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$87.5 Million Casino Raid Halted by Judge in the Middle of the Night

Dec 17, 2011
Gambling in Alabama, USA

The controversial issue of casino gambling in Alabama came to a peak when the state’s governor, Bob Riley, ordered a raid on a new $87.5 million casino in the middle of the night and the action was halted in its tracks by a judges blocking order.

LA Times: Judge halts state raid of $87M bingo casino in latest round of Alabama’s fight over gambling

Near 40 Alabama state troopers gathered before sunrise, Wednesday, for a Gov. Bob Riley approved raid. The target: bingo machines at a new, allegedly illegal, $87 million casino near Dothan.

Local officials moved quickly to defend the targeted site, going to a judge’s home after midnight to get an order blocking the raid. The order was given to police before they could seize the 1,700 electronic bingo machines at Country Crossing.

County Commissioner Mark Culver denounced the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling’s attempt to shut down the bingo and entertainment complex, which created 1,300 jobs in the struggling community.

Bill Eadington, a University of Nevada at Reno gambling expert, said Alabama casino investors relied on questionable laws to build, but casinos are hard to close when restaurants and hotels, that produce lots of jobs, are added.

ABC News: Judge Halts State Raid of Big Alabama Bingo Center

A rural Alabama county hungry for economic development staved off a state raid on a new bingo and entertainment center despite Bob Riley’s wishes to close it. The county won a middle-of-the-night court order barring the raid as agents from the governor’s anti-gambling task force massed near Country Crossing, an $87 million complex near Dothan.

Houston County Commissioner Mark Culver got the order from a judge’s home at 1:30 a.m. delivered it to the Governor’s Task Force on Illegal Gambling assembling for a pre-dawn raid. He was trying to save 1,300 jobs in a county with 8.7 percent unemployment.

The Houston County Commission approved the construction of Country Crossing in 2008 and created a method for it to issue up to $70 million in bonds for construction. Country Crossing sought to stop the raid, claiming it would harm the bond issue that’s supposed to be paid off with bingo revenue.

Alabama gambling centers have been expanding with restaurants and other attractions and portraying themselves as economic development projects providing needed jobs in a recession.

AP News: Midnight order halts Ala. raid of $87M casino

A Gov. Riley approved raid on bingo machines at a new, $87 million casino by himself was stopped before dawn on Wednesday by judge’s order blocking it. Houston County Commissioner Mark Culver secured the judge’s approval and signature.

It was a blow for the governor in Alabama’s odd, ongoing struggle for control over the state’s mushrooming gambling industry. Culver said, “We are going to do everything we can to protect the jobs of the people of Houston County,” in reference to the incident. The governor claims the machines are illegal and simply an attempt to compete with Mississippi’s coastal casinos.

Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin agreed that seizing the machines “would do irreparable harm” to the bond transaction and blocked any raid pending a court hearing Jan. 20.

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Belgian Gambling Laws to Restrict Online Casino Games

Dec 15, 2011

Belgian Gambling Laws

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Gambling legislation is a point of contention all over the world today, specifically the new Belgian gambling laws which restrict online casino games. Many countries are changing their policies on the subject and organization, such as the European Union, are making very influential decisions with regards to all member states.

Despite wishes on behalf of the European Union that its mandates be acknowledged and followed, some countries still insist on going against the grain. A few such countries are France, Poland and most recently Belgium. Speculations indicate that these countries have crossed the line intentionally in order to test Michel Barnier, the new European Commissioner.

Belgium has stirred the subject to the brink of boiling by recently passing a law regulating online gambling that did not address several points of contention with EU rules, as found by the European Commission.

The European Commission gave an official Detailed Opinion to Belgian legislators which pointed out which parts of Belgian gambling laws needed to be amended in order to comply with EU law. Some of the points pointed out by the European Commission include: an unjustified limit on licenses, requirements of servers being located in Belgium, and forbidding citizens to participate in EU licensed and regulated internet gambling in Belgium.

