Tag Archive | "live bingo games"

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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The Social Aspects of Bingo

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The Social Aspects of Bingo


Even though the internet and technology has changes the way we work, play, shop, bank and gamble the fact remains that humans are social creatures. Bingo players are much more sociable that most people and most players say they value social interaction more than financial gain while playing bingo. Although most people think that playing online games is a solitary pursuit nothing could be further from the truth especially at online bingo sites. One online bingo site has added webcams to their options providing players with more realistic social interaction. The recent rise in the popularity of online bingo is proof that online players like to socialize.

The social aspect of the game is one of the many reasons bingo is so popular. Social interaction is important to bingo players no matter whether they are playing at a brick and mortar bingo hall or on the internet. In the UK more players are going to bingo halls and some operators have remodeled their halls to appeal to younger players. So far the move has been successful and many women go to bingo halls instead of pubs and clubs. A few bingo halls offer food and drinks and some even have dance halls. Unlike other gamblers bingo players see socializing as their main reason for attending games. Most players view winning cash as a bonus for playing the game. Bingo is easy and once you know the basics you don’t need to learn any complicating and confusing strategies.

Online bingo games also offer players the opportunity to socialize in chat rooms. Chat rooms enable online bingo players to socialize without having to leave the comforts of home. Players make new virtual friends which in many cases have resulted in real world get togethers. One popular UK bingo sites hosts an annual event where chat room friends get together for a day of socializing. Online bingo requires less concentration than live bingo games since most players use the auto daub feature available at most bingo sites. This feature allows players to socialize freely during games. At moist bingo halls talking during games can get you into real trouble.

Online bingo allows players to focus less on how the game is played and provides more time for socializing. The only thing you need to do is purchase bingo cards and watch the game proceed. The chat leader is there to make sure you have a good playing experience. Most sites have chat room rules clearly posted and there are many articles online about bingo chat room etiquette. Some online bingo operators have bingo applications on Facebook and there are usually many players online during games. Even better some of the games are free!

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Bingo Association Appoints New Chairman

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Bingo Association Appoints New Chairman


The UK Bingo Association was formed in 1998 shortly after the merger of the British Bingo Operators‘Association and the Bingo Association of Great Britain. Bingo is a part of British culture and occupies a unique place in the gambling industry in Great Britain. Over three million UK residents play internet bingo and live bingo regularly. The bingo association works with operators, government agencies and regulators, lawmakers, and organizations that address problem gambling. The online bingo industry pioneered the self-exclusion option for problem gamblers. Currently there are 50 bingo proprietors that are members of the association. Members range in size from large operators like Mecca to smaller operators like Carlton Leisure.

The association has also been very active in addressing tax policies related to internet and live bingo. The organization has worked tirelessly to eliminate the unfair tax advantages enjoyed by offshore internet bingo operators and has also addressed the problem of double taxation of live bingo halls. The Bingo Association has been partially responsible for proposed legislation that will tax all wagers made by UK residents at the point of consumption doing away with the unfair tax advantages of offshore operators.

On June 27th the UK Bingo Association announced the appointment of Mark Jones as the new Chairman of the group. Jones is the managing director of Mecca Bingo. Jones joined the Rank Group in 2009 and will keep his current position while serving as chairman of the association. Patrick Duffy, of Palatial Leisure, will assume the role of vice chairman of the association. Mecca has been a member of the association for years and is one of Britain’s largest bingo operators. Mecca operates several clubs throughout Britain and also has a large online bingo operation. Mecca is committed to working with other bingo brands to further the interests of the bingo industry as a whole.

Jones said of his new position “I am delighted to have been appointed to the position of chair of the Bingo Association.” Jones also said his prime focus will be “to continue the Associations campaign to secure a fairer tax deal for bingo and work further towards changing people’s perception of the industry.”  The previous chair Brian Mattingly was appointed in 2009 but his duties at 888 Holdings as Chief Executive Officer has forced him to step down. The Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, Paul Talboys, said of the change “Brian’s contribution to the Association is greatly appreciated and I have really enjoyed working with him. The industry faces numerous challenges, specifically in relation to the securing a fair tax regime. Mark’s experience in the leisure industry will be an immense asset toward navigating the road ahead.”

