Tag Archive | "uk bingo"

Saturday Night Bingo Brawlers

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Saturday Night Bingo Brawlers


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

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

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

In a sheltered housing complex in the UK two women got into a fight when after one of the pensioners attending the game accused another player of shouting “bingo” too early.  The Rotherham North Area Housing champion called the police. Police officers said that this is not the kind of behavior people associate with those 60 and older. Police officer Ellis stated “They didn’t want her arrested. I think it was just the shock of what had happened more than anything. The housing officer there didn’t over-react; she wasn’t really sure what to do in that situation. It was one of the first calls of our evening shift and it’s definitely not the usual type of call we get. A council spokesman said: ‘We have given one woman a tenancy warning about her future conduct.”  To avoid similar situations players should learn to play online bingo. The prizes are larger and there are no physical altercations.

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Mom Steals  £124,000 From Disabled Daughter

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Mom Steals £124,000 From Disabled Daughter


Mom Steals  £124,000 From Disabled DaughterA mom in the UK was spared a jail sentence after she stole £124,000 from her disabled daughter’s benefits and spent the money on online bingo and designer clothes. Julie Smith, 46, was given a large amount of taxpayer money to help her care for her daughter Haley who has cerebral palsy and cannot walk or talk. Between 2006 and 2012 Smith received the disability benefits that were intended for day care and specialist trips for Haley. Instead Smith squandered the cash on weekend trips, online bingo, gambling, designer clothes and used some of the money to finance her 30 a day cigarette habit and trips to a local pub.

In court Smith received a two year community order (Probation) and was ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid community service. Sentencing Judge Patrick Thomas told Smith “The figures here are enormous. The plain position is that you received money intended for the benefit of your daughter. You spent it in ludicrous ways, sometimes on internet gambling and also on luxuries you appreciated far more than your daughter did, as if the money was part of your own state benefit. You plainly knew what you were doing. The principle concern of the court must be for your daughter.”

Smith displayed a singular lack of remorse and denied she had done anything wrong. Smith said “I’m not a bad parent.” Ever the whiner Smith stated “I am a gambling addict. Caring for Hayley is full-on and I needed an escape. You want to switch off. But I’m not a bad parent. I love Hayley, she is my world. She’s never gone without.” Smith also has a 17 year old son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. She started stealing the funds in 2006. Smith told reporters “The money didn’t just go on me, it went on the whole family. It didn’t go on holidays or luxuries like that. I smoke 20 to 30-a-day and I hardly drink or go out. But I admit I did wrong and I want to say sorry to social services for that. The money was there and I got into a habit.”

Smith was finally caught when the council changed its policies and realized that the funds had not been accounted for. Smith said “They wanted receipts and I didn’t have them. I don’t think Hayley knows what has gone on. I haven’t much of a family– about half don’t know about it.”

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Bingo Association Continues Fight For Fair Taxation

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Bingo Association Continues Fight For Fair Taxation


Bingo Association Continues Fight For Fair TaxationFor years bingo operators in the UK have been subject to higher taxation than any other form of gambling. Bingo operators pay a 205 tax while casinos and bookmakers pay a 15% tax. This has been a sore point for bingo operators. Operators have lobbied Members of Parliament and regulators without success. So far the government has been unresponsive to requests for fair taxation of bingo. High taxation puts jobs and businesses at risk and high tax rates have been responsible for the closure of several bingo halls in the UK. Many people in the bingo industry are prepared to fight for a fair tax rate.

On April 24th there was an annual reception for the All Party Parliamentary Bingo Group. This was a major event for the bingo industry and allows representatives of the industry to make connections with politicians and government officials. There were 19 members of Parliament in attendance at the meeting and 48 representatives of the bingo industry. Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and Gambling gave the keynote address. In his address Robertson pointed out that that bingo is a huge factor in the life of local communities and the government should recognize this fact.

Miles Baron, the Chief Executive of the Bingo Association, spoke on behalf of the bingo industry and stated “We are delighted to have held another successful parliamentary reception on bingo. The number of MPs who have attended has grown year on year and highlights the growing support we are gaining from within Westminster to tackle our tax rate. I would like to thank all my members who were able to attend and show their support and I have no doubts this year’s event will aid our continued lobbying efforts against the inequitable tax system levied on bingo.”

The fight for fair taxation is likely to continue for years to come. The government has been totally unresponsive to the pleas of the bingo industry. Bingo halls are also facing high fees for local licenses. A few years the laws were changed to allow cities and towns to charge whatever they want for local licenses. In many cases license fees doubled or tripled. The rise in fees caused several marginal bingo halls to close leaving many communities without a bingo hall. There is no doubt that the bingo industry will continue its fight for fair tax policies.

