Facebook Plugs into the Popularity of Bingo

Bingo is Leading the Way to Growth at Facebook!

The gambling industry continues to rise in popularity.  That increase results in an ever-growing amount of real money spent online and through mobile gaming.  Facebook looks to the future by recognizing the income potential of mobile Bingo.

Consistent Increase in Online Betting

Online gaming is an ever-growing global industry, and especially so in England.  In 2011, players spent £1.9 million.  According to Mintel – Online Gaming and Betting UK October 2011, the 2012 estimate for internet betting is in excess of £2 million. There are six basic brands that control 60% of the online gaming field:  Ladbrokes, 888, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair and Bet365.  There are only a couple of primary head-terms in the Bingo market.  The result is fierce competition among brands.   Facebook provides an expanded customer source, making the connection between Bingo and Facebook lucrative for the online gaming industry.    

Facebook:  A Move in the Right Direction

Facebook offers more than simply a new market base.  The social element of bingo, and in fact that of all internet and mobile gambling, has been a key concern of online casinos.  The top five online brands regarding social adaptation include Sky, Betfair, William Hill, 888 and Paddy Power.  The attempt to imitate the warm human ambiance of brick & mortars led to the advent of chatrooms and other real time social connections between players.  Facebook is a giant step forward in regard to that social connection.     

Facebook Revenue Growing

The five most lucrative markets for Facebook, in order of user numbers, are:  U.S., Brazil, India, Indonesia and the U.K.  In the past three months alone, the U.K. has grown 2%. The 5th most popular app is Zynga’s Texas Hold’em. It is interesting that no ads are shown on mobile apps to access Facebook.  The growth in mobile gaming has been documented by Q2 research.  In a comparison between 2012 and 2011, Facebook experienced a 28% increase in advertising during the same quarter.  That quarter in 2012 saw advertising revenue in the amount of $992 million, which was 84% of Facebook’s total income.

Bingo Brings Revenue

Facebook brings aboard Bingo with extremely lucrative potential results for Facebook as well as for the Bingo industry.  In England, the gaming market is growing by leaps and bounds.  Britain’s citizens love to bet on anything and everything.  An example of England’s wagering propensity is the 1,000 to 1 Ladbrokes’ odds in January 2012, as to whether the Thames will freeze in winter. 

Bingo provides Facebook with a possible niche in other European countries.  Further the addition of Bingo to its repertoire carries a relatively low risk in a country such as England that leans toward the spirit of gaming.  Bingo also offers to Facebook an immensely lucrative potential, along with the opportunity to diversify its revenue. 

Regarding the competitive nature of the gaming and Bingo markets, Facebook has taken on more than a few partners.  This places Facebook in a position to control the degree of competition in the industry.  Meanwhile, Facebook is establishing their own apps, opening new channels for further engagement and income.  Let’s not forget about the player who has easy mobile access to Facebook and all of the most popular games, including exciting versions of Bingo.  Facebook is globally known to be a trusted platform, adding greatly to the comfort of the gamer.

Bingo Friendzy

There is a technological similarity between Texas Hold’em, which is the 5th most popular app, and Bingo Friendzy.  The real money involved in the Bingo app sets the two apart.  The key to Bingo success on Facebook may very well be their ability to manage the app concerning notice of Bingo game promotions as they occur.  The promotions are the bread and butter of online and mobile gaming.

The Facebook edge involves the personal information that they carry concerning age, interest, gender, location and a myriad of other data.  That data provides Facebook with a great heads up as to who to notify regarding each Bingo Friendzy promotion.  The decision to add Bingo Friendzy to its list of apps produced a strong futuristic picture of Facebook.  The 28% increase from one quarter of 2011 to the same quarter in 2012 appears to be only the beginning of a great revenue increase in the present year.

The connection with Bingo is a totally positive step for Facebook, the Bingo industry and the gamer.

