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 The only magazine produced for the UK Bingo Industry
 AGM 2007 report
 Encouraging outlook for online
                                                              Gaming Act latest
                                                                                                                         Issue 78 July 2007
                                                                                                          Bingo for Breakthrough
                                                                                                          Meet Midge the monkey

 Heather Richards, Ian                                                                                                                       Sir Peter Fry,
 Burke, Carly Richards                                                                                                                   chairman of The
 and Iris McNeill at 10                                                                                                                 Bingo Assocation,
 Downing Street                                                                                                                                wheels the
                                                                                                                                           petitions down
                                                                                                                                          Downing Street

  A special delivery for No. 10
           ore than 230,000 people across the        MP with a bingo club in their constituency, to     role of clubs as a key community facility.
           country signed the petition to urge       notify them of the petition’s delivery and the        The campaign and attendant media and
           the Government to Stop Destroying         number of their constituents that had              lobbying activity has produced interest and
My Bingo. Following receipt of more than             participated. Clubs were also provided with        support from a number of MPs who have
380 completed petitions in 17 boxes from             a draft letter to send to their local MP,          recognised the significance of bingo, both
clubs across the country, the process of             reiterating the number of local players who        locally and nationally, and the inequitable plight
compiling results got under way, logging the         had signed the petition and inviting MPs to        that the industry faces.
number of signatures delivered by each and           visit the club.                                       Led by John Hemming, the MP for
every single club.                                      The central message of the campaign has         Birmingham Yardley, an Early Day Motion
  The petition was delivered to 10 Downing           remained consistent, calling on Government to      has been put down, with MPs now being
Street on Tuesday 24 April and was handed            remove VAT from bingo, which in conjunction        called upon to support it and force the issue
over by Association Chairman Sir Peter Fry,          with other Government policies, is placing up to   to be debated.
Rank Chief Executive Ian Burke and three             200 clubs under threat of closure.                    Bingo remains one of the most highly taxed
generations of one bingo-playing family –               The campaign and the supporting issues          gambling activities and the industry is awaiting
grandmother Iris McNeill and mother and              have been well reported in both broadcast          constructive input from the Government to
daughter Heather and Carly Richards. It took         media and press producing more than                address the unfair tax anomaly. Taxing bingo
four trollies and all available hands to make this   £500,000 worth of media coverage.                  in the same way as other gambling activities
very special delivery.                                  A number of stories in the media have also      would help prevent closure of clubs and
  Following the handover of the petition, the        focused on the unique position that bingo holds    enable the industry to more readily face its
campaign concentrated on further local and           in communities, highlighting the social            challenges and a brighter future under the new
national political engagement, contacting every      significance of bingo for many players and the     Gambling Act.

The National Game                                                                                                                                Diary
Quarterly news and update from Chief Executive Paul Talboys                                                                                      Dates
Looking to the future
Summer 2007 brings the final                                                                     start for clubs later this month and
                                                                                                                                                 Ban on smoking in public
introduction of a ban on smoking                                                                 begin with players in late August.              places now effective in all
in public places. We are used to a                                                               Your existing customers will be                 parts of the UK.
slow-down at this time of year,                                                                  able to play for free, for a
however, the smoking ban looks                                                                   two-week period, before a                       September 1
set to drive those figures lower                                                                 national launch on 15 September,                The Gambling Act 2005
than in previous summers.                                                                        from which date players will be                 comes into effect
    The ban is here to stay and the                                                              required to pay to play. Prize                  www.gambling
industry must look to the future.                                                                money during the free period will               commission.gov.uk
Throughout bingo’s history in the                                                                be at a much reduced level, but
UK we have faced change and                                                                      the offer allows us to introduce the            October 21–27
always moved forward, evolving                                                                   new game to existing customers,                 Bingo For
and adapting. The largest change                                                                 using to of their all time favourite            Breakthrough 2007
was in 1986, when The Bingo Act                                                                  words – FREE and Cash.                          www.breakthrough.org.uk
made the creation of the National                                                                   The new game is a very
Bingo Game possible. It is                                                                       exciting opportunity for the                    November 13-15
therefore apt that as the National                legislation does not come into                 industry and there will be a                    Global Gaming
Game turns 21 and comes of age                    effect till 1 September, full live             substantial amount of                           Expo (G2E)
that the challenges of change are                 testing is not legally possible                communication coming from the                   The Convention Centre
again very much with us.                          before this.                                   NBGA and its agencies, as we                    Las Vegas
    Bingo is set to operate under                    The software will enable the                work to prepare for introduction                www.globalgamingexpo.com
a new regime, as the 2005                         National Game to offer players a               and launch. Tme is against us,
Gambling Act comes into effect                    new and exciting cumulative                    and to ensure that your club is                 Please remember to notify us of
on 1 September. While some of                     jackpot that is an add-on to their             ready for the biggest thing in                  your events so we can include
the freedoms explored and                         National Game purchase. The                    bingo, it is essential that                     them here. Email us at
anticipated under the new act                     game will have four levels of prize            information and materials are not               bingolink@bingo-asociation.co.uk
failed to materialise, benefits have              fund to be won each time the                   lost, but read and acted upon.
arisen, the most significant being                National Game is played, the
the ability to retain stake. This,                largest of which is likely to reach
and the opportunity it offers the
licensed bingo industry, is vital to
our future and development, for it
will enable the industry to create
                                                  more than £5 million – the largest
                                                  ever single prize in UK licensed
                                                  bingo! It is essential that the name
                                                  of the new game immediately and
                                                                                                     Bingo in the media
                                                                                                     As is usually the case in the first month of a new year, bingo kept a
substantial prize funds, the like of              simply conveys it is the biggest                   low-ish profile in the media during January, but rose rapidly in February
which have not been seen before,                  prize in bingo and is part of the                  and March, to give an exceptionally high showing. A significant amount of
and allow us to offer customers a                 National Game. The name must                       this rise was due to increased activity by the Association and operators in
more exciting proposition.                        also reflect the fun nature of bingo               relation to lobbying issues.
    The development of new                        and the humour of bingo                               The most significant change in monthly media coverage as we move
software (JLS) to enable the                      culture – something that the                       into 2007 has been the type of media delivering the coverage. Regional
industry to take advantage of                     working title of Golden Balls has                  daily and weekly papers continue to be a primary source of coverage,
stake retention, at various levels,               not quite captured!                                delivering some 60 to 75 per cent of each month’s total. However, it
is being rolled out to all NBGA                      In introducing the new game to                  is the growth in coverage from electronic media that has shown the
members for testing in August                     club staff and players there is a                  biggest change. Twelve months ago electronic media only accounted
and use in September. As the                      huge task ahead of us, which will                  for 10 to15 per cent of total coverage in any month and already now
                                                                                                     stands at 20 per cent.
NB: Key game statistics can be found on page 11.

