Tag Archive | "slot machines"

Alabama Attorney General Expands Complaint Against Tribe

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Alabama Attorney General Expands Complaint Against Tribe


Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has decided to waste even more taxpayer money in his fight against those sinful bingo games in the state. Strange lodged a many pronged attack on the Poarch Band of Creek Indians gaming operations in the state. The new strategy was laid out in an amended complaint against the tribe filed in U.S. District Court in Montgomery. Originally Strange had asked an Elmore County Circuit Court Judge to shut down the tribe’s three casinos saying they are “a public nuisance.”

Fortunately the tribe was succesAlabama Attorney General Expands Complaint Against Tribesful in getting the case moved to federal court. It seems Strange forgot about a little detail called tribal sovereignty. The tribe has asked a federal judge to dismiss the case on grounds that the state of Alabama has no standing to sue the tribe. Under federal law the Poarch Band are a sovereign nation. Andrew Brasher, Strange’s deputy solicitor general, said in an email “We have amended the complaint to clarify the federal aspects of the State’s claim and to let the court know more about how the Tribe’s slot machines operate. Amending a complaint is something that happens all the time in the early stages of a lawsuit.”

Brasher’s statement said that taking the case to state court was a legal ruse to limit the tribe’s courtroom options. Brasher stated “We were not surprised that the tribal defendants moved the lawsuit from state court to federal court. This procedural move required the tribal defendants to acknowledge that federal law gives the State a claim against them and to waive several defenses that they could have raised. So, we are not asking the federal court to send the case back to state court; we are asking the federal court to go ahead and consider our claim now.” While the complaint says that the tribe’s casinos are a ‘public nuisance’ it expands the state’s legal options by calling into question the legality of electronic bingo machines that the state claims are slot machines.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows tribes to offer bingo using computers and other “technological aids” even if similar games are illegal in other part of the state. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act also forbids “electronic or electromechanical facsimiles of any game of chance or slot machines of any kind.” Strange is arguing that the bingo games are illegal slots. The amended complaint says of the games “The player does not need to pay attention, listen to alphanumeric designations drawn one-by-one, or match them up to a bingo card. Instead, the player presses a single button, watches slot-machine reels spin, and is told whether he or she has won by the gambling device.”

Strange is also arguing that tribal lands are not federally protected. It is difficult to understand why top state law enforcement is using so many resources to pursue a harmless game. Alabama residents would probably be better off playing online bingo!

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Internet Cafes to be Banned in Florida

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Internet Cafes to be Banned in Florida


Internet Cafes to be Banned in FloridaIn several states so called ‘internet cafes’ have put severe pressure on charity bingo games. In Florida the business created quite a scandal after the Lieutenant Governor was forced to resign because of her connection with internet cafe operations and missing millions. Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill this week banning the cafes, effectively putting them out of business. The law will have an impact on several veterans’ organizations where the gaming machines help to finance veteran’s programs including one that helps ill veterans to get rides to doctor’s appointments.

Wilson Glass, a 71 year old veteran and a member of the Disabled American Veterans chapter in Holly Hill, told reporters “This is not a storefront cafe. A private club like this should be left alone if it’s a legitimate thing. It’s not all about gambling here. I might win or lose a little money. But even if I lose, it helps vets.”  Glass seems resigned to the fate of the arcade at the veteran’s hall and said “I think the governor will sign the bill, if only because of the pressure put on him.” Scott spokesman, John Tupps, said the Governor will sign the bill by April 12th.

The Florida legislature acted swiftly after an investigation into the Allied Veterans of the World revealed a $290 million illegal gambling business where proceeds that were supposed to be used for veteran’s causes ended up in the owner’s pockets. Law enforcement officials arrested 60 people connected with the operation and closed internet cafes throughout the state. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll who served as a consultant to the bogus charity while a member of the Legislature was forced to resign in March.