Belgian gambling laws: Sigrid Ligne angry

Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association, Sigrid Ligne, condemned Belgium’s action saying that, “The law is not only highly questionable from a legal point of view, a high level of consumer protection can be achieved by specific and targeted legislation, not by protecting the operators with a vested interest in the current situation.”

On December 3rd, lawmakers passed Belgian gambling laws without taking into considerations concerns that were voiced by the European Commission. In doing so, the Belgian Government has subjected itself to infringement proceedings that may be held by the EC which believes Belgian gambling laws are illegal within the EU framework.

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Wink Bingo Sold for $96,000,000

Dec 14, 2011
Wink Bingo sold to 888.com

Online gaming company 888 just agreed to buy Wink Bingo for a price that could reach as high as $96 million. Following a large down payment, the remainder of the price will depend on the site’s performance in coming months. 888 made the purchase to increase their presents in the rapidly-growing online bingo market.

New York Times: 888 Buys Wink Bingo For Up to £60 Mln

Online gaming company 888 just agreed to acquire Wink Bingo from its current owner Daub Ltd for as much as 59.7 million pounds, and said that current trading remains strong and in line with projections.

888 develops new gaming products like bingo to help offset the effect of online gambling becoming illegal in the United States two years ago, which lead to the loss of half of the group’s sales income. Today, bingo is the fastest growing area of its online business.

“We are delighted to announce the Wink Bingo acquisition as an expansion of our B2C online Bingo footprint in the lucrative UK market. The transaction is financially attractive and will be earnings enhancing,” said Gigi Levy, 888’s CEO.

Details suggest 888 will first pay 11 million pounds to Daub on completion, followed by subsequent payments based on performance. Payments are set between five and six times the businesses earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the year to March 31, 2011.

Wink Bingo saw revenue of 15 million pounds with pretax profit of 1.3 million pounds in the 11 months prior to November 30th.

Shares in 888 were up 1.1 percent, trading at 112.8 pence.

domain-b: 888 acquires online game Wink Bingo for $96 million

Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings Plc. Recently agreed to buy Wink Bingo for as much as £60 million ($96 million) in an effort to enhance the company’s presence in the online bingo market, which is the fastest-growing area of the internet gaming industry.

An initial payment of £11 million will be given to Wink’s current owners Daub Ltd., followed by as much as £48.7 million in late 2011 depending on performance. This second payment is capped at £59.7 million.

Wink Bingo arrived with a bang in early 2008, and soon became very well known. Sponsoring popular UK television show’s like Harry Hill’s TV Burp and running amusing adverts like the Dancing Dog helped Wink Bingo increase their player base by more than 60,000 players each month.

With this acquisition, 888 hopes to catch up with bingo competitors Gala Coral, PartyGaming and Gamesys. In July, 888 lost a bidding war with PartyPoker when trying to acquire Cashcade, owner of Foxy Bingo, which also sold for £96 million.

888 reported that trading in this fourth quarter remains strong, showing growth of about 8 per cent over the third quarter of 2009.

London Evening Standard: 888 gets the nod for online bingo business Wink

Online gambling company 888 today dished out £60 million for an internet bingo business that started less than two years ago.

888 will pay Daub Limited, owners of Wink Bingo, as much as £59.7 million for the bingo business, which also includes the brands Posh Bingo and Bingo Fabulous.

The fast-growing industry of internet is very attractive to online gaming firms like 888 and PartyGaming, which are both constantly looking for partnerships.

Wink Bingo was just launched in 2008 but already supports more than 60,000 active members, making it one of the more popular bingo sites on the net.

It saw revenues of £15 million and profits of £1.3 million during the first 11 months of 2009.

888 will pay £11 million up front, with the remainder of the price possibly reaching as high as £59.7 million – this depends on the site’s performance in the next year.

888 chief executive Gigi Levy said: “We are delighted to announce the Wink Bingo acquisition as an expansion of our online bingo footprint in the lucrative UK market.

