Tag Archive | "bingo game"

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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Police Raid Bingo Game

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Police Raid Bingo Game


Police Raid Bingo GameA group of British vacationers and expats have run afoul of the law in Portugal over a bingo game. The patrons at the Yorkshire Club in the Portuguese resort of Albufeira are facing hefty fines and criminal charges after police stages a dramatic raid to stop “illegal gambling.” The pub was opened by Marianne Pittaway, 34, after she left her home in York and moved to Portugal. The pub had been visited by two plain clothes detectives posing as customers.

The bingo games were not for money but that didn’t make any difference to puritanical police. When a container of biscuits and chocolate were handed out as prizes during Friday Night’s bingo games the detectives flashed their police badges and arrested players and non-players alike. They called in a dozen officers to transport the bingo prisoners. Thirty people in the pub including Ms. Pittaway, her partner Antonio Cardoso and several people that had not been playing bingo were taken to a police station and interrogated for several hours.

Some were set free and allowed to return to the UK but 27 ex-pats and vacationers were forced to attend court proceedings and faced charges of “witnessing illegal gambling.” Gambling laws in Portugal require bingo operators to apply for a license or face fines of between £1,300 and £8,500! Ms. Pittaway said she took 50 euros to cover the cost of the prizes and didn’t thing she was doing anything wrong since she did not award cash prizes to the winners. Pittaway told the Yorkshire Post “I was providing entertainment for my customers. Bingo is a big part of British culture. We are just doing it for fun so I don’t see that we are doing anything wrong. Everyone is in good spirits but we are all mortified because of what has happened. Two police came up to the counter and detained everyone at the bar, including people who weren’t even playing bingo. They could have just shut the bar and taken me and Antonio but it was everyone.”

Police said the raid was part of an ongoing police action to crack down on illegal gambling in the area. A spokesman for the police told the Portugal News “Those who were involved were participating in a game of ‘luck and chance’ and were arrested. They were taken to Albufeira police station and notified to appear in court.” He said the pub patrons were only questioned and not held in cells and added “It is not the first time action has been carried out against illegal gambling and it won’t be the last.” Ms. Pittaway said she made no profits from the games and stated “At the end of the day I will just stick to doing a normal quiz. I won’t be doing bingo any more. The way I see it is that they don’t want tourism and are making it very difficult for people to comply with all the rules and regulations. We don’t know what is in or out. I am just lucky I have got the ex-pat trade that is what is keeping me going. I love what I am doing but the consequences of today will come down very hard. It is not only the fine but I will get inspections left, right and centre now.”

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Saturday Night Bingo Brawlers

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Saturday Night Bingo Brawlers


Saturday Night Bingo BrawlersSome people take their bingo very seriously. Most bingo halls and online bingo sites have well established rules of etiquette that are observed by most players. Fights have broken out because someone is sitting in another player’s ‘lucky’ seat.  In South Wales two players got into a donnybrook over a ‘lucky’ seat. One of the players received a broken nose and two black eyes. Both players were banned from the hall for life. Calling bingo too early is considered a serious breach of etiquette. Many bingo halls have installed tablet devices with auto daub features which will eliminate false bingo calls.

Many seniors take the game seriously. In New Hampshire police were called to break of two bingo brawlers. Police in Portsmouth, New Hampshire responded to a call that reported “some pushing and shoving” over the sale of Avon cosmetics. A player was setting up a table to sell Avon products during a bingo game and another player took offense. Sgt. Kuffer Kaltenborn of the Portsmouth Police told reporters that “The altercation appears to have been started over the fact that one resident was upsetting another by (selling Avon and disrupting) the scheduled bingo event that occurs.”

The police left the hall but two hours later one of the women called police and said she wanted to press charges. Sgt. Kaltenborn told reporters “A third party alleges that the one that wanted to sell her products grabbed the wrist of the other person who wanted to play bingo. It’s not the victim that alleges the crime. … She’s not sure if she was assaulted or not.” There have been other strange incidents at New Hampshire bingo halls. In 2011 a player brought her mother’s ashes in it to a bingo game for ‘luck.’  The urn containing the ashes was stolen from her car. Fortunately the urn was returned.

