Tag Archive | "US bingo market"

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Affiliate Marketing a Perfect Fit For Online Bingo

The UK is the world’s largest internet bingo market and over four hundred bingo sites target British bingo players. Internet bingo is one of the most lucrative sectors of the online gaming industry and has exceeded previous predictions. In 2010 revenues from internet bingo hit the two billion dollar mark well ahead of industry forecasts. Bingo operators are using every marketing method at their disposal to get their share of the two billion dollar pie. During the past two years many bingo sites have launched a television advertising blitz. There is hardly a commercial television break without at least one ad for a bingo site. Some major bingo sites are sponsoring popular programs and characters like Jackpot joy’s ‘queen of bingo’ are well known nationally. Bingo sites without huge marketing budgets must use other marketing methods to survive.

Some bingo sites rely on affiliate marketing to acquire new players. Affiliate marketing is a relatively simple concept. One business, in this case a bingo site, pays a commission to other web based business, or affiliate business, for every new player that sign up at the bingo site. Some bingo sites have many affiliates that receive commissions for every new player. Online bingo is a perfect fit for affiliate marketing. Internet bingo is a unique niche market with very little competition from other gaming sectors such as online slots or poker. As has been mentioned bingo is a two billion dollar a year market and thanks to new mobile applications experts predict further bingo growth in 2011-12. The industry figures do not include the US market because currently the future of the US bingo market is uncertain because of recent government actions against several online gambling sites. So far most bingo sites have escaped the attention of US regulators but several bingo sites have withdrawn from the US market.

Internet bingo is seen by most as a ‘soft’ or ‘respectable’ form of gambling. The typical online bingo player is a female between the ages of 18 to 35. Most are middle class and have disposable income. Online bingo demographics make it a perfect fit for affiliate marketers. Studies have shown that women are more likely than men to play bingo online daily and spend significant amounts of time online. Affiliates for bingo sites could include women’s apparel sites, entertainment and gossip sites and just about any business that targets women. There are three very good reasons why internet bingo is suited for affiliate marketing; low competition, growing popularity and great niche marketing potential.

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Regulation Would Benefit Online Gamblers Say Experts

Recent actions taken by the US Department of Justice have caused several online bingo operators to exit the US bingo market. So far this year two major online payment processors have been forced out of the US gaming market. Because of the heavy handed actions American online bingo players may be forced to use payment processors with a less than stellar reputation. Recently the well known World Bingo Network suddenly announced that they were shutting down all operations in the US. The WBN ran a network of about 10 bingo sites. For years some members of congress have called on fellow lawmakers to pass legislation that would implement a system of taxation and regulation for online bingo games sites. Currently the US is missing out on billions of potential tax revenues from online gaming sites.

It would be an easy matter to set up government agencies to regulate online gambling. In the UK and Europe regulation of the industry has been in place for years with great success. In the United Kingdom the Gambling Act of 2005 launched the Gambling Commission. The stated purposes of the Gambling Commission are;
1.    Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime
2.    Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and
3.    Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The Gambling Commission in the UK has set strict standards for the online gaming industry including online bingo. Bingo players in the UK have benefited from the regulations imposed by the Gambling Commission and can be confident that all games are fair and deceitful advertising is not allowed. Bingo sites not located in the UK must be on the Gambling Commission’s ‘white list’ of approved licensing jurisdictions. White list jurisdictions must meet stringent standards set by the Gambling commission.

The regulations have clearly benefited British online bingo players. Players in the UK enjoy a level of protection not found in the United States. Since US law prohibits credit card companies, ewallet services and other financial institutions from processing gambling related transactions American players have very little recourse should a dispute arise between a player and a bingo site. It is easy to see that the British system of regulation has been beneficial for players and the US government would do well to adopt similar policies.

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Barney Frank Speaks Out About Online Gaming Seizures

At least one politician is telling it like it is about the recent seizures of four poker sites and bank accounts connected with the operations. Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank has been a champion of online gambling ever since the US passed the insane Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006.  The law was designed to pander to a tiny group of anti gambling extremists and was introduced using the most underhanded of methods and tactics. Since then Frank has tried to introduce legislation that would tax. License and regulate online gaming operations doing business in the United States.

Frank had some choice comments about last week’s online poker busts by the FBI. Frank termed the actions “an incredible waste of resources” by the FBI and the ‘Justice’ Department. He chided their reasoning behind the actions saying that both agencies are “protecting the public from the scourge of inside straights.” Frank went on to say that the justice department is more interested in closing poker sites than finding and prosecuting those responsible for the mortgage crisis and the global financial meltdown that has caused misery around the world.

Frank expressed outrage by the actions on “Black Friday” and voiced his concerns about the waste of taxpayer resources on something that should be legal for all US citizens. Frank tried to get legislation passed in 2010 but was stymied by Republicans who are against any form of legal online gambling for the most spurious of reasons. This Frank has re introduced legislation and has been joined by Republican John Campbell of California a Republican who believes that US citizens should be able to dispose of their income as they see fit. The three sites seized by the FBI generated about $16 billion annually and represent a potential new source of tax revenue that would help a cash strapped nation.

So far bingo sites have not been targeted by the guardians of ‘morality.’ In 2006 when UIGEA was passed most UK based online bingo sites banned American players. The potential for a legalized US bingo market is huge and could provide millions in new tax revenues for the US Treasury. Many conservatives see online gaming bans as unwarranted meddling in free markets and consider forcing banks to monitor transactions as an unfunded mandate. Hopefully the voices of reason will prevail and soon the US will have a regulated online gaming market.

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US Government Shuts Down Four Major Online Gaming Sites

In 2006 the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act caused chaos in the internet gaming industry. Players were locked out of their accounts and many major gaming sites banned American players. Gaming stocks plummeted on global stock exchanges and thousands were thrown out of work just before the worst recession since World War 2. Eventually things cooled down and American players continued to gamble at websites that still accepted American players. Many thought the madness would end with the election of Obama who has a reputation as a skilled poker player. Unfortunately this was a miscalculation.

Last Friday the entire gaming industry was shocked by the seizure of three domains owned by major internet poker providers. 11 indictments were issued charging defendants with fraud, money laundering and other offenses. Players were stunned when trying to access their accounts and thousands of players found themselves with no way to access their accounts. Bank accounts connected with the online poker operations were also seized. Many industry observers believe that players may never see their funds again. A US district court issued an order restraining approximately 76 bank accounts in 14countries and the DOJ is seeking $3 billion from the operators of the poker sites. Several defendants have been arrested but fortunately many defendants are located outside of the US. Despite the fact that a clear majority of Americans support online gaming the government continues its heavy handed actions.

Currently there are several online bingo sites that accept players from the US. It remains to be seen whether more bingo sites will exit the US bingo market.  Making online gambling illegal has had some unintended consequences. Keith Furlong of the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) stated “In the guise of protecting vulnerable Americans- minors who want to gamble and adults who can’t control their gambling – Congress has actually heightened the risk to these groups. It has driven away the operators who followed the most socially responsible practices. It has also increased the possibility of online gambling being used for money laundering, because it has outlawed the most easily tracked methods of payment.”

So far there have been no reports of problems at bingo sites accepting US players. Ironically the District of Columbia has just implemented legal online gaming for residents and several states are considering similar measures. At the present time online poker players have no options but to wait patiently and see what develops.

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