Tag Archive | "online bingo industry"

How to Spot a Rogue Casino

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How to Spot a Rogue Casino


How to Spot a Rogue CasinoThe online bingo industry has been relatively free of scandals and criminal activity. For the most part online bingo sites are safe and the games are fair and random. Unfortunately there are a few bad apples out there but they are usually quickly discovered and put out of business. The UK has a large regulated online gaming industry and online gamblers in the UK enjoy a level of consumer protection that is the envy of gamblers in unregulated jurisdictions. Rogue bingo sites and casinos are easy to spot and here are a few tips to help players ‘spot the rogue.’

Google is a gamblers best friend. Google is easily the best browser for any kind of online research. Players should never search for a casino name. Most likely they will see a long list of sites promoting the casino. It is better to type in other words along with the casino’s name such as “casino x problems” and so on.

Players should take a long hard look at the casino’s website. Are there spelling and grammar mistakes? If so it is probably better to avoid the casino. Avoid sites with generic names. A website name can reflect on how many resources the operator has invested in while setting up the site. The site should contain the following information;
The software provider.
The licensing jurisdiction.
What company owns and operates the casino.

Most reputable casinos display their software provider prominently on the home page. If a casino does not divulge its software it should be considered a red flag. Licensing jurisdictions are important. Most sites from Central America are unlicensed. Use extra caution when dealing with casinos licensed in Central America.

Make sure the terms and conditions are written in easy to understand English. Rogue casinos will attempt to outsmart players. The old adage “if it’s too good to be true it probably is” can be applied to many bonus offers. Make sure to get everything in writing. Accepting bonus offers is not obligatory at most reputable gaming sites.

Players need to be alert and do their homework before signing up at any online bingo site or casino.

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Bingo Overtakes Poker as Revenue Generator

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Bingo Overtakes Poker as Revenue Generator


Bingo Overtakes Poker as Revenue GeneratorPlaytech is one of the largest gaming software development companies and was founded in 1999. Playtech provides software for online bingo and poker sites, scratch games, mobile applications and live dealer games. Playtech is a publicly traded company and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2006. Playtech has 1,000 employees in several countries. Playtech is heavily involved in the online bingo industry and in the company’s first quarter report Playtech said that online bingo now generated more revenue for the company than online poker.

Poker revenues declined by 18% while bingo revenues rose 9% compared to first quarter reports in 2012. Bingo now generates €4.8 million compared to poker’s €4.4 million. Both figures are dwarfed by the company’s total revenue figures of €87.5; up 16% from 2012. Playtech’s main income generators are casino operations that generated €44.1 and services generated €26.3 million. Playtech CEO Mor Weitzer said that the company’s deal with bookmaker Ladbrokes as one of Playtech’s major accomplishments. Weitzer stated “Our landmark transaction with Ladbrokes, under which Playtech will provide its full product suite and marketing advisory services, clearly demonstrates Playtech’s unique position.”

The deal means that Ladbrokes, an old and well established British bookmaker, will move into online poker and will use several of Playtech’s services. Ladbrokes was founded way back in 1886 and adopted the name Ladbrokes in 1902. Ladbrokes is the largest retail bookmaker in the world and has 4,200 betting shops in the UK and Ireland. The company also has shops in Spain and Belgium. Ladbrokes is currently involved in several online gaming sectors including online bingo.

William Hill has bought back Playtech’s interest in William Hill online and remains a customer using Playtech’s services team. The Buyback of Playtech’s interest made a “cash-on-cash return of more than 3.5 times, excluding software royalties.” Playtech received a generous return on the company’s investment in William Hill Online. William Hill posted an 8% increase in the company’s first quarter profits. A 1.5% fall in the share price accompanied the first quarter release but investors will be pleased to learn that Playtech is up by 46% since the beginning of the year.

Bingo has been growing in popularity in the UK in recent years. Gaming experts say that mobile gaming is driving growth in all igaming sectors. Social gaming has also been a hot industry topic.

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A True Online Gaming Industry Pioneer


Every industry must have its own pioneers. The auto industry had Henry Ford, the oil industry had John D Rockefeller and the computer and software industry had Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs. In the online gambling and casino sector one of the pioneers has been Fifty-one-year-old Mark Blandford who was a pioneer bookmaker in the UK. Blandford developed his taste for gambling when his father would take him to horse races. Listening to his father and friends Blandford learned there was more money to be made in bookmaking than in betting on horses.