                                                                                                       Number of press hits by month

BINGO LINK is published by The Bingo Association, Lexham                                                                          January          February             March
House, 75 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1JF.                                          Consumer press                   4                 9                12
Tel: 01582 860921. Fax: 01582 860925.                                                                  Electronic media                16                43                74
Email: bingolink@bingo-association.co.uk
                                                                                                       National press                   7                18                34
Editor: Steve Baldwin
                                                                                                       Regional press                 114               139               112
Produced by Associa Ltd, North Gate, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9PL.                                      TOTAL                          269               222               302
Tel: 01572 824600. Email: (editorial) christine.moss@associa.co.uk                                     Quarter 1 total: 638                                   Year to date: 638
Email: (advertising) Wendy Rose: sales@rose-media.co.uk
                                                                                                       Ignoring electronic media, which by its nature is available nationally, the
Tel: 01427 668662.                                                                                     regions delivering the most coverage for January, February and March were
Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited without the permission of the publishers.         Scotland and Northern Region – joint at 14 per cent – the North West Region
Views expressed are not necessarily those of The Bingo Association or Associa Ltd. Prices              and Scotland, respectively.
and information correct at date of publication but subject to change.                                  National Bingo Game Regional Press Office 01438 718500
                                                                                                       National Bingo Game National Press Team 020 7553 3700

Gala has a good laugh
and boosts Comic Relief
         ala had a good laugh and
         raised more than
         £220,000 for Comic
Relief in March this year.
    Gala Bingo in all its forms –
club, online and TV – worked hard
earlier this year to raise funds for
Comic Relief 2007. In total, more
than £222,000 was raised towards
the national total of £63 million by
                                        It’s hard to
playing dedicated Comic Relief
games and by hosting a wide                                 PJ party at
                                        in pyjamas
range of humorous events across                             Belle Vue                                                 The Keighley News highlights the
                                        and gunge
the UK. Managers of three West                                                                                        chickens sponsored cycle ride
Yorkshire clubs dressed up as
chickens for a sponsored cycle,        game, which helped to raise the           much needed funds.’                  are very proud of all our members
Cumbernauld’s manager was              impressive sum. Sharon Osbourne              Comic Relief 2007’s main focus    and staff who really got behind the
auctioned off as a cleaner and         commented: ‘I love bingo; what’s          was mental health, which affects     cause. Comic Relief plays such an
Leicester’s manager was ‘gunged’       more I’m a huge supporter of              one in four people. Although 60      important worldwide role in the
on stage in his club.                  Comic Relief, which plays an              per cent of Comic Relief funds are   battle against poverty and our
    For added excitement,              important role in helping transform       going to be used in Africa, the      members and staff helped raise a
galabingo.co.uk’s very own Sharon      the lives of people living with           remainder is spent here in the UK,   significant amount of money.
Osbourne was on hand to lend           poverty and social injustice.             aiding nearly 6,000 projects.        We would like to thank all who
her support when she hosted the        Thanks to all of you who joined in           Colin Morgan, Gala Coral          took part for their support
first dedicated Comic Relief bingo     the game and helped raise these           Group’s CSR Manager, said: ‘We       and generosity.’


  Simon Smiley                                                               Damien Smith                                                            Thuran Sanmugadas                    Claire Wilson

The Mecca Apprentices
       hey may not have had to                                             which has just been released
       go through a 12-week,                                               as a DVD on the cover of the
       televised interview with                                            official Apprentice magazine
Sir Alan Sugar to get the job,                                             and is accompanied by a
but Mecca employees have                                                   full-page feature on the
stepped into the spotlight                                                 Rank Group.
to tell the world what the                                                    The stars from Mecca were
words ‘you’re hired’ has                                                   Simon Smiley, general
meant to them.                                                             manager at Wandsworth;
   A number of Mecca                                                       Damian Smith, general
employees have taken part                                                  manager at Bedford, where
in a short Best Employers                                                  some of the filming took place;                                                Yvette
documentary about the company,                                             Wood Green general manager,                                                    Bloxham-Smith

                                                                                                                                                    Thuran Sanmagudas;
                                                                                                                                                    and general manager

  Subscribe to                                                                                                                                      Claire Wilson, who

                                                                                                                                                    gives a personal
                                                                                                                                                    account on combining
                                                                                                                                                    working for Mecca
                                                                                                                                                    and having a family.
                                                                                                                                                       ’Being involved in this
  Subscription to Bingo Link is free for those who work in the gaming and                                                                           documentary and The Apprentice       development at Rank.
  leisure industry.                                                                                                                                 magazine has not only been a            Mecca is one of six
     If you would like to receive your own personal copy, please complete this                                                                      great opportunity to highlight the   companies featured and the
  form and send it to: Bingo Link, Lexham House, 75 High Street North,                                                                              training and development             magazine is on sale at bigger
  Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1JF.                                                                                                                  opportunities at Mecca but it        branches of WH Smith, Borders,
     Alternatively, you can subscribe from the website at                                                                                           also gives us a very professional    Selfridges and Harrods. It is also
  www.bingo-association.co.uk or by emailing your full name, company                                                                                video that we can use in the         being distributed through hotels,
  name and full postal address including post/zip code to                                                                                           future,’ said Yvette Bloxham-        health and fitness clubs and
  bingolink@bingo-association.co.uk                                                                                                                 Smith, head of resourcing and        through universities.

  Title................ Name/Initial ..............................................................................................


  Company name ................................................................................................................

  Company address ............................................................................................................



  Town ..................................................................................................................................


  Post/zip code ....................................................................................................................


  Nature of business............................................................................................................



Search for a star!
National Bingo Caller of the Year 2007

        his year’s search for the
        NBGA Bingo Caller of the
        Year is now well under
way. Initial entries have been
assessed, with more than 60
contestants already having been
asked to prepare their individual
video submissions showing
them hard at work.
   Once all video submissions
have been received, the
competition judges, Steve Baldwin
and Gloria Pattinson, will review
and assess every individual video,
following which 30 contestants will
be identified and invited to attend
one of six regional finals. The
standard of video entries gets
higher and higher each year, with
some worthy of full production
credits as you would see at the
end of a commercial film.
   All the current NBGA regional
                                                                                                                                          Brett Hyrjak
bingo calling champions, who
                                                                                                                                          2006 winner
represented their regions in last
year’s national final, will be invited
to defend their titles against the
new regional contenders, so
each heat is sure to be both
interesting and entertaining.
   The regional finals, while
nerve racking for
contestants, are always
great fun and the clubs
chosen to host each event
do their utmost to bring a
superb sense of occasion to
each regional final. Banners,
balloons and bubbly are often
the order for the day, with a fair
measure of cabaret celebration
and clowning around thrown in for                              Karl Seth
good luck. It certainly is an event                         2005 winner
that shouldn’t be missed.                                                                                                                Mandy Gargan
   Amid the camaraderie and fun,                                                                                                          2004 winner
there is also strong rivalry and
more than a little tension between       matches that of the judges, check       managers and their teams are         jugglers and fire eaters.
the regional finalists. Each             out the venues below and contact        already planning how to put on the      Results of each final and news
contestant will be interviewed           the club manager to make                best event and win the Best          of the day’s proceedings will be
privately by the judges, who will be     arrangements to accommodate             Regional Final Award. In 2006 the    posted on the National Bingo
joined by the current national           your party.                             award went to Mecca Hartlepool,      Game website at
champion, Brett Hyrjak, before              No doubt each of these club          who pulled out all the stops with    www.nationalbingo.co.uk
they take their place centre stage,
in front of players, to demonstrate       National Bingo Caller of the Year 2007 Regional finals:
their individual showmanship and
calling skills.                           North West                Wednesday 19 Sept                  Mecca Club, Bolton, Lancashire
   Coaches of visiting players are        North East                Thursday 20 Sept                   Gala Club, Wallsend, Newcastle
always welcome at each regional           Midlands                  Tuesday 25 Sept                    BJs, Kitts Green, Birmingham
final; so if some of your customers       South                     Wednesday 26 Sept                  Point Bingo, Bracknell, Berkshire
would like to enjoy a great day           Wales                     Thursday 18 Oct                    Castle Club, Usk Way, Newport
out, play some bingo, be                  Scotland                  Thursday 25 Oct                    Carlton Club, East Kilbride, Glasgow
entertained and see if their choice