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Bingo Halls Good For Community Revitalization Says Retail Expert

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Bingo Halls Good For Community Revitalization Says Retail Expert


In Great Britain bingo is more than a game and has become a beloved British institution. In the not so distant past hugs garish bingo halls operated throughout the country. Even the smallest hamlet had its own High Street bingo hall. More UK residents attend bingo games than go to premiere league football matches or attend the cinema. Throughout the country bingo halls provided residents with the opportunity for inexpensive entertainment and socialization. Many people still view bingo as a pastime for the elderly and pensioners but the demographics of bingo have changed during the past decade.

The game’s popularity has not prevented many bingo halls from closing. In Preston the Gala bingo hall will close its doors in February 2012 and 22 jobs will be lost. The operators blame ‘difficult trading conditions’ for the closure. Since 2006 the UK has lost 76 bingo clubs including 12 that closed this year. If the game is so popular then why are bingo halls closing? A spokesman for the Bingo Association told reporters that bingo is “most highly taxed form of gambling in the UK” and that the tax rate for other forms of gambling, including online bingo, is 15%. The unnamed spokesman went on to say “This seems grossly unfair, particularly bearing in mind it’s a very safe form of gambling. They’re taxing it in such a way it limps along in a disadvantaged state, in comparison to other parts of the gambling sector.”

Local licensing fees have also taken their toll. Recently the government gave individual towns and cities the right to set their own licensing fees. In many cases fees tripled and even quadrupled. Even worse the government imposed higher taxes on electronic slot games and fruit machines and some bingo halls earn 70% of their total revenues from the popular gaming machines. Machines are taxed individually and several bingo halls have hundreds of slot machines. Recently Mary Portas, one of London’s leading retail experts, said that bingo halls are a good way to kick start community regeneration.

Paul Talboys, chief executive of the Bingo Association, stated “We very much welcome Mary Portas’ endorsement of bingo as a brilliant way to bring people together. Some may wonder about Mary’s reference to bingo as a possible means of re-building communities and increasing social interaction, however, as many bingo players will testify, this is very much on target. Talboys went on to point out the importance of bingo halls to local communities and told reporters “Bingo has long been, and continues to be, a bedrock of many communities across the UK, providing both a social centre and community, that is open to all.”

Competition from online bingo has been a double edged sword. After the smoking ban many players switched to online bingo. Online bingo has attracted young players and many of these players have developed an interest in live bingo games as a source of entertainment. Hopefully the new generation of bingo players will ensure thwe survival of the game for years to come.

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The Health Benefits of Bingo

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The Health Benefits of Bingo


Most people play bingo for the social networking opportunities the game provides. For most players winning is a secondary consideration. Now players have another good reason to play bingo; for their health. A recent university study points out that bingo provides several benefits for players. Among these are enhanced hand eye coordination and sharper cognitive abilities. Not only that but other studies have shown that bingo can reduce stress levels, lowers the level of depression associated with a serious illness and can actually significantly shorten hospital stays. The venerable British Medical Association has given their seal of approval to bingo’s benefits.

112 people participated in the study from two age groups. Subjects were divided into two age groups; those from 18 to 40 and those from 60 to 82. Experimenters went to great lengths to ensure the study was totally random. Both groups contained bingo players and non bingo players. Tests were given to measure cognitive ability and mental agility. Not surprisingly the study showed that bingo players were faster and more accurate than their non playing counterparts. One very interesting part of the study found that those in the 60 to 82 age group actually performed more accurately than the younger age group on certain tests. Oddly the study found that bingo players were actually more aware of their surrounding and the passage of time. Bingo players had to stay sharp to mark the numbers on their cards. Some experts said that online bingo could provide the same benefits provided players marked their virtual bingo cards manually.