Blandford set up his first betting shop when he was only 27 and soon had a small chain of shops. Blandford learned from a neighbor that the EU was engaged in an e-commerce project. His curiosity was aroused and he searched the keywords “sports betting” and “bookmaking” in a search engine and found few results. Blandford saw an opportunity and jumped on it immediately. In 1998 Blandford set up the online betting site Sportingbet. Blandford believed the industry would thrive if it was regulated. Blandford stated “If it is not legal, you can’t control anything. The underworld doesn’t care if children are involved.”

Sportingbet acquired its American competitors which was then the largest online gambling market in the world. Sportingbet has a market value of $3.1 billion US. In 2006 Sportingbet’s chairman Peter Dicks was arrested in the US thanks to a warrant by a publicity seeking federal prosecutor. After the US passed the ill advised UIGEA Sportingbet was forced to leave the US market.

Blandford was a true pioneer in the online gaming industry. He paved the way for a regulated online gaming market in the UK and the online bingo industry owes Blandford a debt of gratitude. Thanks to his efforts the UK now has the world’s most active online gaming market in the world. The UK also has the largest online bingo market thanks to regulation. British punters enjoy a level of consumer protections not available to players in other countries. Mark Blandford is still in the industry and his influence is still felt.

 

By,

Jeff Davis

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Online Gaming Companies predict Great Fourth Quarter

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Online Gaming Companies predict Great Fourth Quarter


Online gaming is big business and recent business news reports would indicate that online gambling, including online bingo is thriving in the midst of the worst recession since World War Two. Online gaming giant Playtech said that it is seeing increased daily traffic and is well positioned to take advantage of newly regulated gaming markets. Playtech CEO Mor Weizer stated, “I believe that regulation will change the industry and is already changing the industry and therefore we would like to establish ourselves as the largest and most influential leading software provider in regulated markets.” Since Italy regulated online gaming in 2008 Playtech has seen an eight fold increase in Italian activity Weizer also said that he sees the opening of other regulated markets as a driver for further growth in the online poker business. Playtech is also an important provider of online bingo software used by many bingo sites.

There are mixed feelings about regulated internet gambling markets. PartyGaming chief executive Jim Ryan said that regulation across Europe will level the playing field for the online gaming industry. Stockbroker Davy said that the theory that online gambling is helped by regulation is not always true. Playtech which is the fourth largest online gaming company by market capitalization said plans to move to main markets are on track. Playtech’s third quarter gross income was 41.3 million Euros, (about $57,638,838.98 USD) up 30% this year as strong performances by its bingo and casino businesses offset losses in the poker sector.

Playtech is not the only gaming company to report growth. Online gaming firm 888 also reported positive figures and optimism. The recent television ad campaign in the UK for 888’s poker and online bingo brands were partially credited for the positive figures and outlook. The gaming group said it has 8.2 million casino, poker and sport real money accounts and increase of 21% over last year. In October 888’s average daily income increased by about 6%. 888 CEO Gigi Levy told Reuters News Agency, “The fourth quarter has started well and given that our various business initiatives are progressing as planned we expect to grow the business further during the year.” 888 who calls itself the world’s largest online gaming company said that they have been awarded a license by the French government to operate poker and betting websites. The future looks bright for the online bingo industry. Should the US re legalize online gambling and bingo the online gaming market would probably explode.

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Online Bingo, Gambling Gain Credibility

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Online Bingo, Gambling Gain Credibility


The appearance of the first online casinos in the mid 90’s heralded a new era in the gambling industry. Shortly after the first poker sites went online a few online bingo sites appeared. At first online bingo sites were not very popular and graphic and animation capabilities were limited by the technology available at the time. The online gambling industry was born and since then has become one of the most popular pastimes on the internet. Amazingly enough some of the first online casinos are still operating and making money.

In 1996 the first online bingo game known as ‘bingo zone’ was launched. To play the free bingo games players had to provide certain demographic information and in turn members would agree to receive targeted advertisements. In the early years of online bingo most bingo sites required [players to download game software. Although many players found the downloads to be inconvenient and time consuming the software provided players with higher quality bingo games. In later years most online bingo operators switched to JavaScript or Adobe Flash to provide instant game access with no downloads.

As with most new markets some less than scrupulous operators appeared on the scene. Over the years several conmen plied their trade on the internet making many people suspicious of the whole industry. The press has widely publicized isolated frauds and some cases of gambling ‘addiction’ further damaging the reputation of the industry. Fortunately for the online bingo industry one country decided to tax and regulate online bingo and gaming instead of taking a prohibitionist approach. The UK gambling act of 2005 established a gambling commission that is responsible for licensing and regulating online bingo sites and casinos.

