bingo site  available in the United States. There are great games and features;  however, there is a lot of fluff. Players can be beginners or veterans  and get enjoyment. Chatting can continue during the games, and  promotions are available.

Gone Bingo

From the United States to worldwide, the site Gone Bingo is one of  the best sites available. There are many games, features, and promotions  available. Interacting between community members is only a part of the  fun. There are funds available free, and bonuses to reload.

Cyber Bingo

While there are not as many features, many find the site Cyber Bingo  very enjoyable. It is very easy to use, and there are many chances to  gain promotions. You can early loyalty points. It has been around for  almost 20 years and over $900 million has been awarded in prizes in that  time.

Bingo Hall

Lacking a great customer support, Bingo Hall is still a top online Bingo site.  There are over 300 games and they are online. There is no downloading  necessary and the winners list is always posted. Most of the young that  will play on this site enjoy the ability to chat with other members. The  young adults can enjoy the bonuses and promotion prizes. They can start  with a free five dollars and then are able to put more money in their  account.

Children can play Bingo in school for education, and then as they get older, they are welcome to play online. There are online Bingo sites  that offer Bingo without the gambling. A person wishing to gamble can  log onto the pay sites and earn money through promotions. It is easy to  see why online sites create a love for Bingo that comes from everyone,  not just the elderly. Bingo has come so far in such a short period, and  it does not appear that the pendulum will swing back anytime soon.  American Legion Halls will still be full of elderly women and men who  enjoy playing Bingo, but all ages can enjoy the game thanks to online  gambling sites.

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Raid On Senior Bingo Game Roundly Criticized

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Raid On Senior Bingo Game Roundly Criticized


Raid On Senior Bingo Game Roundly CriticizedA recent news report about a New York bureaucrat shutting down a senior citizen’s penny bingo games may seem like a total waste of taxpayer resources to most sane citizens. Unfortunately this is not the first time that state officials and bureaucrats have spent thousands of taxpayer dollars investigating senior citizen bingo games. In 1993 a raid on a senior citizen bingo game raised the ire of the editor of the local paper in Hartford Connecticut. In Milford federal, state and local law enforcement combined forces to raid a ‘dangerous’ bingo game at the Island View apartments. The gang of bingo players, who the editor dubbed ‘Los Bingos,’ were caught red handed in the treasonous activity of holding a nickel bingo game without a license.

But why the action against a group that are enjoying their hard earned leisure of their retirement years? Bingo desperado Joseph Loturco, 72, told reporters “We never gave a thought to whether it was right or wrong. We were just looking to have a little fun. It’s only a nickel a card, it probably didn’t raise $5 a game, and that money went to the Social Club.” Loturco said someone complained and most retirement communities have a selection of bluenoses and busybodies. Since the 120-unit Island View is federally funded the whiny complainer called the Housing and Urban Development office in Hartford.

Someone at HUD called Connecticut gambling regulators. The gaming regulators called the Milford police and on Halloween Night the police raided the senior’s bingo game. While the law and order crowd would be proud people with common sense were puzzled why the raid even took place. Loturco recalled the raid and said “It wasn’t like a raid; they didn’t arrest anyone or anything. But several officers showed up and put up a sign saying, `No bingo, per order of the police.’ We have a bunch of ladies in their 90s. Some were afraid they’d get in trouble and be evicted. You couldn’t imagine what a fear that is.”

Loturco, like most of the residents is curious about just who complained. Loturco stated “I guess we didn’t do it right, even though it’s all just outrageous. This is ridiculous. This is our home. But what I’d like to know is, who complained? You can’t blame HUD or the gambling commission or the police.” Gambling officials are unmoved and one stated “Bingo is considered a form of gambling. While many may view it as recreation, the state is responsible for the integrity of legal gambling.” As the editor points out; if the integrity of legal gambling is somehow threatened by a group of seniors playing nickel bingo legal gambling in the state must be in real trouble.

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Strange Bingo News and Oddities

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Strange Bingo News and Oddities


Strange Bingo News and OdditiesThis month has been full of strange news stories about weird happenings at bingo games. This week in Florida two men in their 80’s got into a serious brouhaha over a parking spot at a local bingo game. An 84 year old man is accused of pepper spraying a 67 year old man in a fight over a parking spot. The victim, security guard Michael Burke, had placed crates in two handicapped parking spots to save them for two women he knew. Unfortunately, before the women arrived Donald Handa drove up, removed the crates and parked. When confronted by Burke the two men began fighting and Handa whipped out his pepper spray and maced Burke. Police were called to the incident. Burke declined to press charges because of Handa’s age.