In a sheltered housing complex in the UK two women got into a fight when after one of the pensioners attending the game accused another player of shouting “bingo” too early.  The Rotherham North Area Housing champion called the police. Police officers said that this is not the kind of behavior people associate with those 60 and older. Police officer Ellis stated “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 council spokesman said: ‘We have given one woman a tenancy warning about her future conduct.”  To avoid similar situations players should learn to play online bingo. The prizes are larger and there are no physical altercations.

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Try Online Bingo For Free!

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Try Online Bingo For Free!


Try Online Bingo For Free!Bonuses have been a staple for the online bingo industry for a decade. Today fierce competition in the online bingo industry has pushed bonuses to record highs. Bonuses of 500% to 600% are now common. In addition to generous bonus schemes most bingo sites offer players free bingo games. At most sites players receive a fixed amount of free bingo. Some sites do not require a deposit to access the free bingo games. Most bonuses are credited to the player’s account balance.

Of course bingo operators are not in the business of giving away ‘free’ money. Most sites have wagering requirements connected with bonus offers. This means players must wager a certain amount of money before any winnings can be withdrawn. Failure to read and understand the wagering requirements and the terms and conditions are usually the reason for a majority of player complaints and disputes. In most cases bonuses are based on a percentage of the player’s deposit.

Because of the competition in the bingo industry it has never been easier to find sites that allow players to access bingo games without making a deposit. This is a good way for new players to test game software and learn the online version of bingo without risking any money. In most cases players will be asked to register before playing free bingo games. At most sites players are required to provide credit card information along with a physical address.

Bingo operators are not offering free bingo out of a sense of altruism. They are in business to make money and the more players they attract the more money they make. Free bingo is a win win situation for anyone that want to get started playing online bingo. Some sites offer free bingo games with cash prizes. A few years ago many online bingo operators withdrew free no deposit bingo games in favor of cash back offers for registered players. There are still a few bingo sites offering no deposit free bingo but these are rare.

Online bingo is much easier to play than live bingo games. Online bingo players can use the auto daub feature and focus on the action in the chat rooms. Online bingo players can walk away from the games and any winnings will automatically be deposited. Chat rooms enable participants to meet other players from around the world. Most sites offer special chat games for real cash prizes. Because of intense competition times have never been better for online bingo players!

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Spot the Rogue

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Spot the Rogue


Spot the RogueWhen playing live bingo games players have immediate access to the bingo hall manager to resolve any player issues and complaints. Most bingo halls want to guard their reputation at all costs. Face to face interaction puts a player’s mind at ease. The manager knows that the hall is a part of the community and if any wrongdoing takes place the entire community will hear about it. In the online bingo world things are a bit different.

In most cases online bingo sites are not situated in a town center. In many cases the operators are located in another country and face to face interaction is not possible. Some operators have been known to ignore player complaints and some online operators are not as concerned about their reputation as live bingo halls. There are several factors that can undermine the credibility of a bingo site. These include; unnecessarily long payment processing times, nonpayment of legitimate wins, and failure to live up to agreements with affiliates. Other factors include excessive wagering requirements and the use of ‘ghost’ players.

Sometimes it is not clear who to contact if a problem occurs at an online bingo site. At many sites there is no physical address listed. Most websites do not list the actual manager of the virtual bingo hall. Sometimes the player support team has been farmed out and is not in a position to handle problems. Some watchdog sites say that most player issues stem from the player misunderstanding the terms and conditions and wagering requirements. Players should look for sites with terms and conditions written in plain easy to understand English. If they are written in legalese it is probably better to find another site. In the past some sites deliberately misled players but industry competition has put an end to that.

Many complaints are legitimate. Some players have been asked to pay ridiculous fees to withdraw their winnings. At some sites a player’s ‘cashout’ request will go unanswered for weeks and even months! In many cases complaints have been made about bingo sites ‘licensed’ in Costa Rica. These sites say they are ‘licensed’ but they actually have a business license, not a gaming license. According to one source 80% of all player complaints are about sites located in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has no regulatory body for gambling and the country has been a haven for bad actors for years.