“The Wink team has a proven track record of excellence and will be a great addition to our growing bingo business.”

Levy also remarked that trading at 888 “remains strong and is in line with management’s expectations”.

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Online Bingo Games Winners of Free Car Promo Shock All

Nov 14, 2011

cars at online bingoA few months back, promotional online bingo games in Scotland were organized with half a dozen Fiat Pandas offered as the grand prize.

The organizers, with years of experience operating online bingo games were doing their first promotion in Scotland and never realized that some of the locals are not the luckiest people when it comes to vehicles.

It’s the norm to see a large turnout at any event where not one but multiple free cars are awarded to the top tier online bingo winners.

Yet organizers never expected that the real problem will not be the new players unfamiliar with online bingo rules but the actual winners coming up to pick up the cars.

Online bingo games winners

Out of the five online bingo games winners who showed up to pick up their car, the first three came without a driver license and were refused permission to pick up the car.

The fourth online bingo game winner once had a license and knew how to drive – drive too well it seems since his license was indefinitely suspended for almost outrunning a police chase.

The fifth online bingo winner drove up on a giant motorcycle without thinking through what to do with the bike once inside the car. The organizers refused to help him strap the 800cc motorcycle to the roof of the Fiat.

The sixth winner, who plays under the name ‘Big Mama’ never bothered to show up to even claim her car and hasn’t answered her mail, email or telephone for weeks since the day the prizes were awarded.

That day, the shocked promoters were unable to award even a single car and learned that online bingo games in Scotland are sometimes more difficult than imagined.

Source: Blackjackchamp.com : Online Bingo Winners of Free Car Promo Without Driver Licenses

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Online Bingo Prize Won by Young Lady at Mecca Bingo – £57,742

Oct 19, 2011
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A young lady became the grand prize winner of the birthday extravaganza at the always lucky Mecca Bingo.

The young lady beat out a large field of contenders and walked away with an of £57,742.15 calling bingo in just 39 balls at 8.17pm.

Mecca Bingo’s Birthday Booster was just a small part of the month long birthday celebration online bingo prize in honor of one of the most reputable and respected names in both traditional and online bingo.

The Mecca Bingo Birthday Booster Escalator online bingo prize was played for a guaranteed £50,000.

We wish the lucky winner all the best with her online bingo prize and invite our dear readers to try their luck at the always exciting Mecca Bingo!

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Multi-Million Dollar Win at Bet365 Bingo Progressive Slots

Jan 03, 2011
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Online casino games are digital versions of those familiar games found at every brick and mortar casino. Endless varieties of video poker, slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, craps, and other games designed specifically for the online gambler are found online. Internet casinos are at the frontline of inventing unique combinations of games which offer players more ways to win bigger prizes.

One such game combination made Christmas extra special for one lucky online bingo player at Bet365 Bingo who hit an incredible jackpot of £3,922,736 ($5,884,104) at a progressive mini-slot game. The player named ‘taaloo1’ was spinning the Clover Rollover mini-slot game while waiting for the next bingo ball to be announced. To his complete shock, five shamrocks popped up on the spinning wheels, instantly turning him into the largest progressive jackpot slot winner in Bet365 Bingo online history.

According to an interview with the lucky winner, who was still in a state of bliss, he plans to throw a ‘crackling party’ and celebrate his win in style. He also mentioned that along with Clover Rollover, he played other progressive slots at Bet365 Bingo including Big Top Tombola, Snow Queen’s Magic and Pirate Plunder. Similar progressive games can be found at Bet365 Casino, which is powered by the popular Playtech software.

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Ninety percent of online bingo players win cash

Nov 15, 2010
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A leading online bingo portal recently did a study on the average amount of money won by regular users of online bingo sites. The results say that out of all online bingo players, almost 90% have recorded a cash win.