Bingo for Breakthrough 2007
– success on the horizon
       reparations for Bingo for       football shirt or pampering day at
       Breakthrough 2007 are           a spa, from each club and then
       now full steam ahead.           leaving it with the next club that
This year’s mascot, Midge the          they visit. Each parcel/gift will then
Monkey, was formally                   be auctioned off at charity event
introduced at The Bingo                nights. The managers, Louise and
Association AGM in April, where        Jack, are hoping to raise
she was given a warm welcome.          an incredible £20,000 through
Midge will be swinging into            their tour.
clubs this Bingo for                      In March, previous Bingo for
Breakthrough week, between 21          Breakthrough award winners were
and 28 October, and we are sure        invited to a tour of the
your customers will love her!          Breakthrough Research Centre
   2007 fundraising has already        in London.
kicked off, with two Mecca                The afternoon was a great
managers undertaking a two-week        success and an opportunity for
fundraising rally. During the two      key supporters to see where the
weeks they will visit all 103 Mecca    £2.25 million raised for
clubs, from Aberdeen to Exeter         Breakthrough to date is being
and will be conducting a UK-scale      spent. It was clear from the tour,
game of pass the parcel!               and the distances people travelled
   This pass the parcel concept        to attend, how committed clubs
involves picking up a fantastic,       and staff are to supporting the
one-off gift, such as a signed         breast cancer cause.

    Breakthrough Cancer said thanks
    to previous award winners when
    they toured its Research Centre

Big Tick award for B4B                                                              Help to meet new duty
                                                                                    on social responsibility
             e are thrilled to
             announce that
             once again, The

                                                                                             nder the new Gambling           customer notices, customer leaflets
Bingo Association’s                                                                          Act 2005, all bingo clubs       and holders, a self-exclusion policy,
partnership with                                                                             have a duty to ‘promote         a customer monitoring file and
Breakthrough Breast                                                                 social responsibility’. This has         ‘business card’ size information
Cancer has been awarded                                                             seen major companies investing           cards, with dispensers, for use in
the prestigious Business in the                                                     thousands of pounds in                   secluded areas, such as toilets.
Community Big Tick award for           out more about the awards, visit             developing policies and                     Mark Batup of BiAS Tech says:
excellence.                            www.bitc.org.uk.                             producing appropriate notices.           ‘We hope the pack will prove to be
    These are the leading national        All companies that participated               BiAS Tech has produced an            the answer to the bingo industry’s
awards for responsible                 in last year’s fundraising are               alternative suitable for smaller clubs   wishes for some clarification and
business practice in the UK.           entitled to use the ‘Big Tick’ logo          with its Social Responsibility Pack      simplification of this complicated
    This is the third consecutive      on their headed paper and                    containing the notices and               new section of the Gambling Act. It
year that Bingo for Breakthrough       corporate communications                     literature needed, for both staff and    combines the convenience of a
has been recognised and it is          material. For further information            customers, to meet legal                 “one-stop shop” solution with great
down to the dedication of club         and to obtain a copy of the                  obligations under the new Act. The       value for money at £299 a pack.’
staff and customers nationwide. A      artwork, please contact Lucy                 pack can be personalised to show            For details, visit BiAS Tech’s
list of all winners was published in   Anderson at Breakthrough Breast              a company’s logo. It includes staff      website at www.biastech.com or
The Financial Times in May. To find    Cancer 020 7025 2498.                        room instructional posters,              call 0118 978 2272.

     It’s an Expo thing
              eed Exhibitions, the         An impressive list of exhibitors
              organiser of the world       provided delegates with plenty of
              renowned Global              food for thought, while exhibitors
     Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, is          got region-wide exposure to what
     the global leader in gaming           can only be described as one of
     expo events.                          the most exciting developing
        In 2006 Reed took over the         markets. As a number of
     Asian Gaming Expo, re-branded it      conservative markets in the region
     G2E Asia, and gave the new show       review their approach to gaming
     its first outing in June this year.   there is significant potential for
     Taking place at the Macau             future growth.
     Convention Centre on 13 and 14           This year’s Las Vegas Expo is
     June the show has certainly           set to take place at the Las Vegas
     become the one to watch in Asia.      Convention Centre on 13, 14 and
                                           15 November. The list of exhibitors
                                           is already impressively full and this
                                           year’s show already boasts a
                                           number of new and exciting
                                           developments including :
                                              Expanded pavilions:
                                           G Eye In The Sky Security and
                                           Surveillance Pavilion
                                           G Technology Pavilion
                                           G Daily Keynotes
                                           G Enhanced signage to get where
                                           you need to go
                                           G Enhanced G2E
                                           Comfort Lounges.
                                                 For further details,
                                                visit www.global

                                                                                          agm 2007

                                    Speakers Tom Aquaviva, Lib Dem MP Don Foster and Peter Dean, chairman of the Gambling Commission

                                    Online sector offers a little
                                    encouragement at AGM
                                                 hen politicians,            however, was Tom Aquaviva of               roughly flat which, according to        proactive role in generating interest
                                                 stakeholders and            Nielsen/Netratings, the internet           Aquaviva, should represent a            online. ‘There’s not massive reach
                                                 market analysts gather      media and market research                  significant opportunity for growth.     into the online population in the
                                    together the mix is a compelling         solutions specialist. His                  That said, gambling and                 UK, but people seem to be very
                                    one, if not entertaining.                presentation to delegates and              sweepstakes still emerge as the         satisfied and engaged once they
                                       Thanks to stalled progress on         members focused on the online              seventh most engaging category          get there,’ he said. ‘I’m not too
                                    double taxation and a trading            gaming sector and how it applies           by time per person – averaging          sure if people are making enough
                                    climate that looks, at best, difficult   to the bingo market.                       one hour ten minutes per person.        of search engines. The way people
                                    heading towards the July smoking            Aquaviva drew on some                   Predictably, the National Lottery is    are navigating through the web
                                    ban, delegates at this year’s Bingo      interesting statistics to back his         the only gambling site that is          today it’s all about search and it’s
                                    Association AGM and conference           address, taken from fresh data             visited by more than two per cent       a really interesting way to drive
                                    had little to cheer.                     collated by Nielsen. They                  of online Britons.                      people to your website.’
                                       Taking place at the QEII              represented absorbing material                Aquaviva summed up the                  Aquaviva also offered an
                                    conference centre in London, the         for the established bricks and             current mood among operators in         encouraging outlook for bricks and
                                    event boasted a solid line-up of         mortar firms gathered at the AGM           relation to the online sector. He       mortar firms looking to initiate or
                                    high-profile speakers, including the     in that they offered a close look at       told the conference: ‘There’s a         boost their online offering. ‘I’m not
                                    Gambling Commission’s Peter              how the public views betting and           certain amount of angst about the       intimately familiar with the bingo
                                    Dean CBE, Lib Dem MP Don                 gambling online.                           online space and what it’s going to     industry, but the time spent on
                                    Foster, and Tony Coles, a partner           According to the researcher,            mean for your businesses and            some of these sites is shocking,’
                                    at law firm Jeffrey Green Russell.       around 31 million Britons are              that’s a question that I deal with in   he said. ‘It’s really
                                       Throughout the proceedings,           online each month – spending a             every conference I go to, whether       disproportionate. And from that
                                    there was a mood of evident              significant amount of time using           you’re in bingo, consumer               I think the ban will drive some
                                    frustration from the secretariat and     internet applications or surfing           electronics or grocery. The             people online and, therefore,
                                    the membership at what appears           web pages. Out of those surfers,           internet is something that every        there’s a real opportunity to win in
                                    to be a muted response from              84 per cent visit some form of             business has to deal with. It’s         this space.’
                                    the DCMS to calls for help in            entertainment site and 21 per              something that is a double-edged           Aquaviva’s presentation aside,
                                    several key areas affecting the          cent visit a gambling or                   sword. It’s a big risk but it’s a big   the 2007 Bingo Association AGM
                                    bingo sector.                            sweepstakes site.                          opportunity.’                           was a sobering exercise in telling
                                       Offering some much-needed                Interestingly, though, year-on-            The analyst was also keen to         members what the sector can
                                    light relief from a politically and      year expansion for the                     highlight the fact that companies       expect in the coming months, a
                                    legislatively heavy agenda,              gambling/sweepstakes sector is             need to be taking a more                brief it fulfilled with flying colours.
Pictures: TIM Hill Photo Services