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Free Bingo Still Available

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Free Bingo Still Available


At one time playeFree Bingo Still Availablers new to online bingo had to sign up and make a deposit before they could play at most bingo sites. Of course most bingo operators offered generous welcome bonuses usually in the form of a credit to the player’s account. Today these cash bonuses are still available but at most bingo sites new players can take advantage of free bingo offers. Free bingo is not a new concept. When bingo first went online in 1996 most games were free. To play free bingo games players had to provide certain demographic information that was later used for marketing purposes. To make money early bingo sites sold the information to third parties.

Because of fierce competition for new players online bingo operators have made it a lot easier to access free bingo games. Players can try out the site’s game software without risking any of their hard earned dollars and pounds. Some sites still offer no deposit free bingo games but some operators have dropped free bingo games in favor of cash back offers. At many sites players receive a certain amount of free bingo after they sign up. At some sites money won using free bingo bonuses can be withdrawn. There are usually wagering requirements associated with bonuses and new players should read and understand the wagering requirements. At some sites the wagering requirement is as low as 3X while at other sites it may be as high as 10X.

Bingo sites offering huge bonuses are not doing it because they are altruistic. They do it because they want the business and because of industry competition they know they must offer more than other bingo sites to attract new players. This has created a win win situation for new players. Players can use bonuses to try out the games with no risk. At some sites bonuses may be used to play side games like slots, video poker and other casino games while at other the bonuses can only be used for bingo games. Players that are nervous about giving out their banking details can still find free no deposit bingo at several bingo sites.

Online bingo offers players several convenient options. The auto daub feature that will automatically mark their cards. This enables players to play more cards increasing their chances of winning. The auto daub feature allows players more time to participate in the conversations in the chat rooms. Most bingo sites have special chat games and chat room players sometimes have access to special promotions. Online bingo is still booming and most sites now offer mobile applications for players on the go.

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Bingo Operators Want Fair Play

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Bingo Operators Want Fair Play


Bingo Operators Want Fair Play A quiet revolution is taking place in the UK bingo industry. For decades bingo halls were a traditional gathering place for working class women and pensioners. Players would gather once or twice a week in smoke filled bingo halls to play their favorite game. Traditional bingo games were well attended especially in the industrial town in northern England and at seaside resorts like Brighton. The 60s’ and 70s’ have been called the ‘golden age’ of bingo in the UK. Since then bingo has suffered a slow decline. In 2006 tragedy struck the bingo industry in the form of a national smoking ban. Some bingo halls reported a 60% drop in player numbers and dozens of halls were forced to close putting thousands out of work.

In the late 90s’ bingo staged a comeback by adopting new computer technologies. The first internet bingo site went online in 1996 and the rest is history. Software advances enabled operators to offer high quality games. In 2002 there were about 20 online bingo sites and today there are about 350. This has created fierce industry competition that has benefitted players in many ways. Jackpots are higher and operators are constantly creating new promotions and bonuses. The online bingo boom has done little to help the land based bingo industry.  Today about three million people in the UK play online bingo at least twice a week.

After the imposition of the smoking ban several large bingo hall operators launched their own online bingo operations to stay competitive and remain profitable. Recent research by Mintel and other has shown that today’s online bingo audience is primarily female and most players are in the 18-45 age group.  For years the online bingo industry has been subject to high taxation. Bingo operators pay a 20% tax while all other forms of gambling are taxed at 15%. Recently all-party Parliamentary Bingo Group met to discuss the issues faced by the bingo industry. The group was composed of 19 Members of Parliament and 48 members of the UKs Bingo Association.

The Bingo Association works with Bingo Hall operators and lobbies government officials and members of Parliament. The association has been pushing for a more equitable tax rates. Association members have pointed out that online bingo operators pay a 15% tax rate and feel that the 20% rate paid by brick and mortar bingo halls is unfair. Bingo halls are facing difficult times and every month one or two bingo halls are forced to close.