Even more surprising is that out of all these hundreds of thousands of online bingo winners, a full 46% of them have recorded wins of $100 or greater. The numbers do get lower as the prize amount increases, but the results are still encouraging. Of all bingo winners, 17% have experienced wins of $250 to $500, and another 17% have seen single wins greater than $500. Note that the study only recorded individual wins, and didn’t count how much these players have won over their entire online bingo careers.

Larger online bingo are known happen. Many of the top online bingo rooms offer progressive bingo games and coverall games with jackpots in the thousands. The biggest wins at online bingo sites, however, happen on the side games. The current record for the largest single win at an internet bingo room is £1.96 million, won on a progressive jackpot slot called Deal Or No Deal in September 2010 at the popular online bingo site JackpotJoy.

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Jackpot Joy player breaks U.K. record with £1.96 million progressive slot win

Sep 08, 2010
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A player known as Matthew G. got his name into the record books this week by winning the Deal Or No Deal progressive jackpot – but better yet, he also took home nearly £2 million!

Bristol resident Matthew G. won the exact figure of £1,963,088 (over $3.03 million) at Jackpot Joy online bingo hall. This marks the third time the Deal Or No Deal progressive slot has paid out over £1.3 million in the past 18 months. The former record for a progressive jackpot slots win by a U.K. resident was sent about a year ago, when Paul M. of Kent won £1.438 million on the machine; in May 2009, Keith R. won £1.365 on the slot game.

Jackpot Joy is today reporting a humorous story about Matthew G., namely that he’d semi-jokingly promised to pay a friend £250,000 ($386,000) if he won the big jackpot … and he followed through on the promise!

Not only is Matthew G.’s win the largest-ever progressive jackpot won by a British citizen, the prize is also the biggest ever won at an online bingo site. However, a much huger winner is somewhere out there, as Jackpot Joy’s Clover Rollover progressive slot jackpot is currently at over £3,200,000 ($4.95 million).

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Dudderbear wins €65,625 jackpot at Mecca Bingo

Aug 27, 2010
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Another massive progressive jackpot slot game paid out big this week. This time it was at one of the internet’s top bingo sites: Mecca Bingo.

Mecca Bingo is a unique site, because it is actually the online version of a chain physical bingo halls in the UK. The lucky winner, who uses the online alias Dudderbear, was at a Mecca Bingo hall in Leeds when a lucrative welcome bonus led her to sign up online. Since then the mother of two has been regular at Mecca Bingo’s online website.

Dudderbear won the €65,625 prize on a progressive jackpot game called Jungle Madness. This wild video slot is filled with jungle critters like monkeys, snakes, and tigers. Its progressive jackpot prize is paid when five tigers appear in the middle payline.

“I just couldn’t believe it when the slot machine demonstrated that I had won,” explained Dudderbear. “Immediately I rushed to my mother who also was speechless. My mother has an injury so she wasn’t able to go wild with me but her calmness had a positive effect on me. I informed my children while my husband is away for his work. I still need to bring him the good news.”

“I plan to spend the money on a new car and on a nice vacation. I already know which car I would love to buy! Surely my colleagues will have more options for spending the windfall.”

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Wolverhampton Grandmother Hits £250,000 Bingo Jackpot

Jul 19, 2010
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Last Sunday, a woman from Wolverhampton (who wishes to remain anonymous) went to the Gala Bingo club at Ashmore Park with some friends to enjoy an evening of fun and games. The night started off with a bang when some of her friends won the house prize of £3,000. Things soon got even more exciting when the lucky lady hit the club’s High 5 jackpot, which paid out an amazing £250,000.

Because the High 5 jackpot is designed to benefit more than just one player, the winner only took home half the prize money. The rest got distributed between all the other players in the bingo club. There were 61 at the time, so each one went home with £2,049.18.

“I am absolutely ecstatic with the win,” said the 76 year old grandmother. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet – when I got home from bingo I just sat staring into space while it hit me! I’m going to spend the money on my kids, my grandchildren and some home improvements.”

Gala Bingo runs 145 clubs across the UK. Since the High 5 jackpot was launched in 2007, it has paid out a total £17,096,890.09.