State Senator John Thrasher said that after Scott signs the bill businesses and veteran’s organizations with gaming machines must discontinue their use. Thrasher told reporters “This bill is about machines. If they have machines that look and are programmed like slot machines they have to get rid of them. They must act and look like slot machines to be illegal. . . . The intent is to stop illegal gambling.” Thrasher said that local sheriffs and state attorneys will be in charge of enforcing the new law.

Internet cafes had operated because of a loophole in Florida law that allows corporations like Coke or McDonalds to offer sweepstakes to customers. The internet cafes sold computer time and offered sweepstakes using slot machine like video games. Trey Turner, general manager of the Sands Internet Cafe told reporters “We’ll shut the doors and our software will automatically be shut off. We don’t want to break any laws. We don’t want to do anything illegal. We’ll comply with the law.” Ohio is considering similar laws after several charities complained that internet cafes were siphoning off money that would usually be generated by charity bingo and casino games.

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Canadian Bingo is in Trouble

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Canadian Bingo is in Trouble


Canadian Bingo is in TroubleThe UK has a lively thriving bingo scene. Bingo has been a staple in Great Britain since the postwar years. In the UK the 60’s and 70’s are considered the ‘golden age’ of bingo in the country and just about every village and remote hamlet had its own High Street bingo hall. Since Canada was a former British colony one would expect the country to have an active bingo industry. At one time bingo was a big business in Canada but this is no longer the case.

At one time players could visit Planet Bingo in Vancouver and find a game in progress. Planet Bingo is the largest bingo hall in North America and in better years the hall was always packed. A reporter from the Globe and Mail recently visited the hall during the daytime and described the hall as ‘quiet.’ At night and on weekends the games are well attended but most say that the heyday of bingo in British Columbia is now a memory. There are several reasons for the decline. A smoking ban cut attendance at games drastically. The same thing happened in the UK in 2007 when a national smoking ban was imposed. Some halls lost over 60% of their regular players and many online bingo sites reported an 80% increase in the number of registered players.

British bingo halls have managed to make a comeback by remodeling old fashioned bingo halls and adding services designed to appeal to young nonsmoking players. Canadian bingo halls, on the other hand, have not made the same efforts to adapt to current conditions. Bingo halls are also losing customers to casinos with thousands of slot machines. An aging and diminishing player base is also putting the pressure on Canadian bingo halls. Annual bingo revenues in British Columbia have declined from $175.3-million in 2007-08 to less than $100-million just four years later.

Planet Bingo is run by the Community Gaming Management Association, which distributes bingo receipts to 80 local charities that depend on bingo for funding. Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for gambling in British Columbia, stated “It’s not like it was. It’s more appreciated, if we’re honest with each other, as a social game.” The minister was blunt when he said of bingo  “[Bingo] has a kind of a future, but it’s certainly not a major product line.” The future of bingo in Canada is uncertain. In Canada bingo halls must partner with charities to hold games. Since attendance and revenues are dropping some charities may have to seek government grants and other funding sources.

Canadian bingo hall operators may want to follow the lead of their British counterparts and add new technologies and modernize their halls to attract a younger group of players.

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The Evolution of Online Gambling

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The Evolution of Online Gambling


The Evolution of Online GamblingGambling history in the United States has been somewhat volatile over the years. In the early colonies lotteries were common and in Philadelphia a lottery was held to purchase artillery for the city’s defense. Harvard was started with lottery funds. When the United States expanded westward gambling was common in frontier towns across the western United States. Poker and Faro were the games of choice for western gamblers. At some point in the 1890’s Victorian morality caught up with gambling and the practice was widely banned. Even worse anti-gambling groups teamed up with temperance organizations to close saloons and other places that served alcohol.

In the roaring 20’s gambling started to make a comeback but in most places was confined to illegal gambling dens controlled by organized crime. These establishments often served three purposes; brothel, gambling hall and saloon. In 1931 the state of Nevada made gambling legal. Las Vegas remained the premiere gambling destination in the US until New Jersey legalized gambling in Atlantic City. Tribal casinos made their appearance in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Tribal gaming was started by the Seminole tribe in Florida. The tribe opened a huge bingo hall and after a bitter legal battle tribal gaming became legal in the United States.