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European Experts Say that Online Gambling is Not a Potential Medium for Money Laundering

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European Experts Say that Online Gambling is Not a Potential Medium for Money Laundering


European Experts Say that Online Gambling is Not a Potential Medium for Money LaunderingFor years the United States government has expressed concerns that online gambling sites could be used to facilitate money laundering. In the UK a report claimed that online gambling sites could be used by criminals to launder money by paying the illicit funds as winnings. The report also claims that gambling sites could be hijacked by criminals who could then use gambling accounts to hide dirty money. Recently several European politicians and experts expressed unanimous opinions that they do not see online gambling as an attractive method for money laundering.

Dr. Friedrich Schneider, a Professor of Economics at Johannes-Kepler-University in Linz Austria, argued that criminals and organized crime groups would not find online gambling sites an attractive medium for laundering money because the sites cannot process large transactions. Because of EU regulations that regulate internet gambling transactions any irregularities would be quickly uncovered. European experts based their opinions on the strict European anti-money laundering regulations already in place. Regulations require that operators must verify a customer’s identity, use sophisticated monitoring and record keeping software.

In most European licensing jurisdictions operators must have their record open for inspection by authorities. Game software is subject to random inspections. Software used by internet gaming operators is capable of tracing all transactions making money laundering difficult or impossible. All gambling transactions taking place online must make use of a licensed bank’s services. The bank is required to monitor the funds that pass through their systems and report any suspicious transactions or money transfers. These measures are required by the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives of the European Commission.

Early on the UK realized them potential for money laundering and criminal activity and has taken measures to prevent using internet gambling sites for criminal activities or financing terrorist groups. The UK Gambling Commission has stringent measures in place that all licensed internet gaming operators must adhere to. Operators are required to investigate and report and violations and noncompliance is considered to be a criminal offense. European operators have used their years of experience to create regulations that prevent any form of criminal activity from taking place.

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Online Bingo Boosts Rank’s Profits

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Online Bingo Boosts Rank’s Profits


online bingo boosts profitDuring the last two weeks several areas in the UK have experienced heavy snowfalls. Travel has been difficult and many fear that the bad weather could send the country back into a recession. Despite the weather some were optimistic including Rank Chief Executive Ian Burke who told reporters “Allowing for the slow start to the second half we remain confident in our prospects for the remainder of the year and in our longer-term growth strategy.” Before tax profits slipped to £31.3 million during the six months prior to December.

The company blamed the decline on increased spending on marketing its Blue Square betting business and higher operating costs at the company’s Mecca Bingo halls. Rank operated 35 Grosvenor Casinos and more than 100 Mecca bingo clubs throughout the UK. Rank said the company is reviewing the future of money losing Blue Square. Blue Square is a small player in a highly competitive and consolidated industry. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Rank. The online version of bingo has been more profitable than the land based version of the game for Rank.

Studies have shown that when the weather turns nasty players stay home and play their favorite games on the internet. In 2010 a series of severe Arctic storms hit Britain paralyzing traffic and making travel all but impossible. Online bingo operators reported a huge increase in player numbers and many online bingo operators were able to post record fourth quarter figures because of the player surge caused by the storms.

The benefits of online bingo were emphasized for Rank after Rank said that the snowstorms had cost the company three million pounds. Operating profit from online bingo was 11.4 million pounds beating the 11.1 million generated by land based venues. Rank, which is owned by Malaysia’s Guoco, reported a 4% decline in pretax profit and blamed the decline on the poorly performing Blue Square betting business.  Rank Chief Executive Ian Burke said “Allowing for the slow start to the second half we remain confident in our prospects for the remainder of the year and in our longer-term growth strategy.”

Rank’s profit growth in the online bingo sector mirrors that of the gambling industry. Online betting is extremely popular and growth has been driven by the use of smartphones and other mobile devices. Blue Square’s future is uncertain and most say that Rank will dump the operation because of huge losses.

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Gambling Stigma and Online Bingo


Perceptions about what people think about gambling are often dismissed by researchers as being too subjective to be of any value in generating reliable information about gambling’s place in the entertainment industry. In the UK sportsbetting, slots and bingo are an established part of gaming in the UK. Bingo seems to have less of a stigma attached to it than other forms of gambling. According to Constance Chapple, a professor of gambling studies at the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham University “Although gambling has largely maintained its deviant reputation, bingo, as a form of gambling, remains untainted by labels of deviance. “Chapple says that society has constructed bingo as a socially acceptable form of gambling that does not carry the stigma associated with other casino games.

Chapple’s contentions have been backed up by the latest British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS) which said that most of those surveyed did not consider playing the National Lottery or bingo as gambling. Some did not want to answer questions about these activities when the questions were phrased using the term ‘gambling.’ Bingo’s reputation stems from the perception that the game is a social activity and is played chiefly by older women and pensioners. The stigma associated with other gambling games does not seem to be apparent with bingo and it is this factor that has helped online bingo operators to convince people to play bingo online.