Bingo at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) at the Rathbun Lodge in Quincy, IL remains rooted in the tradition of charitable contributions.  For many years, bingo has been held at the lodge every Wednesday for the community to enjoy.  The IOOF Hall in Quincy even has a stair-lift for those who need assistance to reach the upper hall.  Bingo has become a habit for those who attend and participants enjoy a variety of games including Hot Ball, winner-take-all, regulars, specials and Bingo Ball Bull Tabs.  The money that is raised from these games is donated to the local community as well as to national and international charities.

Local Charities Supported by the IOOF Bingo

One local charity that receives support from the IOOF bingo games works to provide medical equipment for patients in their homes.  Some of the equipment includes crutches, canes, shower chairs and hospital beds.  The IOOF also supports the Quincy Library, Educational Foundation and the Quincy Little League.  The IOOF also donates to the Branch Interfaith Hospitality Networ and provides scholarships to children to attend the Tall Oaks Camp in Baldwin.  Those at the IOOF say that they wish to make the world a better place and leave an imprint on future generations.

National and International Charities Supported by the IOOF Bingo

One of the national charities that are supported by the IOOF is Johns Hopkins Hospital for eye research.  The IOOF is also the biggest fraternal contributor to the National Arthritis Foundation.  The IOOF has also made it possible for teenagers to participate in the United Nations Pilgrimage that tours to Washington D.C., New York and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Another charity that is supported by the IOOF is the SOS Village, an orphanage that provides shelter and food to children in Cambodia.  The IOOF also lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery along with members of all the branches in the United States Military every 1st Sunday in May.  In addition, the IOOF was given an award for its float that was featured in the Rose Bowl Parade.

History of the IOOF

The American Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in 1819 when the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England gave it a charter.  The name of this organization stems from the ‘odd’ behaviour of charity towards other people – a rare phenomenon when it was founded.  The IOOF emblem of a linked chain represents the organization’s motto – love, trust and friendship.

The IOOF in Quincy was given a charter on January 2nd, 1892 and the chain links are proudly displayed on the outside of the building.  In 1933, the Rathbun Lodge received its charter and the headquarters of the Quincy IOOF have remained there ever since.  There have been many famous people who were part of the IOOF including Wyatt Earp, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin and United States presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rutherford Hayes and Warren Harding.  There are many volunteers and contributors that make bingo at the IOOF possible, including volunteers to call bingo numbers, prepare food for guests and who work the floor during bingo games.

Armed Burglary at Bingo Hall Injures Employee

A bingo hall armed burglary left terror in it wake, as players head for online bingo!

The 165 Bingo Hall, located on U.S. 165 North in Monroe, Louisiana, was the subject of an armed burglary that took place a little after 1 AM on the first Saturday in July 2012.  The robbery was a bloody mess, as shots were fired from the handguns of the thieves.  One person, an employee of the bingo hall, was injured and rushed to the hospital.  The victim was reported to be in stable condition. The masked criminals grabbed an unknown amount of cash before fleeing the bingo hall.  Monroe police are now searching for the two robbers.

Armed Burglaries at Bingo Halls in the U.S.

In addition to the burglary at the Monroe bingo hall, several other armed robberies have recently occurred in diverse areas of America.  Back in April 2012, two armed men traumatized bingo hall customers and fled with over $2,000 in cash from a local Kinston, North Carolina bingo hall.  While no one was seriously hurt, a couple of people received scrapes and bruises as they fell trying to flee the gun-toting criminals. Police have no leads as to the identity of the thieves.

Three teenagers have confessed to the armed robbery of a local bingo hall in Palm Bay, Florida.  That hold-up occurred in May of this year.  Witness statements to the police confirmed that guns were used in the burglary.  The robbers were identified by surveillance videos, which contained footage of the three teens casing the bingo hall without masks prior to the theft.  A local bingo hall was robbed in Columbia, South Carolina, by six armed men wearing masks.  In the early morning hours of May 12, 2012, the six men ran into the business establishment with drawn guns, loudly demanding money.

The customers and employees of the bingo hall dropped to the floor.  Two of the thieves threw a copier on top of the business manager.  The criminals stole cell phones, women’s purses, cash and the feeling of safety from customers and employees alike.  The manager, Donnell Richardson, commented that the players and staff members are like family.  That sense of comfort and security has now been severely damaged.  The criminals remain at large.