 Gala players rewarded
 with Nectar
         ala Bingo is now offering     their Nectar Card to earn points
         the first long-term loyalty   with other Nectar partners, which
         scheme for bingo              include Sainsbury’s, Debenhams,
players, by joining Nectar.            BP and Nectar eStores.
   This exciting new partnership          Nectar is a national reward
means that from 1 June Gala            scheme that allows collected
Bingo members will be able to          points to be redeemed for
earn Nectar points every time they     thousands of rewards, ranging
visit a club. Members will be          from high street savings and travel
invited to link their membership       and leisure discounts, to all kinds
card to their Nectar card and          of gifts and products, and from
points will be credited when           July points can also be redeemed
they ‘swipe in’ to any of Gala’s       for Gala gift vouchers.
171 clubs.                                Kate Howe, group marketing
   Players have plenty of              director at Gala Coral Group, said:
opportunity to rack up Nectar          ‘Many of our regular players visit
points throughout the day and will     us twice a week or more so they
be able to earn 40 Nectar points       are very important to us. When we
plus an extra 10 bonus points if       talk to our members they tell us
they visit before 12.30pm. If          they really want to be rewarded for
members play in the evening, they      their loyalty so we’ve joined forces       Gala, we are always working hard    partnership with Nectar reflects
pick up 60 Nectar points, plus an      with the biggest and best rewards          to deliver the best bingo club      our company ethos and provides
extra 20 bonus points if they arrive   scheme in the country to give              experience for all our members to   tangible benefits for both existing
before 7pm. Players can also use       them what they are asking for. At          enjoy. Our exciting new             and new members.’

    Talking ’bout My Generation
            alking about my                                                                                            up from BBC Radio 2 DJ Chris
            generation’ is exactly what                                                                                Evans. Recorded at the famous
            a group of citizens, who                                                                                   Abbey Road Studios, the video
    fall firmly into the ‘senior’                                                                                      includes The Zimmers’
    category, have been doing as                                                                                       interpretation of the classic Who
    part of a BBC television                                                                                           scenes of guitar smashing and
    documentary looking at how                                                                                         borrows from The Beatles’ iconic
    older people are treated in                                                                                        walk across the pedestrian
    the UK.                                                                                                            crossing outside the studio.
       The programme, which aired on                                                                                      The Zimmers have a combined
    the Spring Bank Holiday, also                                                                                      age of more than 3,000 years
    showed how bingo is a very                                                                                                             and were
    significant part of many people’s                                                                                                      handpicked by
    lives. But in order to give a firm                                                                                                     BBC
    and loud voice to this section of                                                                                                      documentary
    the community, who clearly still                                                                                                       maker Samuels
    have so much to give and say,                                                                                                         for a series on
    programme producer Tim Samuels                                                                                                        the isolation of
    felt that a charity record might be                                                                                                   older people in
    just the way to go.                                                                                                                   Britain. With plans
       Remember Roger Daltrey                 Alf and his fellow group            rock group to                                          for a trip to the US
    strutting his stuff on The Who’s big   members were filmed during a visit     hit the charts.                                        to appear on Ellen
    hit of the Sixties, My Generation?     to Mecca Camden talking about          A video posted                                        DeGeneres’ top
    Now meet pensioner Alf Caretta, a      their group.                           on YouTube                                            TV talk show,
    regular bingo player at Mecca             Alf, who is 90, and his fellow      before the                                            stardom looks set
    Camden and lead singer of The          pensioners recorded their own          official release of the record had                   to follow. All
    Zimmers, the latest band to cover      version of My Generation and it        received 1.5 million hits within a   profits from the single will go to
    the pop classic.                       looks as if they might be the oldest   fortnight and received the thumbs    Age Concern.

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All-electronic club opens in Surrey
       CM Systems Ltd has                                                   to use their cards as their own               ban but the Riva management
       completed the installation                                           bingo bank account. This is a                 team was adamant from day one
       of the UK’s largest                                                  great advantage not only for the              that an all-electronic club was the
all-electronic bingo club.                                                  customers, but also for operators             way forward.
    Each of the 600 seats at the                                            as it will help to attract our                   ‘We are thrilled with the success
Riva Club in Sutton, Surrey, is                                             customers back into our club.                 of this project, and how the
fitted with one of ECM’s latest                                                ‘We truly are a unique bingo               management and customers have
touchscreen terminals, the ‘Ingotm’.                                        club. We offer full coverage of the           taken to Ingotm. As a result, we are
Powered up, connected to the                                                easy-to-play electronic Ingotm units          looking at ways to expand the
system, and ready to play, the         for maximising the MCB game          at every one of our 600 tables,               Ingotm playing experience for
terminals offer customers the          potential. Although the account-     while continuing to offer traditional         customers and operators alike
chance to buy up to 48 of their        based system can be loaded with      paper tickets. This allows different          with some new ‘Bingo Variant’
main session tickets. All main         credits, customers wishing to play   generations within the same family            games on the Ingotm terminals.’
stage games, including Cashpot         MCB on a game-by-game basis,         or group of friends to play bingo                And what about the smokers at
and The National Game, are             simply pop a coin into the coin      on whichever style they prefer. This          Riva Sutton? Well, they too can
available to buy, and play, at the     mech and pay for the MCB the         really is a huge step forward for             play electronic. A sheltered
terminal. This means the customer      same way as in traditional clubs.    our bingo offering.’                          smoking area complete with
can avoid the book sales queue            Winnings, on both MCB, and           Stephen King, ECM’s sales                  removable Ingotm has been built
and go straight into the club.         main session, are paid into the      account manager for the                       for them outside the club.
MCB is also available, the system      customer’s account, this can then    independent bingo sector, added:                 For details about Ingotm, contact
is currently running four cards,       be used to buy more tickets,         ‘This is a bold step by Riva in the           the ECM sales team on 01964
but is designed to run up to six       games of MCB, or the cash can        light of the forthcoming smoking              672000 or sales@ecmsys.co.uk
cards of MCB. The Cardset is           be withdrawn at any time. Many
MCB link compatible, and the           customers like the security of an
Bonus Button feature is fitted         account-based system, and leave       Key game statistics
as standard.                           money in their accounts for their
    Customers are provided with        next visit to the club.                 National Bingo Game: key statistics
their own personal account, and           Andrew Smith, the general
                                                                               Total prize money since the game began                          £952,920,920
within seconds can view recent         manager, said of the new club:
                                                                               Total prize money played for in 2007 until 31 May                £21,880,532
transactions, purchases and            ‘We are absolutely delighted with
winnings, which are paid directly      the initial response from
into the account. They can also        customers. Once our management          Biggest games for 2006
pay money into their account in        and staff have demonstrated to
                                                                               Thursday 26 January with ticket sales of                             £896,752
three ways, via the bingo ATMs in      customers how easy the new
                                                                               Thursday 26 October with ticket sales of                             £859,044
the hall; at the customer service      Ingotm units are to play on, they
desks; or at the MCB position.         seem to be hooked. The system
                                                                               Biggest game to date for 2007
    MCB coin slots can be used to      also allows the members to hold
load up the electronic accounts.       credit and winnings on their            Sunday 27 May with ticket sales of                                 £795,642
This gives the operators flexibility   membership card, allowing them