Gala is also one of the many groups that offer online bingo games in the UK. Dozens of other top online gambling groups provide internet bingo services for UK players. All accept deposits in British Pounds. While jackpots as big as the one won at Gala Bingo over the weekend are not so common online, some of the internet’s top online bingo rooms offer progressive jackpot bingo games and progressive side games that can pay out enormous prizes.

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Virgin Bingo player wins jackpot, has baby

Jul 15, 2010
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Ann Marie Stubbs got the bingo bonus of a lifetime last week. This Scarborough resident was at home playing online games at Virgin Bingo when she won a big jackpot. Stubbs was so surprised and excited when she realized she had won, that she suddenly found herself ready to give birth!

Stubbs was pregnant while enjoying a game in the . When she went into labour, she announced though the game’s live chat feature, telling the other players that she had to abandon her game and rush off to the hospital.

“Everyone has been fantastic in the Marrakesh room,” she said. “I could not believe my waters broke while I was playing bingo, to say I was shocked was an understatement!”

Within hours, Stubbs had delivered a healthy baby boy: Harley Jay Stubbs, weighing in at 7lbs 1oz. Virgin Bingo was so excited to her about her “double win” that they caught up with her to offer their congratulations by presenting the woman and her new child with a bouquet of flowers.

Internet bingo in the UK is becoming more and more popular, not only with mums-to-be but also with a younger crowd as well. Sites like Virgin Bingo offer non-stop games in a variety of styles, and they use live chat technology to maintain the social aspect of traditional bingo halls. The site offers free bingo games several times a day in their Marrakesh room so new players can try things on for size.

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Progressive jackpot side games put the “Joy” in JackpotJoy

Jul 01, 2010
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JackpotJoy is an online bingo site, and like most internet bingo sites, they offer a range of side games and mini games for players to enjoy. These side games let players to win some extra money on the side, and can be enjoyed while bingo games are taking place. Since most modern bingo sites automatically fill out player’s cards as numbers are called, side games are a great way to pass the time.

At JackpotJoy, dozens of side games are available. They include slots, casino games like poker and blackjack, video poker machines, and instant games like scratchcards and keno. The most exciting category of bingo side games at JackpotJoy are their Jackpots games.

These side games offer enormous prizes through their progressive jackpot payouts. Progressive jackpot games feature special jackpots that grow and grow as members play them, because a little piece of every bet gets added to the prize. These jackpots don’t pay out very often, but when they do, the payouts are enormous.

Progressive side games at JackpotJoy Bingo include:
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At the time of writing this, the Deal or No Dealer Slot jackpot is sitting pretty at £1.4 million, and it is growing bigger every second. The game costs as little as 20p to play, which is a very small price to pay for a chance at such a huge jackpot prize.

To get a chance to earn one of these progressive prizes, sign up with JackpotJoy Bingo today. New members get their first deposit doubled up to £100, and existing members get access to dozens of exciting promotions running every month, all year long.

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UK favorite Mecca Bingo opens room, brand new Bingo games

Jun 30, 2010
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Mecca Bingo, already a name-brand leader in the U.K. and beyond, is sure to become much more popular beginning in July. Mecca Bingo representatives have just announced the imminent launch of a brand new Club Bingo room at Mecca, to be opened on July 1.

The new Club Bingo room will include brand new games like Penny Bingo and Superbooks alongside more traditional games offered by Mecca Casino. “Penny Bingo” lives up to the name, with live games everyday for 1¢ per ticket from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Ticket prices go up by 1¢ hourly until 5 p.m. closing time, so hurry in before 4 p.m. and you won’t have to pay a huge 4¢!

The Superbooks game will be open daily from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Players can either play for free or can win 5x to 10x the prizes by paying cash entry.

Present promotions going on at Mecca Bingo include the daily 75-ball game for £1,000 plus their linx Bingo games and the World Cup Chat Challenge: a trivia contest with £550 to be won when CMs periodically ask questions during bingo games – and Mecca promises that absolutely no questions about the World Cup or football will be asked!