Bingo Halls in the UK Hit by Armed Thieves

America is not the only country plagued with this type of thievery.  In Belfast, Ireland, two men robbed a bingo hall on 28 June 2012.  One of the two bandits was armed with a screw driver, and threatened a staff member.  The thieves fled with an undisclosed amount of money.   Also in the UK, this past February three masked men, two of whom were armed, entered a local Durham bingo club.  They traumatized employees and customers, demanded that the safe be opened and stole a substantial amount of cash.

Weapons and masks appear to be common elements in the rash of bingo hall robberies.    It has been suggested that surveillance cameras and a ban on hooded clothing worn by customers may help to turn the tide against this type of violent thievery.  Many bingo hall customers have reacted to the criminal activity by turning to online bingo.

Temecula Residents Rejoice with Return of Beloved Bingo Game

Bingo always gets a big welcome at Pechanga Entertainment Center as both long time players and customers rejoice over the return of their favourite game. The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians commemorated the center’s 10th Anniversary with the revival of bingo, which was one of the first few forms of entertainment at the center. Long time players Al and Cecile Sawyer, with smiling faces declared ‘We’re home!’ at the ballroom of the Pechanga Resort and Casino which saw hundreds of other bingo players over the past few days since the news broke out.

Pechanga Bingo Gets a Boost!

The celebrations, beginning Thursday, were the beginning of an exciting series of bingo-themed events, attracting in excess of 900 people. Old friendships were renewed, longtime friends were embraced and stories were shared as all came together for their love of bingo.  Patrons remarked about how nice it as to meet up with folks that they recall from years ago. Among the familiar faces was Larry Montoya, who was a member of Planet Bingo, the ‘pioneers’ that ran the bingo games in the 90s. He expressed his appreciation at all the terrific bingo entertainment on offer. And being back in Temecula was a real treat for him.

Pechanga Entertainment Center back in the 90s

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, operators of the Pechanga Entertainment Center, introduced bingo as one of the early attractions when the center first began operating. Before the casino was built, or even before there was a building, the games took place in a tent located at a parking lot. The tent provided shelter from heat and cold, and this is where residents would gather and play bingo. After a few years, the tribe then moved the games into a building. In 2003, the tribe shut it down to make way for a high-end gaming area. Those who worked for the bingo games either worked in other parts of the casino or transferred to other areas, and in Larry Montoya’s case, moved to Tennessee.

A Memorable Bingo Reunion for All

Montoya made the trip again to Temecula after receiving a call about the return of bingo, which he described as an admirable act the tribe had taken. President of the Pechanga Development Corp, Mr. Joaquin Fletcher said that all old workers were called back to Temecula to mark the return of bingo and to make it a memorable event for all, with nothing but words of appreciation for the organizers. A large crowd turnout exceeded everyone’s expectations and made the bingo event a sure-fire success.

Reactions of the crowd of bingo aficionados definitely proved that bingo was still well received despite its nine years of absence. Folks commented that it felt like a good old family reunion. The casino’s 1st player’s club cardholder – Mrs D. Beyer was especially proud of proceedings.  Chuck Beyer, her husband, who holds the second card, said was happy to let the ladies go ahead and take center stage.

Bingo is a Tradition for Small Community

A fire department in a community of less than 500 keeps tradition alive each year by holding an annual carnival, complete with rides, food and live music, and Bingo. The carnival is put on the fire department, but it includes residents of the community as volunteers to keep it going. The residents are the core of the carnival, the fire chief said, with some passing the volunteer work down from generation to generation.

Bingo is the Main Event

But the most popular feature of the carnival’s evening activities is Bingo, and it’s not just a tradition. Bingo is by far the fire department’s main attraction. Some 100 games are called a night in a comfort zone for the Bingo lovers – they can light up and socialize while playing. It’s the most attended activity of the 16-day event and brings in former residents, who are known to sync their vacations so they can gather for Bingo.