Legislation update
         s implementation of the new                government policy, such as social inclusion and         We are encouraging all clubs to invite their
         Gambling Act draws ever closer the         inter-generational activity.                         local MP to visit to experience what it has to
         number of consultations and                   How many other leisure activities can you         offer first hand. Not only will this underline the
subsequent responses has started to                 think of where three generations of the same         truly community nature of bingo, but give MPs
decline. However, this has brought into             family enjoy socialising together on a regular       a better picture of the sense of loss players will
sharp focus the lack of new opportunities for       basis? This ‘intergenerational’ activity is a key    feel if their club closes.
the industry under the new Act and the              part of government strategy on communities
challenges faced as a result of the smoking         and active ageing, but bingo’s significant role in
ban and a heavy taxation burden.                    promoting and supporting it has gone                   For further information,
   The focus to date has been on highlighting       unnoticed. Socialising as a family is part of what     visit the Bingo Association website at
bingo’s unique character and why it is different    bingo is about – it is the perfect example of          www.bingo-association.co.uk
from other gaming products. This started with       what the government believes should be
the Stop Destroying My Bingo petition, drawing      happening on a much wider scale, and is
                                                                                                          ABBREVIATIONS FOR TABLE BELOW
attention to the combined effect of taxation, the   delivered by bingo clubs without the need for
new Act and the smoking ban.                        any formal initiatives or programmes.                 G.C.                            Gambling Commission
   There is no doubt that the combination of           Our message to politicians is that bingo’s role    DCMS           Department for Culture Media and Sport
these three strands of government policy will       in the heart of communities should be                 C.A.P.             Committee for Advertising Practice
place the future of a significant number of clubs   recognised and valued, and that bingo players         DoH                              Department of Health
                                                                                                          W. Ass                                Welsh Assembly
in doubt, and the Association’s public affairs      should be treated fairly, particularly in the way     G.A.2005                           Gambling Act 2005
activity will continue to press this point.         that bingo is taxed. The future of the bingo          H.A.2005                              Health Act 2005
   The industry campaign is now expanding to        industry may not only be about taxation, but          D.C.A.            Department for Constitutional Affairs
highlight the wider benefits that bingo clubs       the imposition of VAT is certainly one area in        S.E.                                Scottish Executive
                                                                                                          HMT                                           Treasury
bring to communities and their members, and         which the government can act decisively to            BGDA 1981         Betting and Gaming Duties Act 1981
how this reinforces many other aspects of           assist the industry.

                                          CONSULTATIONS ON PROPOSED LEGISLATION
 ORIGIN              ITEM                                                                                                REVELANT              RESPONSE
                                                                                                                         STATUTE               DATE
 G.C.                 Technical Standards for Gaming Machines                                                            G.A.2005              15-Aug-06
 G.C.                 Licensing, Compliance and Enforcement                                                              G.A.2005              22-Aug-06
 C.A.P.               Regulation of Non-Broadcast and Broadcast Advertising                                              G.A.2005              15-Sep-06
 PEOPLE 1st           National Occupational Standards for the Gambling Industry                                          G.A.2005              15-Sep-06
 DCMS                 Gambling (Categories of Casino) Regulations                                                        G.A.2005              27-Sep-06
 DoH                  Smoke-Free Premises and Vehicles - Proposed Regulations                                            H.A.2005              09-Oct-06
 W. Ass.              Smoke-Free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations                                                       H.A.2005              13-Oct-06
 DCMS                 Gambling Commission Fees                                                                           G.A.2005              13-Oct-06
 D.C.A.               Gambling Appeals Tribunal Draft Rules 2006                                                         G.A.2005              16-Oct-06
 DCMS                 Gambling (Categories of Gaming Machines) Regulations                                               G.A.2005              27-Oct-06
 G.C.                 Supplement to Gaming Machine Technical Standards                                                   G.A.2005              27-Oct-06
 G.C.                 Prize Competitions and Free Draws                                                                  G.A.2005              31-Oct-06
 DCMS                 Personal Licensing                                                                                 G.A.2005              08-Nov-06
 DCMS                 Gambling (Premises Licences: Mandatory and Default Conditions) Regulations                         G.A.2005              10-Nov-06
 G.C.                 Financial Conditions on Gambling Operators and Personal Licence Holders                            G.A.2005              10-Nov-06
 DCMS                 Premises Licences Regulations                                                                      G.A.2005              15-Dec-06
 DCMS                 Premises Licences Hearings Regulations                                                             G.A.2005              15-Dec-06
 G.C.                 Gaming Machine C.of P. re Club Gaming Permits etc.                                                 G.A.2005              20-Dec-06
 DCMS                 Responsible Authority for Vulnerable Persons                                                       G.A.2005              22-Dec-06
 DCMS                 Premises Licence ( Inspection ) Regulations 2006                                                   G.A.2005              22-Dec-06
 S.E.                 Premises Licences : Mandatory and Default Conditions ( Scotland ) Regulations                      G.A.2005              22-Dec-06
 G.C.                 Guidance to Licensing Authorities Part III - Enforcement and Compliance                            G.A.2005              22-Dec-06
 G.C.                 Information Exchange between Gambling Commission and Licensing Authorities                         G.A.2005              12-Jan-07
 DCMS                 Premises Licences and Permits Fees                                                                 G.A.2005              19-Jan-07
 DCMS                 Prize Gaming Permit Regulations                                                                    G.A.2005              26-Jan-07
 DCMS                 FEC Gaming Machine Permit Regulations                                                              G.A.2005              26-Jan-07
 S.E.                 Premises Licences Regulations ( Scotland )                                                         G.A.2005              02-Feb-07
 S.E.                 Premises Licences and Permits Fees ( Scotland )                                                    G.A.2005              02-Feb-07
 HMT                  Proposals for Remote Gaming Duty                                                                   B.G.D.A.1981          16-Feb-07
 DCMS                 Gambling Advertisements and Impact on Responsible Gambling                                         G.A.2005              06-Mar-07
 DCMS                 Gaming in Clubs and Alcohol Licensed Premises                                                      G.A.2005              18-Apr-07
 DCMS                 Gaming Machine Regulations under S.240; S 235(5); S.241.                                           G.A.2005              03-May-07
 G.C.                 Free Draws ; Definition of payment to Enter TV Quizzes                                             G.A.2005              09-May-07
 DCMS                 Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permits                                                           G.A.2005              16-May-07
 DCMS                 Club Gaming and Club Machine Permits Regulations                                                   G.A.2005              16-May-07
 DCMS                 Lottery Machine Interval Order                                                                     G.A.2005              18-May-07
 DCMS                 Bingo and Casino Equipment Technical Requirements                                                  G.A.2005              22-May-07
 DCMS                 Definition of Dual-Use and Domestic Computers                                                      G.A.2005              27-May-07
 DCMS                 Limits on Prize Gaming Regulations                                                                 G.A.2005              31-May-07
 G.C.                 Regulatory Returns and Key Events                                                                  G.A.2005              19-Jun-07
 DCMS                 Gambling at Non-Commercial Events                                                                  G.A.2005              22-Jun-07
 DCMS                 Review of Premises Licence Regulations                                                             G.A.2005              17-Jul-07
 S.E.                 Review of Premises Licence ( Scotland ) Regulations                                                G.A.2005              27-Jul-07