Some of the tests were designed to measure hand eye coordination. Because of the rapidity with which numbers are called during a game bingo players must develop excellent hand eye coordination to be successful. Players must also verify that the numbers marked on the bingo cards are accurate. This must be done in a split second because in most bingo games the numbers are called rapidly. This mental exercise helps to keep the mind sharp and accurate. One study done in the UK suggested that playing bingo could delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms. Even better the same study found that playing bingo can significantly shorten hospital stays.

In addition to all of the game’s benefits bingo is fun to play cash bingo. It is also one of the easiest games to learn. Online bingo is widely available and can provide players with the same cognitive benefits as live bingo games.

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Traditional Bingo is Back !


According to the British newspaper the Daily Star bingo is back. The article points out that live bingo has been down on its luck since the smoking ban and the recession. Other factors contributing to the near demise of live bingo include high taxation and increased licensing fees for bingo halls imposed by local governments. Last year about two bingo halls closed every week throughout the UK. There are still about three million people who attend bingo games regularly and some current figures point to an increase in the number of punters attending live bingo games.

Bingo jackpots can be huge and it is not uncommon to see jackpots of £250,000 ($408,040.77 USD) or more.  Bingo has been a popular game in the UK since the post war years and is considered a part of British culture. Gala Bingo managing director Simon Wykes told reporters, “It is ingrained in our culture. In the UK, we love to meet up with our friends, have a chat, a few drinks and a flutter. It’s this universal appeal that’s the key to its popularity. The smoking ban and the recession have meant we have thought again about what we’re good at. There’s a real buzz when you go to bingo. There’s no doubt that the game is back.”

The article goes on to follow three extremely attractive young ladies to a local bingo hall for an evening out with friends. The women, all in their late teens and early twenties are typical of the new generation of bingo players. A majority of bingo players are female and women dominate bingo halls and internet bingo sites. Vanessa Lansom, 24 stated, “It’s a great way to spend a fun evening. You can catch up with your mates, have a few drinks and hopefully win some cash.” Players have a choice of traditional bingo cards or electronic bingo screens. The ladies play 90 ball bingo which is the most popular bingo game in the UK and some of its former colonies like New Zealand and Australia.

The winnings for the three ladies totaled £200 pounds. ($326.518 USD) All three ladies celebrated with drinks.  Bingo has been around for years and many of the new players at bingo halls were introduced to the game at bingo sites. Bingo halls say that most of the new players are young and usually in their early 20’s. Most younger players participate in games at both live bingo halls and at online bingo sites. The new generation of bingo players ensures the survival of bingo for decades to come.

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Young Players Ensure Online Bingo’s Profitability


Research figures in the UK indicate that bingo sites like BingoHouse attract a much younger group of players. Study after study has confirmed this and the internet bingo industry is pleased with the new group of younger players who insure that the industry will remain profitable. About 40% of new players at bingo sites are new to the game. In the UK, bingo is no longer thought of as a game for the elderly and pensioners. Figures have also shown that the growth of the internet bingo industry has not cannibalized live bingo. In fact many younger online bingo players have started to attend live bingo games at local bingo clubs. Younger players have changed the face of many land based bingo clubs and in some of the larger cities certain bingo clubs have become ‘trendy’ with younger players and even celebrities put in an appearance at bingo clubs from time to time.

Most of the under 30 age group has grown up socializing on the internet which makes an online bingo game perfect for younger players. Most online bingo sites provide players with individual chat rooms and many bingo sites also have Facebook pages for players to socialize and leave messages for each other. Many bingo sites have become the preferred way for friends to stay in touch with each other. Those who play internet bingo games can post photos and share news and most bingo sites have photo galleries for players and special winners galleries.

Figures show that despite the decline of live bingo in the UK over 100 million people still play live bingo regularly around the world. Many younger players who would never have dreamed of setting foot in a live bingo hall now attend bingo games with friends and relatives. Most of these younger players became acquainted with bingo at bingo sites and are now devoted and loyal players at local bingo halls. For players at bingo sites industry experts are predicting big changes in 2011. More bingo sites will be offering mobile bingo games so players can play their favorite game anywhere they have internet access. Many sites will add new interactive technologies such as web cams and live bingo callers. Many bingo sites have added live video feeds, social media tools and some are even adding 3D technology. Bonuses will get bigger too and more bingo sites will be offering free bingo to new players. Younger players insure that online bingo will be a profitable business for many years to come.