The fire chief has manned the game for over three decades and has a steady right-hand man to call the numbers, a former Coast Guard chief, who has called Bingo for 15 years. The caller yelled a record 147 games one night, shutting his larynx down for two days. He is dedicated because Bingo serves another purpose – to pump revenue into the fire department’s coffer. The night the caller lost his voice, the department took in almost $4,000 at 25 cents a card. The fire department earned half and the other half was spent on prizes.

Playing Bingo Games

Cash prizes are determined by how many people play each night. Game fees are split 50-50, with 50 percent going toward the prizes. The department has been awarding cash prizes since the 1980s. Before that, the fire department bought prizes like appliances, lamps and décor. The fire chief still has one of the prizes – a serving tray. As they won, players earned coupons and turned them in for prizes, which could cost one coupon or 10 coupons, depending on the prize. The Bingo prizes were displayed so all the players could see them while they played.

The fire chief keeps track of all incoming revenue, however, he does it in small-town fashion. The state requires he keep a record of Bingo statistics and each night, the chief uses a felt tip pen to record the total on one of the walls in his office. Totals are everywhere on the walls. His other tool for the operation is a computer for bookkeeping. The state’s demand on what to file has increased over the years and the chief is filing approximately 12 pages every night, giving the chief a healthy stack of paper once the 16-day Bingo frenzy is finished. The community’s annual Bingo party has an edge for players, the chief said. The department never graduated to paper cards. Instead, they use the old ones because the games move along faster, leaving time for more games, and more revenue.

The department likes the revenue the Bingo tradition generates, but it’s the community that makes the biggest impact, the fire chief said.

Can the Minnesota Vikings Win with Bingo?

Stadium not Scoring with Charities!

At least one of the over 70 comments posted about an online article on the new Minnesota Vikings stadium points toward the taxes charities already pay to the state, minus the formula put in place to pay for the venue. Charities already pay about half of their net profits from gambling, such as pull tabs and Bingo. The remainder leaves them with almost nothing to give to their beneficiaries – the poor.

Tax Rates May Squash Charitable Gaming

The bill for the stadium began with a formula that was raised when it actually went to vote in the Senate. While the results of the new tax tier isn’t clear, some charities are sure they’ll lose. A Lions Club gambling manager is quite sure he will pay $13,000 more because of the boosted rate. Four charities, including one that helps unwed mothers, fall under a Bingo emporium and the gambling manager there predicts a bleak future. She believes her taxes will be $28,000. Before she reflects on what charitable gaming is all about, the manager says the tax increase means the emporium will have to sell 350,000 pull tabs to keep up with the new formula.

Department of Revenue Claims

Charities could see tax cuts, although it is too early to tell, the Minnesota Department of Revenue says. The department foresees the cuts. A Lions Club in Burnsville, Minn., stands to see a cut of $109,000, but the manager is skeptical. In contrast, recently the department showed the numbers it predicts and many charities will see an increase. About 1,200 nonprofit organizations bear the responsibility of depositing $348 million into the state’s bank account, which will in turn contribute to the new stadium’s bill. One manager estimates it will take more than $2 million in pulltabs to make up the difference from before the stadium formula.

The Rich are Under Attack Yet Again

Many comments slam the ties between the corporate elite and Minnesota’s lawmakers for the new stadium formula. While nonprofits are kept in limbo until the results of the formula are known, public commentators are convinced state leaders continue to favor the wealthy.

4,700 Signatures – Before Bingo

Japanese investors would like to see Bingo legalized in Guam.  The Guam Election Commission requires a petition with a minimum of 4,700 signatures before they can put Bingo on the Ballot in the General Election this year.

Greyhound Park turns Bingo Park

Following the submission of a short summary of a proposal to legalize Bingo in Guam, the Election Commission approves the initiative and gives the group 120 days to obtain signatures from 10% of Guam’s registered voters which is approximately 47,000 people.  If the petition is not signed by 4,700 people before the general election in November, the initiative will be on hold until the next General Election.  Gathering the signatures must be expeditious at this juncture in order to make the deadline.