 John Harrison ready to
 call the game

Mayor calls landmark
game at Carlton Bingo
        layers at Carlton Bingo,     ladies’ or ‘two little ducks’ when
        Whitley Bay welcomed a       I took to the stage.
        familiar face to the stage      ‘Calling Carlton Bingo’s
on Saturday 14 April, when the       150,000th House was harder than
town’s Mayor, John Harrison,         I thought it was going to be.
joined them to call the venue’s      I don’t think I’ll be giving up my
150,000th House.                     day job just yet!
   Rooted within the local              ‘Carlton Bingo has been the
community, Carlton Bingo’s           sole trader on the Spanish City
milestone coincided with the         site for a number of years and the
launch of the regeneration project   council recognises its support over
of the Spanish City site. The        that time. My visit marks the start
Mayor joined players for a game in   of a £60 million public-private
the afternoon session – and won a    partnership, which will breathe
line! – before making the landmark   new life into the Spanish City site.
150,000th call.                      This will give an enormous and
   The Mayor also met a number       long awaited boost to the area in
of Carlton Bingo’s players and       terms of facilities and infrastructure
presented flowers to one of its      on offer.’
birthday girls, 94-year-old             Welcoming Councillor Harrison
Peggy Stocks.                        to the venue, Carlton Bingo’s
   Speaking after his afternoon of   manager, Ellen Casey, said: ‘We
bingo, the Mayor said: ‘I can tell   were delighted to welcome the
you from experience that bingo is    Mayor as our guest caller.
a social game and great fun.            ‘It’s our 14th year of trading and
Today was no different; I had a      the day marked a significant
fantastic afternoon when I joined    milestone for Carlton Bingo and
Carlton Bingo’s players for the      the Spanish City site. With
afternoon session and couldn’t       bingo at the heart of Spanish City,
believe it when I won.               we’re looking forward to the
   ‘Bingo has changed since the      redevelopment of the area and
last time I played and there was     to introducing new players to
certainly no mention of ‘two fat     the game.’

 John Harrison
 joins the fun


 Who’s who in online bingo?
  Site                        Software              Network                     Prize
                                                                                Site Bingo                GlobalCom
                                                                                                          Software              GlobalCom Network

  CyberSlotz Bingo.com        BingoTek             Stand-alone                  Sports Bingo              GlobalCom             GlobalCom Network
  Closer Bingo                GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Two Fat Ladies            GlobalCom             GlobalCom Network
  Daily Record Bingo          GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             UK-Bingo.net              GlobalCom             GlobalCom Network
  Foxy Bingo.com              GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Loquax Bingo              GlobalCom             GlobalCom Network
  Handbag Bingo               GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             ksbingo.com               GlobalCom             Stand-alone
  icBirmingham Bingo          GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Think Bingo.com           GlobalCom             Think Bingo Network
  icCoventry Bingo            GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             ThinkBingoPlus.com        GlobalCom             Think Bingo Network
  icLiverpool Bingo           GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Bingo Scotland            GlobalCom             Think Bingo Network
  icNewcastle Bingo           GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Jackpot Joy               Gamesys               Stand-alone
  icTeesside Bingo            GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Bingo Liner.co.uk         LeapFrog              Stand-alone
   icWales Bingo              GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             BingoBingo UK             Parlay                St Minver
  Mirror Bingo                GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Bingo.uk.com              Parlay                St Minver
  Sunday Mail Bingo           GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Butlins Bingo.co.uk       Parlay                St Minver
  Top Ten (Apollo)            GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Castle Bingo              Parlay                St Minver
  The Jack Club Bingo         GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             CheggersBingo.com         Parlay                St Minver
  Get Minted Bingo            GlobalCom            Cashcade Network             Chit Chat Bingo           Parlay                St Minver
  abcBingo.co.uk              GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            iVillage Bingo            Parlay                St Minver
  Banana Bingo                GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Littlewoods Bingo         Parlay                St Minver
  Bingo 4 Her                 GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Park Bingo.co.uk          Parlay                St Minver
  Bingo Ballroom              GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Speed Dater Bingo         Parlay                St Minver
  Bingo Bongo                 GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Virgin Bingo              Parlay                St Minver
  Bingo Boudoir               GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Winners Bingo             Parlay                St Minver
  Bingo Calling               GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Yahoo Bingo               Parlay                St Minver
  Bingo Dome                  GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Rehab Bingo               Parlay                Stand Alone
  Bingo Fabulous.com          GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            123Bingo UK               Parlay                Stand-alone
  Bingo Hall                  GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Astro Bingo.co.uk         Parlay                Stand-alone
  Bingo Ireland               GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Bingo Palace.co.uk        Parlay                Stand-alone
  Bingo Time                  GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Thepalaces.com            Parlay                Stand-alone
  Bingo-Lottery               GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Bingomania.co.uk          Parlay                Stand-alone
  Champagne Bingo             GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Bingonanza.co.uk          Parlay                Stand-alone
  Good Lot Bingo              GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Bingos.co.uk              Parlay                Stand-alone
  King Solomans Bingo         GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Big Heart Bingo           Parlay                TGN (The Gaming
  Kiss My Bingo               GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network                                                            Network)
  Lastminute.com Bingo        GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Bingo Boogie.co.uk        Parlay                TGN (The Gaming
  Lotto 24 Bingo              GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network                                                            Network)
  Luv 2 Bingo                 GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network            Bingo Tonic               Parlay                TGN (The Gaming
  Million-2-1 Bingo           GlobalCom            GlobalCom Network                                                            Network)