In the UK two ladies in their 60’s got into a donnybrook after one player accused the other of calling bingo too early.  The incident took place in sheltered housing (assisted living in the US) and police were called. Officers were nonplussed when they realized the age of the bingo brawlers. Police officer Ellis who was one of the responders told reporters “They didn’t want her arrested. I think it was just the shock of what had happened more than anything. The housing officer there didn’t over-react; she wasn’t really sure what to do in that situation. It was one of the first calls of our evening shift and it’s definitely not the usual type of call we get.” A spokesperson for the housing council said “We have given one woman a tenancy warning about her future conduct.” In other words if she doesn’t behave herself she could lose her housing.

In New York state petty state officials made the news when they demanded that a senior’s penny bingo game pay a state fee to operate. The New York Gaming Commission said the elderly ladies must pay a $450 fee to the state. The Penny Bingo Club which has been holding games for years said that they could not afford the excessive fee. Penny Bingo Club member Marlene McCormick said “It’s a sin because that’s your only enjoyment when you get old.” Lee Park, director of communications at the New York State Gaming Commission, was unsympathetic and unapologetic and said the group must pay the state $18.75 every time they hold a penny bingo game.

Park said that because bingo is a game of chance it must be regulated and the state must have its pound of flesh. Plattsburgh Housing Authority Executive Director Lori Cantwell said the ladies in the group were overwhelmed and do not want to deal with petty officials from the gaming commission. Club member Lucille Wilkins pointed out that bingo is not a high stakes game with huge jackpots. She said that when someone in the group wins the jackpot is pennies which usually go back in the next game. Wilkins said the state gave no warning and told reporters “I’ve been playing bingo for 32 years, and I can’t see why we need to pay a state tax to play.” If politicians in New York are looking for waste in government the gaming commission would be a good place to start!

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Rank Unveils Electronic Bingo Games

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Rank Unveils Electronic Bingo Games


Rank Unveils Electronic Bingo GamesThe Rank Group is a major player in the UK bingo and casino industry. Rank operates Mecca bingo halls and Grosvenor casinos throughout Great Britain. In addition Rank has a major online bingo operation using the Mecca brand. Rank has been innovative and has invested millions of pounds refurbishing their casinos and bingo halls to appeal to a new generation of players. Recently the company unveiled its first electronics only bingo hall. Rank hopes to attract the new generation of bingo players including men in their 20’s. Although the bingo halls are still dominated by female players more men are discovering bingo and the ratio of women to men make the halls even more attractive for men.

Rank introduced the trial of electronic bingo at its venue in Reading. At the Reading hall bingo is played on electronic devices similar to iPads. The electronic games require less concentration than traditional games where players must mark their cards manually. Rank’s chairman and chief executive Ian Burke said the devices make the games more enjoyable and allow players to eat and chat while playing. Mr. Burke said that Rank still believes that the game with its traditional and colorful calls such as Two Fat Ladies, Gandhi’s Breakfast and Duck and a Crutch will be around for some time to come the new electronic games will introduce the game to a new generation of players.

During the first half of the fiscal Rank’s player numbers grew 4% to 1.1 million. Most of the increase was from the immense popularity of online bingo. During the six months to December 31st Mecca’s revenues from online bingo increased by 11% to £30.4 million. Revenue from bingo halls dropped 1% to £115.7 million. Rank believes that there are opportunities to take advantage of the popularity of online bingo by expanding digital gaming at its land based venues. Mr. Burke stated “The electronic gaming has definitely got an appeal to the under-35s” and added that men in their mid-20’s have been attracted to bingo on the digital devices.

Rank believes that the new format could possibly attract a “more even gender mix.” Players tap on the screens when numbers are called and there is a feature that allows players to catch up if they missed some numbers. Burke stated “Electronic gaming offers all sorts of additional benefits to players. I wouldn’t describe our handheld devices as an iPad, but it’s the same principle. Like many people, three years ago I would never have imagined iPads being as popular or as successful as they are. A lot of people love the tactile aspect of playing bingo with paper and pen and I imagine that will be around for a long, long time to come. But playing bingo electronically is much more akin to playing it on the internet except it’s done in a social and community setting.”

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