In recent years the online bingo and gaming industry has developed a reputation for honesty and fair dealing. At online bingo sites there have been no security breaches. Because of this player numbers have grown and in the UK about three million people play online bingo and millions more gamble at licensed online casinos. Many countries that are members of the European Union have established their own licensing regimes. Most licensing jurisdictions require game software to be tested regularly and have strict regulations in place to govern financial transactions. Today the online bingo and gambling industry has grown and many companies are now traded on global stock exchanges giving players an extra measure of protection.

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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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How To Find Online Bingo Jobs

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How To Find Online Bingo Jobs


Throughout the global recession there was one industry that actually expanded and created jobs; online bingo. During the period from 2007 to 2011 online bingo operators reported an 80% increase in player numbers. The rise in player numbers enabled the industry to expand and provide employment opportunities in many related fields. The online bingo industry has created jobs for marketers, software and game developers, television ad producers, chat hosts, customer support staff, internet security experts and in many other related fields.

Current job listings at one of the largest online bingo operators include a customer retention manager, brand manager, affiliate executive, customer retention analyst and a second affiliate manager position. Other available jobs include a service delivery executive, Financial Controller, Compliance & Information Security Executive, Business Intelligence Technical Analyst, Management Accountant, Web Analyst, Bingo Player Development Manager and a Bingo Commercial Analyst. As can be seen bingo operators are seeking employees with a wide range of skills.

For example affiliate marketing is very important to any web based business. The marketing concept is relatively new. Basically affiliate marketing is a performance based marketing strategy where one business rewards another for each site visitor or player sent by the affiliate. In most cases if the visitor signs up and makes a deposit the affiliate receives more money for the transaction. Affiliate marketing has created a new industry that includes affiliate management agencies and other affiliate marketing experts.

Chat host job listings are common. Chat hosts, or managers, are required to keep conversations going during games, keep the conversation civil, congratulate winners and make sure that players have a good bingo experience. Chat hosts are so important to the industry that there is now an annual award for the best chat host. Customer service skills are essential because chat hosts may be asked to settle disputes between players and must be able to answer questions about site policies and rules. Generally chat hosts work from home and have flexible hours making it a popular job option. Multi lingual chat hosts are in great demand and current listings are looking for chat hosts that speak Italian, Dutch, Spanish and French.

For those looking for jobs in the online bingo industry the corporate websites of the various bingo operators is a good place to start. Generally all available jobs will be listed along with the necessary requirements and qualifications. Good luck and good hunting!

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Slingo CEO Scheduled to Speak at Two iGaming Events

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Slingo CEO Scheduled to Speak at Two iGaming Events


Slingo is an online multiplayer game invented by Slingo Inc. in 1995. The popular game is a combination of slots and bingo. The game enjoys immense popularity and has been played by millions. Slingo Inc. was established in 1996 and was one of the first companies offering casual online games. The company has grown into one the largest cross media gaming companies in the world. The company develops and licenses games for the Slingo brand. The company’s offerings include casual and social games, casino slot machines, lottery tickets, table games and television programming. This year Slingo partnered with game developed Zynga to create Zynga Slingo for Facebook. Zynga Slingo quickly became one of the most popular games among Facebook users. Slingo games reach about 55 million players via casino slots, online, retail, mobile and other gaming platforms.

Recent news reports say that Slingo’s CEO Rich Roberts will be participating in two upcoming iGaming events. Roberts will be at the 12 th Annual Global iGaming Summit & Expo and the 7 th Annual Online Bingo Summit. Since the company’s founding Slingo has established itself as a premier gaming brand. The company offers multiple entertainment platforms which includes state lottery games and casino slot games. Under Robert’s tenure the company has established itself as an industry leader. Roberts will speak at the 12 th Annual Global iGaming Summit & Expo in San Francisco and will discuss strategies for monetizing skill, casual and social games. At the Online Bingo Summit in London Roberts will be one of four expert panelists discussing the “Future of Online Bingo.”

Slingo is played by 55 million players and the game is available through a variety of gaming platforms. Gaming platforms include online, mobile, casino slots and retail. Over 50 million Slingo games have been downloaded and about 5 billion Slingo games have been played online. Currently Zynga Slingo on Facebook has 14 million active monthly users. The game has 4 million daily users making the game one of Facebook’s fastest growing games. 80% of the Facebook Slingo players are women and spend an average of 34 minutes per visit. The rapid growth of Facebook Slingo has benefitted Slingo’s advertising partners.