During the 70’s two technologies that would change gambling forever made their appearance; random number generators and video screens on gaming machines. Previously slots were mechanical but in just a few years the old fashioned ‘one armed bandits’ became museum pieces. Once the World Wide Web was in place it was only a matter of time before the first gambling sites appeared. In 1995 the first online casino began operations. The site offered players 18 online games. In 1996 the very first online bingo sites appeared. Since then the online gaming industry has grown and millions visit online gaming sites monthly. By 2006 the industry was generating $10.9 billion and the figure is more than double that today.

During the past few years online gambling operators have developed mobile applications that let players enjoy their favorite games on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Online gambling has penetrated social media and Facebook makes billions off of real money gambling games. Online gambling technology has been constantly evolving and what’s next is anybody’s guess!

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Rivera Bets on Online Bingo

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Rivera Bets on Online Bingo


When most people think of Las Vegas they think of glamorous upscale casinos and resorts like the Rio or Bellagio. The popularity of bingo in Las Vegas seems to be a well-kept secret but one gaming company is betting on online bingo. The Rivera Hotel and Casino located on Las Vegas’s fabled strip has entered into a partnership with Buffalo Studios, the creators of one of the most popular bingo games on Facebook; Bingo Blitz. The partnership is designed to help the Rivera attract new players and expand into the lucrative world of online gaming.

Bingo Blitz players on Facebook will now be able to play online bingo games on a page adorned with an image of the Rivera. Players on the page will be automatically entered into a contest where winners will win a free trip to the Rivera’s twice a year $200,000 bingo tournaments. Last year the Rivera brought bingo back to the Las Vegas strip in an effort to shore up the company’s troubled finances. In 2010 the Riviera Holdings Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Rivera also sold its casino in Black Hawk Colorado for $76 million.

The Rivera has been challenged by its isolated location on the north Strip. At one time the strip was the heart of the Las Vegas casino industry. Now the strip is dotted with vacant lots low end shops and resorts that are well past their prime. The Rivera’s location has discouraged walk in traffic and has made it difficult for the resort to raise its rates. Riviera CEO Andy Choy stated “The property just kind of lost relevance. What we are really trying to do now to bring it out of bankruptcy is to make it relevant in today’s market place.”

The Rivera’s partnership with Buffalo Studios and Bingo Blitz is an attempt by the company to lure younger players and modernize the company’s operations. In 2011 Bingo Blitz was the seventh most recommended game on Facebook. Millions of players log in daily to win virtual coins and talk to other bingo fans. The Rivera hopes that those virtual coins will translate into real cash for the bingo room. The Rivera’s Superstar Bingo tournament features 56 games over a two day period with a minimum game payout of $3,000. The Rivera charges players $150 to participate in the tournament.

The Rivera opened in 1955 and features 800 slot machines and boasts a 100,000 square foot casino floor. It remains to be seen whether bingo will save the struggling gaming company.

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The Great Alabama Bingo Battle-A New Chapter

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The Great Alabama Bingo Battle-A New Chapter


Even with a new administration in office the great Alabama bingo battle continues. The long drawn out saga began with a series of raids in several casinos offering electronic bingo. Then there were two separate trials where publicity hungry federal prosecutors were handed two humiliating defeats. Prosecutors wasted millions in taxpayer dollars in their vindictive quest to convict several innocent legislators and casino operators. The whole argument was over electronic bingo machines which state and federal authorities claim are illegal because of their close resemblance to slot machines. Several casinos were forced to close and hundreds were thrown out of work in a state with high unemployment.