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The Health Benefits of Bingo Games


For years physicians and health care professionals have known that playing bingo has significant benefits, especially for seniors. Donald H. Kausler and Barry C. Kausler stated in the preface of the 2001 edition of The Graying of America: An Encyclopedia of Aging, Health, Mind and Behavior that; “playing bingo, long considered to be simply a recreational pastime for senior citizens, may actually train elderly players to improve their attentional skills”. Other studies have borne this out and recently the British Medical Association recommended that National Health Service hospitals in the UK offer patients bingo games as a respite from boredom and depression.

In 2002 Julie Winstone from the Centre for Visual Cognition at Southampton University’s Psychology Department conducted a study of bingo’s effects and concluded that bingo can help the speed and precision of short-term memory and aids in countering several aging effects. The study showed that people who played bingo regularly had better concentration abilities and better short term memory than those who did crossword puzzles or played chess, backgammon or card games like bridge. One researcher actually developed a bingo game designed to slow the effects of dementia and many doctors believe playing bingo can slow or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Many bingo news sites covered these studies thoroughly.

Online games at bingo sites have the same benefits as live bingo games. Online bingo requires the same set of skills as the live version and the games available at bingo sites are perfect for those with limited mobility. According to one bingo news site the main benefits provided by live and online bingo include;
The maintenance of memory skills
The improvement of concentration
The opportunity for social interaction

The online bingo and live bingo industries have made sure the benefits of bingo have been well publicized. Bingo news sites routinely publish new studies as they happen. The recent recommendation by the British Medical Association has received extensive coverage by bingo news websites. It has been demonstrated time and time again that bingo helps seniors to stay mentally and intellectually active providing seniors with a better overall quality of life. For seniors on a fixed income and those with limited mobility internet bingo is a good solution. No special computer skills are required and most seniors can learn the online version of the game in minutes. Who knew that seniors could stay healthy while having fun at the same time!

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VAT Tax Hits UK Bingo Halls


Live bingo halls in the UK could see a reduction in profits after the new Value Added Tax (VAT) goes into effect this year. As of January 4th 2011 the VAT increased from 17.5 %to 20%. Thanks to the additional tax having fun will now be even more expensive. While the increase sounds small for some people it could be enough to curtail their attendance at live bingo games. The new VAT tax increase has received extensive coverage from bingo news and bingo review websites.

Obviously bingo hall operators are not pleased with the increase. Some players have already indicated they will reduce their attendance at live bingo games. Jackie Jakes is a bingo fanatic and told the Mirror newspaper, “I use to play live bingo at least twice a week and sometimes more. I have had to cut down to one night per week for the last six months.” The increase in the VAT tax will also make alcohol, petrol and clothes more expensive. Bingo has always been seen as an inexpensive game where players can relax with a drink and socialize with friends and the increase in prices is sure to cause many players to cut back on their attendance at games.

According to several bingo sites the increase comes at a time when live bingo halls are just starting to recover from the effects of the smoking ban imposed in 2006. The increased popularity of internet bingo among younger players has caused many to start playing the live version of the game at local bingo halls. Many bingo news sites have reported that instead of harming live bingo internet bingo has created a whole new generation of younger bingo fans.

In addition to hurting bingo halls economic experts say the increase in VAT taxes will cost jobs and cut consumer spending. The increase means that what now costs £100 ($154.77USD) will be £2.13 ($3.29 USD) more expensive, a significant increase for many. Bingo news sites have pointed out that the increase will seriously affect pensioners on fixed incomes. Pensioners account for a large number of live bingo players and many will be forced to cut back or stop playing altogether. The increase will push the price of petrol to record highs and low income families will be the most affected. At present no figures are available to determine the damage to bingo halls by the tax increase but bingo news websites are watching the developments closely.

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