Both new and existing players can take advantage of Mecca Bingo’s £5 no deposit offer to play bingo in their extremely popular Britain’s Got Talent-themed game. And new players *must* check out the 100% initial deposit match bonus for up to £50 – one of the bigger UK Bingo bonuses out there!

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Foxy Bingo announces awards, big winners, player bonuses

Jun 28, 2010
Foxy Bingo

Recently named one of the top ten online casino and bingo brands in the U.K., Foxy Bingo shows no signs of letting up in terms of either success or popularity. In June, the five-year-old website was able to add to its accolades at the industry’s recent Online Bingo Summit: Foxy Bingo was nominated in the category of “Best Online Bingo Operator for 2010” and won in the “Best Marketing Campaign” award.

Some of Foxy Bingo’s best marketing comes from its promotions of course and this month Foxy seems to be just cranking out the big winners. Last week saw user Itsbetty take £2,500 in the “Tombola Draw” held every Tuesday and Thursday; starting at £500, this payout was the highest yet recorded in the promotion at Foxy Bingo.

And in just one week of the “Pre-Purchase Game,” Foxy Bingo doled out £17,000 in cash prizes plus DVD players and TVs to 31 players, including wins of £30,00 recorded by players Fleapot and Jambojebus92. One other player took home a nice £2,000 prize in the competition and three others won £1,500.

While Foxy Bingo is just five years old, this online bingo site UK has rapidly become known as one of the biggest and best around. Foxy boasts 40 rooms offering nearly every available form of bingo, from 75 ball pattern games to 90 ball coverall tournaments.

Some promotions currently available at Foxy Bingo include the free £20 welcome bonus, a contest for a free wedding cake and £1,000 in cash for the big day, and Monday Super Prize nights with games for as little as 1¢. For an all-around outstanding bingo experience, experts and players appear to agree: Foxy Bingo is your place for fun and winnings!

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Think Bingo now paying runners-up with 1TG and 2TG games

Jun 24, 2010
Visit Think Bingo

When playing online bingo, nothing is more frustrating than getting worked up over a nearly-complete bingo card in a blackout game, then watching as another player grabs the prize money right out from under your nose. Now, at Think Bingo, this never has to be a problem again.

A new range of bingo games has just been introduced at Think Bingo called 1TG and 2TG games. The TG stands for “to go”, and it refers to the number of spots left before a player completes their card. If a card has all but one number marked, that’s 1TG, and if there are just two numbers left, that’s 2TG.

The games work like this: When one or more players start getting close to having a full card, an alert goes out, letting everyone know the climax of the game is coming up soon. When somebody finally wins and grabs the game’s guaranteed prize money, any players with “one to go” or even “two to go” will also get paid! This definitely relieves some of the stress that comes with almost winning (or is it barely losing?). It also lets more players walk away from each game with a smile on their face.

Qualifying games will be marked with special 1TG or 2TG symbols outside the bingo room, letting players know when these runner-up prizes will be paid.

Think Bingo is as much about socializing as it is about playing bingo and winning cash. The site’s pink and purple color scheme makes it clear who the target audience is! Have fun meeting new people and enjoying wild chat games while playing non-stop bingo games in any of the site’s game rooms. Sign up today and you’ll receive a 400% bonus on any deposit of £5 or £10!

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Jackpotjoy Celebrates 2010 World Cup with “Play Collect Win” Promotion

Jun 22, 2010
Play Collect Win at Jackpotjoy

Jackpotjoy, one of the world leaders in online bingo, is running a World Cup promotion that combines the international flavor of the biggest football event of the year with the excitement and fun of online bingo. The promotion is called Play Collect Win, and it lets bingo fans collect flags from countries around the world in order to win real cash prizes.

The rules of this great promotion are easy to follow. Jackpotjoy members just need to enjoy their favorite games at this top bingo site in order to collect flags. Most games count, including all their great online bingo games – only a few casino titles are exempt.