The new Alabama attorney general Luther Strange has continued the vendetta against the bingo machines. Now Strange has set his sights on Tribal gaming operations in the state over Electronic bingo machines. Recently Strange has asked the federal agency that oversees Indian gambling to prohibit the slot machine-like electronic bingo machines at the state’s tribal casinos. Tribes cannot offer Las Vegas style table games and slots unless they have a compact with the states where they are located. The tribes do not have a compact with Alabama. Under current regulations the Las Vegas style games are classified as class 3 games.

In a letter to the National Indian Gaming Commission Strange wrote “In Alabama, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians operate Class II gambling that approximates the same kind of slot machine gambling that one might find in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.”The Tribe’s ability to obscure the line between Class II and III makes it harder for my office to enforce Alabama law outside of Indian land. Alabama citizens are understandably confused when Indian tribes are allowed to call their Class III slot machines ‘bingo,’ but gambling promoters within the State’s jurisdiction cannot use the same gimmick.”

Poarch Creek Indian Gaming operates three casinos in the state with electronic bingo machines. Daniel K. McGhee, Tribal Gaming Commission Administrator for the Poarch Creeks, said he is confident the machines are allowed under current regulations. Last year Strange sent a similar letter to the NIGC and chairperson Tracie L. Stevens replied saying that the tribe “may play electronic bingo so long as it otherwise meets IGRA’s Class II gaming definition.” McGhee told reporters “They did not have a problem with what we are doing here. I don’t see what he hopes to gain by a second letter.” McGhee said of Strange’s letter “It’s an attack on sovereignty. Basically, he might as well be asking to be able to enforce certain laws in Florida or any other state. It’s offensive to tribes to make a request like that.”

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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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Federal Judge Says Alabama Bingo Machines are Illegal

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Federal Judge Says Alabama Bingo Machines are Illegal


The United States has a curious hodgepodge of sometimes conflicting gambling laws. Although playing online bingo and poker are not illegal in and of themselves US law forbids banks, credit card companies and payment processors from handling any gambling related transactions.  Despite the maws online bingo players in the US continue spending billions annually playing their favorite game. Last year the Justice Department seized the domains of three major poker sites. Many thought online bingo sites would escape the attention of US Attorneys but in June the same agency seized an online bingo site. This prompted one major bingo operator, the World Bingo Network, to cease operations. In a surprising about face the department of justice ruled in December that online bingo and poker are legal if done on a state by state basis. Only sports betting is prohibited.

In Alabama a battle over electronic bingo machines has been going on for years. Earlier in the moth a federal judge ruled that the machines are illegal. The argument over the legality of the machines has been ongoing and last year several bingo halls sere raided by state officials. A full blown scandal ensure when it was revealed that some politicians had taken contributions from competing gambling interests in Mississippi. Several bingo halls were closed and hundreds lost their jobs leaving some counties impoverished. Not only did the judge rule that electronic bingo machines illegal but that money seized in last year’s raids must go to the state as profits from illegal gambling.

In December Judge Scott Vowell heard arguments from both sides of the issue. The plaintiffs, Jefferson County District Attorney’s office, and the defendants, the bingo hall operators expressed opinions about the legality of electronic bingo. In his order judge Vowell said that claims by the defendants that the machines were only bingo games was without merit and said the machines were actually slot machines and gambling devices that are illegal in Alabama. Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange said that Vowell’s ruling validates his claim that the electronic bingo machines are actually slot machines.

In contrast to the ruling in Alabama several states have announced plans to launch their own online bingo and gambling sites. States are going after the billions Americans spend every year gambling on the internet. Experts say that federal legislation is inevitable but will not take place until after the November elections. Once full legalization takes place several online bingo operators have positioned themselves to enter the lucrative US online bingo market.

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Online Slots Offer Huge Progressive Jackpots !

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Online Slots Offer Huge Progressive Jackpots !