The online bingo industry is looking forward to this year’s bingo summit. There will be workshops and several panel discussions that will help online bingo operators to discover new ways to attract new players and retain established players. Slingo’s CEO Roberts is sure to make a great contribution to this much anticipated event.

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Online Bingo and the 2012 UK Budget

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Online Bingo and the 2012 UK Budget


Last Tuesday Chancellor Osborne revealed the new UK budget and the bingo industry has good reason to be concerned. One change that will hit land based operators hard is the Machine Games Duty (MGD) which will reduce profits greatly. Currently bingo hall operators report that as much as 70% of all revenues are generated by slots and fruit machines. Pub owners have also voiced their objections to the higher taxes. The bingo industry is already taxed at a higher rate than any other form of gambling and the new Machine Duty will offset and gains made from double tax relief. Although the taxes for bingo halls were decreased bingo hall operators will actually pay more because of the machine duty. A spokesman for the Bingo Associated stated “This new duty will help ensure that bingo’s potential for growth is substantially reduced, with some smaller independent operators seeing potential growth translated to contraction.”

Even worse, last year bingo halls faced much higher rates for licenses. In some cities the town councils raised the rates from hundreds of pounds annually to thousands. The new machine duty will levy a tax of 20% on the primo source of revenue for bingo clubs. Starting in February 2013 the new tax goes into effect. The effect of the new tax could be disastrous for smaller bingo halls that may be forced to close putting many out of work. Some in the industry consider the new taxes as another assault by the tory government on anything enjoyed by the working classes in the UK.

There are also big changes in store for the online bingo industry. Unlike land based halls online bingo operators have been given more time to prepare for the changes. The new taxes on internet bingo operators will not go into effect until December 2014. The policy shift will affect all online bingo operators and the new 15% taxes will be levied at the point of consumption. This will affect all online bingo sites that target British players. Many operators moved offshore to take advantage of favorable tax rates.

Online bingo operators licensed in the UK favor the new tax saying it will level the playing field. Currently offshore sites have a big advantage because of low tax rates. The new taxes will also help problem gamblers and will provide more funding for gambling addiction treatment programs. Although it is too soon to see just what effect the new policies will have on the industry bingo operators expect big changes.

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UK Bingo Operators Not Happy With Facebook’s New Bingo Games

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UK Bingo Operators Not Happy With Facebook’s New Bingo Games


With 800 users around the globe Facebook is the undisputed leader in social networking. For young people Facebook is an aspect of daily life and anyone can easily set up their own Facebook page. Facebook users can also play a variety of games on the site. In January when Facebook announced plans to launch real money bingo games on the site many online bingo operators saw the move as a serious threat. In fact, Facebook’s decision was a matter of grave concern for UK based online bingo operators. Many online gaming operators opposed the move saying it would encourage underage gambling but these claims were dismissed as hypocritical and blatant self-interest. Opponents of the underage gambling concerns say that since online bingo operators and other gaming sites advertise their services on Facebook the concerns are hypocritical.

Industry competition in the internet bingo industry is fierce and Facebook online bingo games could easily be seen as a major threat to the industry. In February social gaming giant Zynga announced the launch of their own version of bingo on Facebook. Zynga has had great success with Farmville and Zynga poker on Facebook. Until last year Facebook prohibited any advertisements for internet gambling services but has now reversed course. Currently online bingo operators outside of the United States may advertise their services on Facebook. Facebook guaranteed that gambling ads would only be shown to users over 18. Many online bingo operators were quick to take advantage of Facebook’s potential as a new advertising medium. When Facebook announced plans to offer their own bingo games many advertisers withdrew their ads on Facebook.

The online bingo industry has good cause to fear Facebook’s latest move. One senior executive at a major player in the online bingo industry pointed out the advantages Facebook has over its competitors. The unnamed executive pointed out that advertising online bingo services and products is very expensive and even after spending millions bingo operators cannot be sure they are reaching their targeted audiences. Statistics show that over 50% of the UK population has Facebook accounts and the site will be able to advertise their services to a wide audience at no cost to the company.

Gambling addiction experts are also unhappy with Facebook’s decision to offer real money gambling. Dr Robert Lefever, director of Promise Rehab Clinic says that the introduction of gambling on Facebook could lead impressionable and vulnerable children to believe that the games have the approval of Facebook.

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