Clicks versus Mortar and the fight
        he launch rate of online                                                                                   presentation at this year’s AGM
        bingo sites appears to
        have slowed in recent
                                         Top Ten all bingo search results:                                         from Tom Aquaviva of Netratings
                                                                                                                   (see page 8), the specialist online
months, but it is still                  Bingo – worldwide                    Bingo – UK only                      research company. What was
substantially more than a trickle,       Foxybingo.com                        Galabingo.co.uk                      clear from the presentation, is
as new brands discover they              Galabingo.co.uk                      Meccabingo.com                       that those online consumers who
too can be in bingo.                     Meccabingo.com                       Sunbingo.co.uk                       like gaming are happy to spend
   How much brand extension and          Sunbingo.co.uk                       Bingomania.com                       on average over an hour playing
the smoking ban are driving this         Bingomania.com                       Galabingo – Sharon Osbourne          – a significant and attractive
continued expansion for non-club         Galabingo – Sharon Osbourne          Bingobeats.com                       opportunity.
based businesses is debatable,           Bingobeats.com                       Whichbingo.com                          In establishing an online bingo
but when considering the profile of      Whichbingo.com                       Bingobase.com                        site it is logical that a land-based
online players, brand extension          Bingoboss.com                        Bingo.org.uk
seems to be the stronger driver.         Bingo.org.uk                         willhiil.com
   Online bingo has opened up
bingo as a leisure activity for a     the UK market follows the initial       and offerings more
new segment of consumers              pattern exhibited in the USA, then      carefully than those
comfortable using the internet        there will be two key distinct player   operating exclusively in
for leisure.                          groups: those who only play online      the online market, in
   For operators with both club       and those for whom online is            order to successfully
and online bingo offerings there is   primarily a substitute for not being    appeal to both groups.
a small amount of crossover but       able to get to their regular club.         Who is using the
how many people play online           As such, operators trading in both      internet and for what was
instead of in a club is unclear. If   arenas need to balance their brand      the subject of a

  Who’s who in online bingo?
   Site                          Software                Network                      Site                                   Software                       Network

    Furry Bingo                  Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               NOTWBingo                             Tombola                       Sun/News of
                                                         Network)                                                                                          the World Network*
    Gardening Bingo (Emap)       Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Bingo Loopy.co.uk                     Virtue Fusion                 Virtue Fusion
                                                         Network)                                                                                          Network
    MagicFM Bingo (Emap)         Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Crown Bingo.co.uk                     Virtue Fusion                 Virtue Fusion
                                                         Network)                                                                                          Network
    Mother and Baby Bingo (Emap) Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Simply Bingo.co.uk                    Virtue Fusion                 Virtue Fusion
                                                         Network)                                                                                          Network
    New Woman Blingo (Emap)      Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Blue Square Bingo                     Virtue   Fusion               Stand Alone
                                                         Network)                      Mecca Games                           Virtue   Fusion               Stand Alone
    Top Sante Bingo (Emap)       Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Mecca Bingo                           Virtue   Fusion               Stand Alone
                                                         Network)                      Ladbrokes Bingo                       Virtue   Fusion               Stand Alone
    Winzingo                     Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               River Belle Bingo                     Virtue   Fusion               Virtue Fusion Network
                                                         Network)                      William Hill Bingo                    Virtue   Fusion               Virtue Fusion Network
    Yours Bingo (Emap)           Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Bet365                                Virtue   Fusion               Virtue Fusion Network
                                                         Network)                      Bonanza Bingo                         Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
    PaddyPowerBingo              Parlay                  TGN (The Gaming               Fruit Bingo                           Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
                                                         Network)                      Carlton Bingo                         Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
    Kiwi Bingo.co.uk             Playtech                Playtech                      Capitol Bingo                         Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
                                                         Bingoland Network             Buckingham Bingo                      Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
    Ruby Bingo.co.uk             Playtech                Playtech                      Beach Bingo                           Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
                                                         Bingoland Network             Coronet Bingo                         Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
    Mapaubingo                   Playtech                Playtech                      Premier Bingo                         Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
                                 Bingoland Network                                     Leo Leisure                           Virtue   Fusion               Bonanza Network
    Blackpool Bingo.co.uk        Playtech                Stand-alone
    Gala Bingo.co.uk             Proprietary Software    Stand-alone                  KEY COMPANIES IN ONLINE BINGO
    Bingo Rooms                  ProWager Systems        BingoRoomNetwork             virtuefusion.com      Virtue Fusion
    Bingo Today                  ProWager Systems        BingoRoomNetwork             Bingo Networks        Bingo Networks Alderney
    Bingo101                     ProWager Systems        BingoRoomNetwork             Parlay Group.com      Parlay Entertainment
    Daily Star Bingo             ProWager Systems        BingoRoomNetwork             stminver.com          St Minver
    UK Bingo Room                ProWager Systems        BingoRoomNetwork             thegamingnetwork.com  The Gaming Network
    Free Bingo.co.uk             ProWager Systems        Stand-alone                  playtech.com          Playtech
    iBingo UK                    QuadCard                Stand-alone                  chartwellgames.com    Chartwell Technology Inc
                                 Entertainment                                        bingotek.com          Bingotek
    Sun Bingo                    Tombola                 Sun/News of                  Gamesyscorporate.com  Gamesys
                                                         the World Network*           aquagaming.com        Aqua Gaming
                                                                                   This guide is not a definitive list of bingo sites but aims to show key sites and indicate the software
                                                                                   on which they operate. Information is correct to the best of our knowledge but please notify us of any
                                                                                   omissions or errors.

to be seen
 operator will first seek to promote                                                                                                     environment for advertising.
 to existing customers, familiar with
 the company. However, the real              Top Five online bingo search results:                                                          There is, however, an alternative
                                                                                                                                         to straight online advertising,
 opportunity lies in tapping into the        Online bingo – worldwide              Online bingo – UK only                                which is gaining popularity with a
 broader online consumer base and            Foxybingo.com                         onlinebingo.co.uk                                     variety of online businesses,
 this is where the challenge and             onlinebingo.co.uk                     Galabingo.co.uk                                       partner/affiliate schemes. These
 power of the click lies.                    Galabingo.co.uk                       Bingobase.com                                         schemes operate by providing the
    Competition for attention in the         Bingobase.com                         Sunbingo.co.uk                                        media/website owner with a
 online bingo environment is fierce.         Sunbingo.co.uk                        Meccabingo.com                                        financial incentive for placing a
 Searching for bingo on Google                                                                                                           banner in a high traffic area of their
 returns 46,600,000 results, a              searching in the UK only (see table       Online advertising is one option,                  site. The terms of the incentive
 figure reduced to 5,120,000 when           for top ten results). As online        but ideally not in pop-up format as                   vary from a small charge for each
                                            search remains the key method by       many web browsers have software                       click-through, to a percentage of
                                            which consumers locate sites,          that will block them. Banner ads                      what a customer spends. The
                                            search engine optimisation is a        are an alternative, but can easily                    advantage of these agreements is
                                            crucial aspect of any website          be over looked if not placed on                       that both parties are only rewarded
                                            development and maintenance,           appropriate sites. As a key aspect                    on a results basis. As with any
                                            with specialist agencies operating     of online advertising is the mindset                  specialist task, agencies now exist
                                            exclusively in this field. However,    of the surfer, it is vital to only place              to manage the interaction between
                                            as competition for placement in        advertising in an environment                         both parties.
                                            online search results can be costly,   where they might be open to the                          In launching and maintaining an
                                            alternative methods of promoting       proposition. On this basis                            online site continued visibility is
                                            sites and customer recruitment are     community-based websites and                          essential and no one method of
                                            being explored.                        portals provide a fertile                             promotion will suffice.