Because of the way modern slots work they are a perfect fit for the internet gambling industry. Unlike the old classic ‘one armed bandits’ of yesteryear online slots do not need levers or gears. A random number generator determines winning combinations every millisecond. Even better online slots now have larger jackpots than ever. Online slots have several advantages over their counterparts at land based casinos. Online bingo sites and casinos do not have to maintain a team of specialists to fix broken slot machines and do not have to spend millions purchasing rows of slots. Online casinos only need a single employee to program the games. The money saved is passed along to the player in the form of bigger jackpots, bonuses and other player perks.

At some land based casinos slots generate about 70% of all revenues and are the most popular games on most casino floors. At some online bingo sites slots account for over half of all revenues. For those in rural areas with no local access to a casino online slots are a perfect solution and provide the same excitement as land based slots. In the past slot jackpots were small but this is no longer the case. Today online slots can be networked producing some amazing jackpots. Most networked slots feature progressive jackpots that grow with each spin.

Today slots can offer some substantial jackpots. Recently a player at a popular UK online bingo sites scored a £21,336.78 ($33,570.22 USD at current exchange rates) win playing slots. For many online bingo players slots, scratch cards, roulette and other casino games provide a pleasant diversion from online bingo games. Over the years there have been some amazing slot wins. At one online casino a $6 bet produced an astounding $8,500,000 jackpot. The jackpot was won by a player known as Giorgios M playing Mega Moolah.  Another lucky Mega Moolah player from Finland scored a $5,000,000jackpot. Even more amazing is the $300,000 jackpot won by a Canadian player just six minutes after signing up at an online casino!

Online bingo sites offer classic three reel slots and modern five reel multi payline slots with various themes. There are several online bingo sites that offer Mega Moolah and other mega jackpot progressive slot games. Most online bingo players will take a break every so often and will play slots and other side games for a change of pace. Players have won astounding sums of money and because of the random nature of slot games the next big winner could be you!

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Bingo Player Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Theft

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Bingo Player Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Theft


Gambling addiction is rare among bingo players but occasionally an unfortunate player will develop an addiction to the game. Only a few have engaged in criminal activity to fund their addictions and when they are caught the case usually received extensive media coverage. In the UK there were several cases last year involving thefts by bingo players that lost control. In May 2011 a home care manager stole £90,000 from patients to fund her bingo habit. In November 2011 another player was sentenced to 15 months in prison for stealing £42,000 from a close friend to feed her bingo habit.

The most recent case involves a woman who stole from an elderly neighbor she was taking care of. Barbara Taylor helped to look after her disabled neighbor who had health problems and deteriorating mobility. Taylor succumbed to temptation and used the woman’s credit and debit cards to withdraw cash at bingo halls. Records show that Taylor withdrew a total of £11,670 cash to spend on bingo games and slot machines. She also spent £136 for camping equipment and tanning cream. Taylor used the cards at a local bingo hall to withdraw cash.

The thefts came to light after her 77 year old victim noticed that her accounts had been emptied and her direct debits were unpaid. At the same time Taylor was working as a volunteer at the Willow project which helps women with alcohol problems. The case eventually made its way through the courts and the judge sentenced Taylor to 12 months in prison. At the sentencing the presiding judge Bryn Holloway stated “Such was the nature of your friendship she entrusted you with the details of her bank cards so you could do shopping for her. It is clear initially you did so honestly but the time came when you turned from using the account as she intended to a way she never expected.” The judge acknowledged that Taylor had provided valuable assistance to her neighbor but said that the thefts merited jail time.

Judge Holloway said it was clear that Taylor had not spent the money on an extravagant lifestyle but that only a custodial sentence was appropriate in Taylor’s case. Taylor’s defense counsel said that Taylor had been genuinely caring for her friend but succumbed to temptation. Had Taylor played online bingo most likely the thefts would have been found out much sooner. Most UK online bingo sites have programs in place to identify problem gamblers. In addition most bingo sites provide links to organizations that treat gambling addiction. Online bingo sites use sophisticated software to identify problem players making online bingo one of the safest games on the internet.

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