For every £20 a player wagers in a day, they receive one flag. If a player wagers £30 or more in a single day, they get two flags! There are 32 flags to collect, representing the 32 countries that are taking part in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

As players collect flags, they match them up with a special chart found on the Jackpotjoy website. The chart is set up sort of like a bingo card, and when players complete rows of flags, they earn cash prizes! The prizes aren’t huge – they range from £1 up to £15 – but if players manage to collect all 32 flags, they will win £50 guaranteed!

It doesn’t stop there – when the players sign up for this promo, they have to choose one country. If they collect all 32 flags, and the country they chose makes it to the final four, they win a share of £20,000! Remember, the cash goes to all the players who chose that country, so picking less obvious choices could lead to more cash in pocket.

Anyone who is not yet a member of Jackpotjoy should definitely consider joining. They run non-stop online bingo games of every variety, and have enough casino games and side games to keep anyone busy for months! Sign up today and grab a 100% welcome bonus up to £100 on your first deposit.

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Bingo, Scotland’s passion, awaits confirmation of fair taxation after election

Jun 18, 2010
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Now that proponents of fair taxation for bingo in Scotland have been elected/reelected into the country’s parliament, the Scottish National Party constituency now awaits a repeal to a proposed tax hike on bingo gaming.

One of the more outspoken proponents of bingo in Scotland was Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie. Hosie, who also serves as the SNP’s spokesperson for the treasury and economy, actually invested the time for his last photo opportunity of the election season to meet with Mecca Bingo players and managers in Nethergate in May.

SNP spent much of the election campaign warning bingo players that Scottish bingo clubs were at risk because of the Labour Party’s proposed budget. Planned for in the budget, SNP candidates said, was an increase from 15% to 22%. Calling the prospective tax hike “unfair,” Hosie at that time said that “Bingo is a highly popular social activity yet is paying 22%, while duty on other forms of gambling including sports betting, online casino and online poker and football pools will remain at 15%.”

And in fact SNP strategy also had party head/First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond playing the part of bingo caller in a Glasgow bingo parlor in October. Ironically, the winning number in the game Salmond drew was 74, the number of years Labour had held the parliament seat of the district in which Salmond was calling. “You can’t fight fate,” he joked. (SNP’s candidate David Kerr ended up losing anyway.)

In 2009, a House of Commons study showed that three million people in Great Britain played bingo regularly. In that fiscal year, 1.42 billion was played on bingo games in real-life bingo halls alone and 69.8 million was raised in taxes for the British government. The Scottish market accounts for about 20% of the overall British numbers.

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Mecca Bingo’s Got Talent, anti-World Cup trivia contest, tea party

Jun 17, 2010
Mecca Bingo

In honor of the season-ending episode of the reality TV performance show “Britain’s Got Talent” (and in honor of the “football widow” left abandoned for the telly at the pub by her husband), Mecca Bingo this week launched their “Mecca’s Got Talent Club Finals” promotion, an interesting contest with a cash prize of £3,000 and a booked performance date at Wembley Stadium in May.

Through Friday, any British citizen can upload his or her “Britain’s Got Talent”-style video to the Mecca Bingo Facebook fan page. After reviewing all submissions, two entrants will join Mecca’s eight club finalists to perform in the finals on September 4th. The show will be hosted by Scottish TV personality Lorraine Kelly and the winner receives the £3,000 grand prize and the performance at Wembley in May 2011.

Hundreds of submissions have already been entered into the contest and Mecca gaming director Angus Nisbet has stated that “many Mecca players have already shown amazing degrees of talent.”

Incidentally, Mecca Bingo reminds that a second promotion is running specifically for football widows: The “Chat Challenge” trivia contest with £550 to be won when CMs periodically ask questions during bingo games. The perk for this audience: “Those of you who are fed up with hearing about the World Cup will be pleased to know that none of this bingo site’s questions are football-related but are questions about countries all over the world,” says PR material for the event.