Will smokers stay at home or
go to clubs and meet friends?
Smoke-free clubs are
unattractive to some,
but a potential delight
for the 80 per cent of
the UK population who
are non-smokers

         any online bingo operators see the
         now fully implemented smoking ban
         as a significant opportunity to grow
their market and player spend, as committed
smokers search out new leisure pursuits
where they can continue to smoke.
  Leading online bingo operator, St Minver, has
conducted research with bingo players to see if
the ban has a silver lining for the online market.
The survey highlights that once the no-smoking
ban is fully in force:

G One in three bingo club players say they will
play less often;
G 63 per cent of smokers will increase their
spend online;
G One in ten bingo club players will stop playing
in the clubs.
                                                      Castle Bingo website                                 Buckingham Bingo website
    The research, involving more than 3,000
bingo players, revealed that 62 per cent of
respondents are active smokers and confirms          survey – 3,000 players whose opinions matter            Such a move assumes that these players
just how unhappy smoking bingo players are           to us.’                                              have access to computers at home, have a
about the ban.                                          The strength of feeling smoking bingo players     suitable internet connection and are comfortable
   According to the research, it is more likely      have for the ban is something that operators         using a computer. Not attributes that are
that the high number of online bingo players         and club managers are all very aware of.             currently broadly applicable to the majority of
who smoke – 62 per cent – will stop playing in       Whether all smokers vote with their feet and         club bingo players.
clubs, with a third of them saying they will play    lighters and opt to stay athome and play online         Online bingo is a possible alternative for
less often and 21 per cent claiming that they will   is not quite so clear. While the impact of the ban   players and an opportunity for business (see
                                                                                                                                                              PICTURE: SHUTTERSTOCK

throw away their membership cards. Only 14           on club bingo is undisputed, a mass exodus to        AGM report page 8), as broadband access and
per cent of these smokers said that they will        the online environment seems unlikely and is not     computer ownership increases.
quit smoking so they can continue playing.           a view supported by all research.                       However, smokers will have to face life under
   Leigh Nissim, managing director of St Minver                                                           the ban in all aspects of their life, not just at
(UK) says: ‘At the moment there is a great deal                                                           bingo, and may revise their behaviour as they
of focus on the effect the smoking ban will have                                                          make adjustments overtime and miss seeing
on bingo halls and we wanted to get the view                                                              their friends face to face.
from the people that really mattered – the
players. We had a phenomenal response to the

Binning the butts
   t’s official and there is no            Bins come in all shapes and
   avoiding it – England became        sizes for every type of
   smoke-free on 1 July,               environment. The choice is vast,
following on the bans in               from wall-mounted to
Scotland, Wales and Northern           free-standing, to fixed to portable,
Ireland. As smokers and their          and in different finishes.
cigarettes are banned from                 Not surprisingly, there are lots of
almost all enclosed public             cmpanies that have recognised
places and workplaces in the           the sales potential and are
country, it is inevitable that they    supplying shelters and bins to all
will move outdoors where               budgets and designs.
smoking is permitted.                      Going forward from the
   Ignoring the ban can lead to a      immediate aftermath of the ban in
£50 fixed penalty notice for the       England, however, there is likely to
smoker and business owners or          be an issue about clubs being
managers who fail to prevent           responsible for the discarded             Austin White: tel: 01536 316967,
someone from smoking on their          butts and littering left outside          www.austinwhite.ltd.uk
premises can be prosecuted and         their premises.                           Pedalbins.com: tel: 01827
fined up to £2,500.                        It is important for all clubs to      874100, www.pedalbins.com
   And as ash trays become a           ensure they provide bins and clean        Smoking Shelter: tel: 01457
thing of the past it will be down to   up litter in order to avoid facing a      839687, www.smokers-
the cigarette bin to take over and     bill from the local authority for         shelter.co.uk
clean up. All clubs will be adhering   street cleaning.                          Captrad Ltd: tel: 01695 680010,
to the ban and ensuring that               Among the companies providing         www.captrad.com
people do not smoke on their           bins and shelters are:                    Macemain and Amstad Ltd: tel:
ppremises. This means ensuring         Broxap: tel: 01782571660.                 01536 40133,
that clubs provide outside bins for    The No Butts Bin Company: tel:            www.macemainamstad.com
their players and the selection        0800 358 0085,                            Cigarette Bins UK: tel: 0870
available is enormous.                 www.nobutts.co.uk                         7605 666, www.ciggybins.co.uk


Mecca hits the spot
   t’s official! Mecca Bingo is the
   best way to spend a night out
   in Romford. Club manager
Bernie Dullaghan and his
colleagues have been
celebrating after picking up two
awards – for Best Night Time
Venue and Best Customer
Service – at the official Havering
Community Awards 2007.
Both awards were voted for by
Romford people and the council
received around 2,500 votes.
   Bernie says: ‘The staff are over
the moon. We’re thrilled that all our                                                                                 it a fun night out, they also enjoy
effort and hard work has been                                                                                         playing in a safe environment.
recognised. If our customers                                                                                          Mecca Romford is a club where
didn’t think we deserved it, we                                                                                       people come with their friends to
wouldn’t have won. We’re really         recognition for managers like             Mecca Romford has between           enjoy themselves, in a comfortable
pleased, particularly as it’s a         Bernie, who are positively affecting   3,500 and 4,000 visitors a week        atmosphere without stretching the
category that included so many          the community, and transforming        and is growing in popularity. Bernie   purse strings.’
different types of businesses within    perceptions of Romford.’               says: ‘Over the past few years we          The awards were part of the
the leisure industry.’                     Bernie adds: ‘The awards are a      have seen more and younger             Havering Community Safety
   Council communications officer       sign that people are really noticing   people coming along to play,           partnership, comprising the
Joe Agius says: ‘Mecca Romford          an improvement. It is recognition      particularly in the evenings. Their    licensing authority, emergency
has provided a welcoming and            that businesses are trying to          feedback has been that not only is     services and community action.
safe environment for a loyal            promote a safe environment
customer base. These awards are         for the local community.’

                                                                               New Gala club celebrates
                                                                               with Journey South

                                                                                       heltenham got the              event: ‘We are all very excited
                                                                                       X-Factor when duo              about opening and can’t wait to
                                                                                       Journey South, who             show guests around our amazing
                                                                               starred in the hit TV talent show,     new club. From a new state-of-
                                                                               headlined the evening’s                the-art calling system ensuring
                                                                               opening celebrations.                  first-time players don’t miss a call,
                                                                                  Gala Cheltenham threw open its      to innovative electronic bingo
                                                                               doors for the first time in March      tickets for die-hard bingo lovers.
                                                                               and invited everyone to see the            As part of the £60 million
                                                                               club’s stunning new facilities.        Cheltenham retail and leisure
                                                                               Show group Alpha Connection            complex, Gala Cheltenham boasts
                                                                               kick-started the evening’s             more than 23,000 square feet of
                                                                               entertainment, performing their        space and houses the latest
                                                                               visually stunning music and dance      facilities, including prize and party
                                                                               display, to a repertoire of timeless   bingo boards and the latest
                                                                               classics and chart hits. The stars     machines. The club also offers
                                                                               of the evening were Journey            customers a smart new diner
                                                                               South who took to the main             and licensed bar, with full
                                                                               stage for an exciting one-off          disabled facilities, including an
                                                                               Cheltenham performance.                access lift, disabled WC, hard of
                                                                                  Gayle Morgan, the club’s            hearing loop system and
                                                                               manager, said before the opening       wheelchair positions.


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