Chapple cites other reasons for the decreasing stigma associated with gambling. She says that the introduction of the National Lottery in 1994 had two effects. The introduction of the lottery made gambling socially acceptable and lessened the stigma associated with gambling. Since then attitudes about gambling have softened. The second reason was that the lottery helped to masculinize gambling making it more acceptable for women to gamble. So far there has been little research on bingo in most gambling studies.

Chapple says that before 2002 research showed that the majority of bingo players were working class women that felt the game provided an opportunity for them to socialize with friends. Like many Chapple said that the smoking ban may have been responsible for the growth of online bingo in the UK. She also said that a new type of bingo player was created: the online bingo player. Online bingo players tend to be younger and familiar with technology. Although bingo research is rare thanks to people like Professor Chapple we can get a better idea of the demographics associated with live and online bingo.

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Finding the Best Online Bingo Sites


For most players bingo is much more than a game. Players attend games to have fun, be entertained, socialize and win some cash. Since bingo is one of the easiest games to play and is totally random bingo is relaxing and is a sure cure for stress caused by everyday life. In the UK bingo has been one of the most popular social activities among working class women. Online bingo has attracted a diverse group of players and most say that online bingo is every bit as exciting as live bingo games. Online bingo is a big business in the UK and generates over a billion dollars annually.

Online bingo sites use innovative software and are always investing in new technologies. The advent of mobile gaming prompted many bingo operators to develop mobile applications for their games. Players say they love the user friendly interface, simplicity and clean look of their favorite bingo sites. Some players have registered accounts at several bingo sites to avoid boredom. New online bingo players are presented with the challenge of finding a good bingo site that meets their needs and expectations. For some the task can be overwhelming since there are hundreds of bingo sites competing for players. Actually it’s not that hard to find a reputable site if players know what to look for. Here are a few suggestions.

Players should look for sites with safe banking. All transactions should be safe and secure and the site should have encryption software in place to prevent hacking and identity theft. Reputable bingo sites keep financial information strictly confidential.

Deposit and withdrawal options should be user friendly and easy to use. Players want efficient withdrawal policies. Some sites allow immediate withdrawal of winnings while at others withdrawals make take a few days. Players should always check out the rules and regulations governing withdrawals. Prizes should be paid in full and on time.

The site should offer fair gaming. Game software should be tested regularly by a regulatory body to ensure randomness and fairness. Reputable sites will have information about their software testing procedures clearly posted.

Customer support is important and should be available 24/7. Most sites offer players live chat options, email support and phone contact in case there is a problem.

Players are usually presented with several types of bingo bonuses, promotions, cash back offers and other attractive perks. Some sites award new players a fixed sum of money while others will base their bonuses on a percentage of a player’s deposit. Players should look for the sites with the best bonuses but they should always read the terms and conditions and wagering requirements associated with any bonus. Most reputable sites also have loyalty programs; refer a friend bonuses and VIP status for ‘high rollers.’ Getting started is easy. Players should use common sense and ask questions. Today most operators are reputable and are going to great lengths to keep loyal players.

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Companies Ban Online Gambling in the Workplace


In the UK and Australia it is not uncommon for workers to sneak in a quick game of bingo while at work. Many employers have installed software to block gambling sites on company owned computers. Many employers believe gambling should be banned from the workplace because of occupational health and safety reasons according to one workplace relations specialist. Employers do not want employees gambling on company time. Bingo and other gambling games are also available on mobile devices and smartphones.

An increase in online gambling opportunities, including real money social gaming, have led to warnings by experts that businesses need to develop new IT and social media policies to prevent gambling in the workplace. In Australia the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, has been proactive and has been offering workers educational and training programs designed to reduce the risk of developing a gambling problem. The move is part of the commission’s occupational health and safety policies.

Gambling at work has never been easier for employees. On Melbourne Cup Day a gambling company ran a full page ad that explained that it only took about two minutes to set up a gambling account and how to gamble using a credit card. Some Australian companies like Telstra have set up social media policies explaining the appropriate use of social media by employees. Many companies have no specific policies that address gambling specifically. Many companies, including Telstra, block access to all gambling sites on company computers. Holding Redlich senior associate and workplace relations specialist Joel Zyngier said that gambling on company time using company equipment should be banned.

Redlich stated ”Due to the increased trend of gambling via social media, it is clear that unacceptable behaviour must include using an employer’s resources to engage in gambling via social media. As far as I am aware it [gambling] is not being looked at, at least to the same extent that pornography or race-hate sites are being looked at.’ An employer’s duty under OH&S law is to do everything it practically can to eliminate or minimize risks to health and safety in the workplace. Unfettered access to the internet coupled with knowledge that employees have the potential to cause themselves harm by gambling, may trigger an employer’s OH&S duty.”