Japanese Investors Have Their Eye on Greyhound Park

A group of Japanese investors known as the Guam Japan Friendship Village have conveyed a plan to legalize for-profit Bingo in Guam.  The Bingo initiative was filed on behalf of the group by Annette Cruz.  If the initiative makes it to the General Election on November 6, 2012 and acquires enough votes to pass, the group plans to open Bingo at the former Greyhound Park.  In addition, expansion may be possible if they are able to lease or purchase an adjacent lot that sits empty.

Guam Election Commission executive director Maria Pangelinan says the commission went over the proposal with a fine-tooth comb and approved the next step.  The initiative will make it on the ballot of the upcoming General Election if the group is able to acquire signatures form 4,700 registered voters which represents 10% of Guam’s registered voters.  The next task at hand is to accumulate all necessary signatures in order to meet the deadline.

Legalized Bingo Summary

Pangelinan said that there are approximately 120 days left to collect the signatures from 10% of all registered voters.  In order to meet this deadline and ensure that legal Bingo is on that November Ballot, the signatures must be gathered and certified 90 days from the election in order to make it on this Ballot.  If the deadline is not met, the group will be forced to wait until the next General Election to make it happen.   The Election Commission outlined a summary in regard to the initiative.  The Department of Revenue & Taxation will regulate all Bingo operations.  The gross Bingo tax will be set at 20% and all other gaming tax laws will be enforced. The gross amount of taxable income from Bingo will be set at the value of wager and Bingo prizes that are paid out.  A fund will be created as the Guam Bingo Fund and all Bingo revenues will be channeled through this fund.

The funds will then be divided and dispersed as follows; 30% to the GMH Board, 30% to the Education Policy Board, 30% to the GPD and GFD, and 10% will go to the Department of Revenue for their expenses.  Jeff Moot, Guam Election Commission’s legal counsel said that there are no other unrelated subjects to consider at this time.  If the Guam Japan Friendship Village is successful with this initiative, they may open for-profit Bingo at the former Guam Greyhound Park within the next year.  Guam Japan Friendship Village representative Julie De’ttori has not yet been available to comments or questions.

Bingo is the Life of Riley

Every once in awhile, you win.  Always, you belong.   

Bingo is a time-tested game of chance.  Half of the enjoyment of bingo is that there is no skill needed for winning.  But it takes more than just plain luck; it takes concentration and memory as to which pattern is being used in any one game. Bingo today is more interesting and more challenging than it was when first introduced into American culture in the 1920’s.  Today, it’s fast and varied.  Bingo players know that “two or three missed numbers means money.”  So said East Helena bingo veteran, Nancy Lanier.

The Bingo Lifestyle in Helena

There are 3 bingo halls in Helena:  Best Bet Casino on Euclid, the Senior Center at the Rocky Mountain Development Council and the Moose Lodge on North Montana.  Close by, is the Eagles No. 4040 in East Helena.  Most people saunter in with friends or family.  It’s the life. Real people play bingo.  Lanier reasoned:  “It’s a game of chance.  If you win, you can keep playing, but if not, you’re in trouble.”  When she was younger, she played bingo seven nights a week in Great Falls with her mother and two aunts.  Now she’s the mother of four grown, 40-something children.  Lanier, and many other veteran players, bring along a bingo bag with little pockets, each carrying one type of item:  colors of daubers, a tape, a pen, a little cash, and some hand lotion.  Once a week she can be found at Best Bet; once a month at the bingo hall in Great Falls; and she says that “Everyone once in a while you win.”

 Bingo is Enjoyed the World Over

The manager at Best Bet, Terry St. Clair, observed that “Bingo is not a grandma’s game anymore.  It’s for everyone.”  She described the players as men and women from their early 20s to their late 80s.  St. Clair also commented that people from all backgrounds enjoy the game. One of the couples who play bingo at Best Bet, Don & Norma Pigman, make bingo their entertainment once or twice a week.  They’ve been enjoying Best Bet for five years.  They have a realistic perspective:  “We just try to break even.”  They play for the sheer fun of it. A young day care worker, Tashina Waltz, recently went to Best Bet for the first time:  “I’ve wanted to play for a long time, but nobody would ever go.”  She brought along a friend of hers.  Expectation often determines the result.  Her friend was disappointed that he didn’t win, and commented:  “I didn’t really like it.  It was boring.”  Waltz on the other hand was really into the game:  “I’m not bummed I didn’t win, because it was my first time.  I wasn’t really expecting to win.”

