Tag Archive | "economy"

How Online Bingo Benefits the Economy

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How Online Bingo Benefits the Economy

While the recent economic crisis hurt many industries the online gaming industry seems recession proof. Online bingo and gaming companies consistently reported positive figures even during the height of the global recession. History has shown that gambling always increases during times of economic crisis. Gamblers hope to win enough money to get themselves out of their financial straits. Other factors are also in play such as improved software and incentives designed to lure players. Volatility in currency markets prompted some players to take advantage of favorable exchange rates at offshore bingo and gaming sites.

In the UK the online bingo industry is the fastest growing sector of the internet gambling industry. Bingo operators have improved their selection and quality of their games. Mobile bingo has become immensely popular with players. The recession has caused changes in consumer spending habits. People are seeking less expansive forms of entertainment and online bingo is a perfect fit for these players. Strangely enough some analysts say that the recession has been responsible for the growth of online bingo and other forms of web based entertainment.

Although most bingo players are playing for fun and entertainment there is also the lure of large jackpots at many online bingo sites. Several online bingo players have won life changing amounts of money. Online bingo has also benefitted the UK economy. The bingo industry has created thousands of living wage jobs and contributes a significant amount to the government in the form of taxes. Game creators, advertising and marketing firms have been kept busy by the demands of the expanding online bingo industry.

In the United States the door has been opened for the online gaming industry. The prospect of entering the lucrative US market has excited gaming operators around the world. The US market could stimulate even more growth and create thousands of new jobs for the online bingo and gaming industry. Several states have announced plans to offer online gaming licenses. Many states are going to allow online poker but most gaming industry experts believe that online bingo games and other casino games will be available in the US in the near future.

Online gaming will provide states with extra revenues and may help to avoid tax increases. The online bingo and gaming industry in the UK has clearly shown that economies benefit from legal internet gaming. The UK was one of the first to regulate online gaming and their policies could easily serve as a template for regulators in the United States.

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Is Online Bingo Hurting the Economy ?

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Is Online Bingo Hurting the Economy ?

Since the global recession hit employers are demanding more productivity from workers. In the United States workers are working longer hours for less money and leisure time has been cut to a minimum. It is imperative that corporations get the most value and effort from their employees. Because of long workdays and stress some employees will take unauthorized breaks whenever they can get away with it. Sitting in a cubicle for hours in front of a computer screen can be boring at times and some employees surf the internet or play games on their computers and smart phones as a way to relieve the boredom. In the UK it is common for some employees to play online bingo during work hours.

Some experts say that wasted employee time damages the economy as a whole. One popular online bingo site did a survey and the results were not pleasing to employers. The results are sure to raise the ire of bosses throughout the UK. The survey showed that 55% of those surveyed played online bingo on their iphones while at work. The iphone is one of the most popular mobile devices and give employees the ability to play bingo and other casino games at work without using the company’s computer system. Many employers have software in place to prevent unauthorized surfing in the workplace.

A majority of the survey’s respondents said that they spent about an hour every week playing games when they should have been working. For corporations with thousands of employees the wasted time quickly adds up and affects the company’s overall performance. It has been estimated that if every worker in the UK engaged in similar behavior that 57 million work hours are lost every year. For employers this would be a massive drain on resources and could cost corporations millions, if not billions, in wasted resources. Even worse, the wasted time could easily adversely affect the nation’s economy and greatly lower productivity.

Online bingo players are not solely to blame for this workplace phenomenon. Today there are hundreds of websites and mobile applications that enable workers to play online bingo and other casino games. A majority of workers do their job as expected but some succumb to temptation. Online bingo can provide players with hours of fun, excitement and socialization but it has no place in the workplace.

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Bingo Bucks the Recession, Adds New Jobs

In seems like every time we turn on the news all we hear about is the current recession. Most of us are tired of hearing words like economic crisis, recession, credit crunch and high unemployment. Factories have shipped millions of jobs overseas never to return and the foreclosure rate on both sides of the Atlantic is at record highs. The US may default on their debt unless some sort of agreement is reached between two warring political parties. In the EU deficits in Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal threaten to undermine the Euro. Believe it or not there is one industry that has consistently posted positive figures throughout the ongoing recession; online bingo.

Not only has the bingo industry managed to survive it has actually created thousands of new jobs during the recession. The online bingo industry has been described by some financial experts as ‘recession resistant.’ At the height of the global recession bingo operators expanded their operations into new markets such as Scandinavia, Spain and Italy. In the UK, which is the world’s largest online bingo market, new bingo sites are launched almost weekly. The bingo industry has attracted big investors as evidenced by the recent takeover of Rank Group by Malaysia-based Guoco.