Real money social gaming may allow employees to get around the block on gambling websites. In most offices employees are allowed to use Facebook for work related reasons. Zyngier advises companies against a total ban on social media saying it is unrealistic. Zyngier said a company could find itself in trouble if an employee developed a gambling addiction at work. Zyngier stated ”It wouldn’t be a common situation … but if they continued to allow the person access to something that harmed them then it could very well be an occupational health and safety breach.”

It remains to be seen just how widespread the problem is. Fortunately most employees use common sense and do not gamble using company equipment. Some online bingo players said they use their mobile phones to play a quick game of bingo while at lunch or on a break. Gambling on social media sites while at work could lead to a widespread crackdown by employers.

 

By Jeff Davis

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Four Things to Look For in a Bingo Site


In the UK online bingo is incredibly popular and over three million players log on to their favorite bingo site to play every week. In the UK bingo is regulated by the Bingo Act of 1996 which classified bingo as a recreational activity. The act subjects bingo to several laws designed to deal with the gambling aspect of bingo. Taxes are levied on all bingo sites licensed in the UK. This year the government imposed a ‘point of consumption’ tax to do away with the unfair tax advantages enjoyed by offshore bingo sites. Since there is so much competition in the online bingo industry operators are striving to provide players with the best online bingo experienced possible. For new players selecting a bingo site here are a few things to look for.

Obviously the games will be a prime consideration. Players should make sure the site offers high quality games as well as a variety of side games. A good bingo site will offer 90 and traditional 75 ball games. Many sites also offer 80 and 30 ball games known as ‘speed bingo.’ Sites with smaller selections will have a smaller player base and lower jackpots. In most cases the prize is determined by the number of players in the game.  The games should be professional with high quality graphics and animations. The site should offer a large selection of card prices. In most cases cards cost well under $1. Players should look for tournaments and the site should offer progressive jackpot games.

The bingo site should offer good bonuses and player rewards. In most cases online bingo sites offer players very lucrative welcome bonuses based on the size of the initial deposit. The site should also offer bonuses on every deposit. Some sites offer bonuses to those that refer friends to the site. Players should take advantage of every bonus offered.

The site should have at least one progressive jackpot game. Progressive jackpot games are exciting because the jackpots can be huge. Special chat games should be available and the site should have at least one weekly or monthly tournament.

Customer service is very important. The customer service department should be accessible 24/7. The site should offer the following contact options; email, fax, live chat and phone contact. Players should be able to take to a real person 24/7.In many cases bingo sites host their own forums and prospective players can learn about the experiences other players have had. The site should have the best software available and have a plan in place in case of a computer crash or disconnection.

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‘Silver Surfers’ and Online Bingo

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‘Silver Surfers’ and Online Bingo


There are about three million people in Britain that spend hours chatting and playing online bingo every week. Online bingo has become one of Britain’s most popular online pastimes and currently is the second most popular online game in the UK. The online bingo industry is now worth over $2 billion annually and that number is expected to increase steadily. Advances in technology have taken the popular game out of high street bingo halls and into the realm of computers, laptops and smart phones. Because the games are available 24/7 avid bingo players should have no trouble finding a game.

The technological revolution has created a phenomenon known as a ‘silver surfer.’ By definition a ‘silver surfer’ is an over 50 players that is computer savvy and plays regularly. Last year several bingo halls in the UK participated in a program aimed at making most Britons computer literate no matter what their age. Inexpensive refurbished computers were made available to those interested and thousands of new online bingo players were created. In the minds of many land based bingo games are the domain of pensioners and online bingo is populated by younger players. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While a clear majority of online bingo players are young ‘silver surfers’ are becoming more common at most online bingo sites. Most ‘silver surfers’ say they play both live and online bingo games. Most say that they are surprisingly comfortable in the chat rooms and have become fluent in what is known as ‘bingo lingo.’ Bingo lingo is essentially a collection of abbreviations and short phrases used in most online bingo chat rooms. The real appeal of online bingo is that it provides players with lots of fun in a noncompetitive friendly atmosphere. Even better online bingo is one of the most affordable online games. At some sites bingo tickets can be purchased for as little as a penny.

Deposit bonuses help those on a fixed income stretch their limited resources. Weekly and monthly promotions add even more value. Many silver surfers say that they love the auto daub feature available at most bingo sites. The auto daub feature enables them to relax and chat while playing and eliminates the possibility of making a mistake. It is easy to find a reputable bingo site. Players can check the reputation of any site online at one of the many review sites devoted to online bingo. The number of ‘silver surfers’ is growing as more pensioners join in the excitement of online bingo.

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