The Cost and Pots of Bingo

Another Best Bet player is Margaret Hoffman from East Helena.  She retired from Associated Foods 29 years ago.  Hoffman is a practical person who reasoned:  “I don’t drink.  I don’t smoke.  So I figure I can play bingo.”  For a regular game at Best Bet, the prices begin at $15.00, including free drinks.  The usual pot is about $100.00.  Lanier put the pot into perspective when she said:  “Years ago I won $500.00, but they don’t give that kind of money anymore.”  Times have changed, but bingo is still bingo…

Relay For Life Bingo

The Relay For Life team in Hudson is hosting a bingo and auction night to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.  The fundraiser tickets are $25 and include admission to bingo games, a raffle and a silent auction.  The bingo night is sponsored by the Glamour Girls Team. They have already raised over $100,000 for cancer research and treatment!

Featured Events at Relay for Life Bingo Night

Relay For Life is a nationwide event from The American Cancer Society.  It takes places on June 8th and 9th and lasts for 24 hours. The goal is to honour those who lost their lives to cancer, to celebrate cancer survivors, and to raise funds for the battle against cancer.  In Hudson, the Relay For Life team is hosting a silent auction and bingo night fundraiser.  The main events of this fundraiser include bingo games, Chinese raffles, a silent auction and a 50/50 Raffle.  The price of each ticket is $25 and it can be used as admission for all the games, the auction, and the raffles. Free beverages will be provided by local food vendors along with a cash bar.  Everyone in the community is invited to attend to support the fight against cancer. 

The Glamour Girls and Relay For Life Team

The fundraiser bingo event is sponsored by a youth team, the Glamour Girls.  In five years, this team has raised more than $100,000 for cancer organizations.  The Relay For Life team is made up of 8 teams, each with 15 people.  These teams camp out in sleeping bags and tents to attend the Relay For Life fundraiser walk.  The Relay For Life teams bring communities, schools, co-workers, businesses, families and friends together to support cancer research and research for a cure. 

Bingo and St. Gregory: A Story of Charity

Many Catholic parishes and schools benefit from the influx of funds from bingo And the benefits of playing bingo are being felt by communities far and wide.

Bingo is more than just a game of chance. Many of the local non profits benefit from using it as a tool to raise funds for social welfare programs and the like. The Catholic Church’s official stance on bingo is that they do not forbid gambling, and bingo is not a sin. As a case in point, in South Hampton Roads $3.34 million was grossed for the fiscal year of 1999-2000 for 6 Catholic parishes and schools. This information was documented by  Virginia’s Charitable Gaming Commission. Many causes like parochial schools received $392,882 of the sum raised.

St. Gregory the Great Church

St. Gregory Great Church Men’s Club donated  $61,000 to the local parish school. On Friday nights the St. Gregory Great Catholic Church is packed with people ready to play bingo. There are plenty of cash prizes on offer,  ranging from $100 to $3,750. Some of the players are bold enough to play up to 21 bingo cards. They also offer instant bingo, which is similar to scratch-off lotto tickets. These tickets can instantly be redeemed. For many of the players, the fact that the funds go to charity is seen as a plus point.

The Men’s Club at St Gregory runs the game. They provide bingo players with responsible gaming advice and safe & secure bingo gaming. The club rejected a proposal to install an ATM machine, and they do not accept checks. However, there is an ATM for a credit union located in the parking lot. For schools such as St. Pius X School located in Norfolk, their budget runs solely on the tuition collected from students and charitable donations. The money coming in from bingo has made a big difference in the lives of the students at the school.

Generating Funds from Bingo Games

Hosting bingo can be a terrific source of revenue. However, even though it is being run by volunteers, there are still large costs that need to be covered. If an organization does not have a venue, they have to pay to rent a bingo hall which can range from $1,800 to $2,700 per week. And provision of the bingo prizes is in itself a big cost – but one which is certainly appreciated by players at the games.