The Rank Group whose operations include Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor casinos has announced plans to add an additional 1,400 new jobs. Mecca is one of the most well known bingo brands in the UK and the company also operates an online bingo site. The new recruitment initiative will take place over the next three years as part of a plan to operate the company’s new G-Casino format. Rank’s plan is to build on their already large casino portfolio and hope to have 45 casinos in operation in the UK by 2015. Locations for the new G Casinos include Stockton-on-Tees, Manchester and New Brighton in Merseyside. The new casinos will have poker rooms, casino tables and bars and restaurants. The casinos will be designed to appeal to younger players and may also feature live entertainment.

The bingo boom is not limited to Rank. Recent bingo news reports indicate that Tombola bingo has added 30 new employees and is actively looking for 30 more. Dawn Clayton, marketing manager at Tombola said that the new jobs are proof that the bingo industry is thriving. While the recovery in the general economy has been slow at bingo sites it would appear that the recession is over at last.

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“Leave Bingo Alone’ Say Gaming Experts

In the UK and Europe many governments are imposing austerity measures designed to address massive budget deficits and maintain the credit ratings of governments. In Greece new austerity measures have been very unpopular and have resulted in riots in the streets of Athens. In the UK things are more subdued but the new coalition government is looking for new revenue streams and may target online bingo games. Recent reports have indicated that the new government may impose new restrictions on offshore bingo sites doing business in the UK. One gaming expert believes the government should be wary of imposing new taxes on the online bingo industry. Jesper Soegaard, the founder of BettingExpert.com, believes that players could face fewer choices if new regulations and taxes are imposed on bingo sites. Mr. Soegaard stated “In the current economic climate, with the government desperately seeking to raise funds in every area available to them, it is unsurprising that an overhaul in gambling regulations is being discussed.” He also said that new regulations would be “catastrophic” for the online bingo industry.

Soegaard believes that the real victims of new taxation and regulation would be hard working gregarious online bingo players.  He also believes that smaller bingo operators would not survive the new business climate imposed by the government resulting in fewer choices for players. Currently offshore bingo sites do not pay taxes in the UK and are free to advertise provided they are located in ‘white list’ licensing jurisdictions. Most offshore bingo sites pay about 1% in taxes as opposed to the 20% tax rate paid by bingo sites licensed and located in the UK.  This gives offshore bingo operators a significant competitive advantage over their British counterparts. According to unnamed sources the government plans to impose the following restrictions on offshore bingo sites;
Offshore bingo sites must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Offshore bingo sites will be subject to the same taxes as sites located in the UK.
The use of credit cards may be banned.

Once the new gambling laws are imposed most gaming experts believe that smaller bingo operators will be forced to cease operations. While this will result in fewer choices for players many say the new business climate will actually benefit most players. Players will be protected by the gambling commission and while some of the changes may be unpopular with operators’ British bingo players will enjoy a high level of protection.

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Bingo Sites May Cut Back on Bonuses, Player Perks

For years players at bingo sites have enjoyed a variety of player perks and benefits. Free bingo games, hefty deposit bonuses, sizable jackpots and ongoing promotions have all been the rule in the industry. Now several industry experts say that in the near future online bingo players could see those same benefits either cut back or withdrawn altogether. During the last few years the number of bingo sites has tripled and there are now over 400 bingo sites targeting the UK market. Intense competition has benefitted players as bingo sites try to outdo each other by offering a staggering variety if lucrative bingo bonuses and offers.

One indication that the good times may be over is the fact that many bingo sites are tightening the terms and conditions associated with bonuses and many have increased wagering requirements for players to access bonus money. Many bingo sites have withdrawn free bingo offers in favor of cash back options and bonuses for established loyal players. While player acquisition remains important many bingo sites are focusing on player retention. Studies have shown that bingo has the highest player retention rate of any form of online gambling.

New gambling laws and licensing requirements are bound to have an effect on the internet bingo industry. Currently offshore operators have a distinct advantage over bingo sites licensed in the UK. Offshore sites are taxed at an average rate of 1% while UK sites are taxed 15%. New licensing and tax requirements may force smaller independent bingo sites to lower bonuses and jackpots to remain profitable. Since smaller operators have to compete with large well funded bingo operators many smaller bingo sites will most likely disappear. Cash strapped governments are looking for new revenue streams and the UK is no exception. It is only a matter of time before the new rules and tax requirements are implemented.

New taxes and licensing requirements will push the cost of doing business much higher. This year will probably bring many consolidation and mergers which will bring lower levels of competition. Online bingo has benefitted from a down economy that prompted many to seek low cost home based entertainment and online bingo fit that need perfectly. Now that the economy is recovering many players may cut back on internet bingo games in favor of other activities. This will put even more pressure on bingo operators. For now many in the industry are wondering what the rest of the year will bring?

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