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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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Solution for Alabama Bingo Battle Rejected

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Solution for Alabama Bingo Battle Rejected


Solution for Alabama Bingo Battle RejectedThe battle over electronic bingo in Alabama has lasted for years. The state government has consistently ignored the majority of Alabama residents that think the games should be legal. The state’s attorney general, Luther Strange, has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to finance raids and frivolous court cases. Recently a state legislator suggested a sane solution to the ongoing bingo dispute. State Representative Pebblin Warren said that the state should allow VictoryLand and other non-tribal casinos to offer the same type of gambling machines that are played at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians casinos.

In early May the House Commerce and Small Business Committee held a public hearing about Pebblin’s proposal. The bill by Warren would allow Victoryland to offer games “programmed to play in the same manner as machines used by the Poarch Creek Indians.” During the hearing Warren told committee members that the issue was not about gambling to her. Warren told reporters “This is about fairness. This is about justice.” Warren said it is unfair for VictoryLand to be closed while the three tribal casinos are thriving by offering the same games that are banned at VictoryLand.

Warren said Macon County is suffering economically since the raids that put over 1,000 out of work in an area with high unemployment rates. Warren stated “I don’t think Macon County can survive another six months.” VictoryLand was one of the largest employers in the area. Gambling opponents said that criticized Warren’s bill as a solution to the state’s gambling debate and as a solution for Macon County’s economic problems. Joe Godfrey, executive director of the far right extremist group Alabama Citizens Action Program, stated “The bottom line is VictoryLand has no money. The money comes out of the pockets of losers.” Republican Richard Baughn claimed that gambling “sucked the life” out of his district.

VictoryLand opened last December and was raided in February. The attorney general wants the electronic bingo machines forfeited. State officials and anti-gambling extremists have argued that the machines are illegal and do not fit Alabama’s definition of bingo. Lawyers for VictoryLand say the machines play bingo and the lights and flashy displays are for entertainment. Charlanna W. Spencer, a lawyer for VictoryLand, told the committee “They are not slot machine.” Unfortunately Warren’s bill is dead until the next legislative session. Warren said she’ll be back next year and told reporters “You can be assured this bill is not dead. It will surface.”

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Why Online Bingo is so Popular

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Why Online Bingo is so Popular


Bingo fans today are choosing to play online bingo as opposed to visiting their local bingo hall. The number one reason behind this is the convenience that the internet has to offer. There are plenty online bingo sites which offer a great comfort zone. This is due to online bingo sites remaining open 24 hours a day. Therefore, gamers are able to play whenever it suits them. Players for example can enjoy playing while travelling or even while cooking in the kitchen! Some people also play the game when they have some free time at work. It is therefore clear that no change is needed in your daily routine to take part in the game.

 

Online bingo allows players to play free of cost. This means that players can enjoy playing their favourite game without any risk. However, should they wish to make it even more interesting, they can choose to make a deposit into their account. The free version allows new players to get used to the rules first.

 

Although players have the potential to win large amounts whilst playing in a traditional bingo hall, the amount that can be won online is even more impressive. This is another huge reason why the online version is becoming increasingly popular. Besides this, the price of bingo cards is less to that of land based casinos.

Another reason why online bingo has become so successful is its anonymity. The game has a reputation for being regarded as a female competition. Therefore, anyone who feels embarrassed about playing in front of other people can these days freely enjoy playing online without any gender-discrimination.

 

Typically, the offers made by traditional bingo are fairly similar. However, this isn’t the case online as there is a huge variety of games. Players don’t need to spend much time searching for their game of choice. Online bingo offers 75 ball bingo, 80 ball bingo and 90 ball bingo.

 

With there existing strong competition amongst online bingo sites, the vendors are forced to think of new ideas in order to remain relevant in the market. Jackpot, bonuses and promotions are a substantial part of the sites and have an important role in capturing and maintaining the attention of players. However, it is wise to see which other offers are on the table.

 

One site which any Bingo Player would enjoy is Paddy Power. The established betting site offers the popular game for anyone who wishes to play safely in the comfort of their own home. So if you feel like you want to know what all the fuss is about, play bingo with Paddy Power and you can immediately start enjoying the game wherever and whenever you wish.

 

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