Finally, on Saturday, June 19th, a Chester-based bingo hall has announced the Mecca Bingo-sponsored “Blooming Great Tea Party” to raise money for the Marie Curie Cancer Cure; naturally, bingo games will be on offer.

All proceeds from the event will go toward assistance for homecare for the terminally ill in Britain. Mecca Bingo has set itself a goal of £200,000 to be raised for Marie Curie Cancer Cure and other charitable organizations.

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Big winner cashes in at Virgin Bingo for 550,000x payout

Jun 16, 2010
Virgin Bingo

Virgin Bingo recently announced a huge winner, but the even better news for players there is that nearly £500,000 is still available on the progressive slot she took for lots of money.

A player known as “Milllane” was playing Progressive Snow Queen’s Magic, a slot game installed at Virgin Bingo. On 10p stakes, Milllane managed to line up five Snow Queen symbols for a massive £55,000 on a single spin.

Ironically, Milllane had been a regular player at Virgin Bingo, but recently had been away from the online bingo room for two years. On a whim, she decided to visit her old favorite again last Sunday to come away with the five-figure prize money.

Though Milllane took a goodly amount of money out of the online progressive slot, she was only playing for 10p per payline and the total sum is only paid out to a player at the £1 bet level. As of this writing, over £496,000 is in the jackpot coffers right now.

When asked what she would be doing with her winnings, Milllane stated that “I think some of my winnings will be [for] going on holiday and getting a new kitchen fitted!”

Since its establishment in 2004, Virgin Games has now served over 1,000,000 players. The custom-built Virgin Games platform, including Virgin Bingo and Virgin Casino powered by WagerWorks and Cryptologic software among others, was established in 2008.

Join Virgin Bingo while the World Cup is going on to play free bingo games while a match is being played in the World Cup Free Bingo promotion!

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The Dos and Don’ts of Online Bingo Chitchat

Jun 15, 2010
Bingo Chat

In contrast to many other types of online gambling, Internet bingo is inherently a social game in which the chitchatting is an integral part of the gaming experience. If you play bingo online, you’ll also be meeting new people and making friends. Therefore it’s important to consider a few unwritten rules expected of fellow bingo players. Six simple suggestions for dos and don’ts for Bingo chitchat might be the following.

• Do your research. Many a webpage or forum topic is devoted solely to bingo chat rooms. Why? Because even a bingo website with the best possible promotions and tournaments running 24/7 means nothing without a friendly and lively chatroom. Also important to look for in doing research are free chatroom games – an essential to keep players interested and enthused.

• Don’t bother with the free bingo sites. While free bingo sounds fun, these sites are overwhelmingly poorly run, have inferior customer/technical support and attract few people who actually stay regulars, an essential feature of a fun bingo website. And the chatrooms at such websites reflect this.

• Do be polite. Please. Virtual society is still society, after all, so please apply the golden rule. Of course, some unintentional stepping on people’s toes will happen in a suitably international and multicultural bingo room. In general, the same rules of polite conversation apply and therefore it’s best to stay away from controversial subject matter. One thing that can be emphatically stated is the following.

• Don’t brag about your wins. This is really a turnoff in terms of bingo chit chat and can inspire serious bad feelings, even accusations. These in turn tie in with…

• Don’t complain about players winning. It sounds bad and it’s silly if you think about it. There are nowhere “house players” and it is seemingly impossible for anyone to cheat at online bingo. Please remember that it’s all about luck and there are no bingo conspiracies.

• Do learn some lingo. If you want to chitchat, chitchat in cool fashion by learning some online bingo lingo. Most of these are actually Internet-like acronym terms, but in addition to LOL are some specific “words” like “1tg,” which means “one number to go until I hit bingo.” Then there’s BLNT for “better luck next time” and POOF for “I have left the chat.” And fellow bingo players are referred to as “Roomies.”

The next time you chat while playing online bingo, remember your bingo etiquette and you’ll have even more fun. So have a great time, GL2U and TTFN!

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