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6 Celeb Gamblers, and what they won

6 Celeb Gamblers, and what they won June 30, 2011, Posted in London Bingo Blog, London Bingo News

Gambling is becoming increasingly popular, perhaps due to the rise in people who choose to play online. Online bingo is particularly popular among gamers because it is so easy to pick up and you can play whenever you want, wherever you want.

A lot of well known celebrities are avid gamblers, some of whom have won lots of money and have even invested in some famous casinos. Here is a guide to the top five celebrity gamblers and how much they have won.

1: George Clooney

You may remember his role in Ocean’s 11, playing a criminal that steals millions from a casino; however, Clooney’s interest in gambling and casinos goes beyond the silver screen. In real life he has taken an active role in the gambling business, investing an undisclosed sum in a $3 billion Las Vegas resort.

Clooney admitted that he could end up losing his shirt on this investment but he went onto say, “these guys are good at what they do”.

Clooney was famously spotted gambling with the cast and crew of Ocean’s11, playing blackjack. However, Clooney was losing a lot and despite what you might think, apparently he is notorious for having bad luck.

2: Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt also invested some money in a Las Vegas Casino and while filming Ocean’s 12; the cast and crew enjoyed some late night poker sessions. According to reports some were as good as professionals, with Brad Pitt supposedly particularly savvy.

3: Ben Affleck

When it comes to big winners, Ben Affleck has got to take the crown; he is said to be the best gambler in Hollywood. A trained poker player, those who have played against him say Ben has great instincts.

He famously won $356,000 (?220,000) at the California State Poker Championships; he also recently won a charity poker tournament. What more could you want, movie star good looks, great acting skills, a celebrity wife and exceptional poker skills?

4: Matt Damon

Another great gambler from the Ocean’s 11 crew is Matt Damon who famously loves to play poker. He believes that a good poker player has to be skilled as well as lucky saying that a line in one of his movies is close to his actual view about the game:

“Why do you think the same six guys end up at the final table at a World Series of poker every year? Are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas? No, it’s because they’ve got skills.”

5: Tobey Maguire

Better known for his starring role in Spiderman, Tobey also loves to play poker. He won $186,000 (?114,000) at a tournament recently and $2,000 (?1,200) later in another competition. Apparently he usually has the best poker parties at his house, with high stakes. Oh to be a fly on that wall!

6: Pamela Anderson

Last but by no means least, Pamela Anderson. Another fan of poker, Pamela is rumoured to have married Rick Salomon to pay off huge gambling debts. Sources say she had debts of up to $250,000 (?153,000) cleared.

So, there you have it. Gambling fans can rest assured they are in good company with the top five biggest celebrity gamblers including some of the coolest Hollywood A-listers.

You can play online bingo and try to make some serious money, with a lot of people scooping major jackpots in recent weeks. For those who are more interested in poker or roulette, online games can be a good place to hone your skills.

Beat London Prices with Online Bingo

Beat London Prices with Online Bingo April 7, 2011, Posted in Uncategorized

Prices in our capital can be notoriously expensive. In these times of rising costs, why not enjoy some free entertainment with online bingo?

Playing bingo online is a great form of low-cost entertainment. You can enjoy a fun and exciting evening from the comfort of your own home.

Londoners can feel disheartened by the high cost of entertainment in the capital. A single adult ticket to the cinema can cost as much as £21.60, for example.

When you add the high cost of drinks and snacks to an evening out, it can soon become prohibitively expensive for families already struggling in the credit crunch.

Fuel, food and utility bills are all continuing to increase, meaning that hard-working families are having to tighten their belts in order to meet the basic cost of living.

Rising fuel prices are proving such a problem that the AA has reported that some families may have to cut back on food in order to afford to run their car.

However, with food prices rising month on month across every category, the grocery bill may also prove difficult to cut.

The only area in which many families have any flexibility is the entertainment budget. The occasional night out to a restaurant, pub or to the cinema, therefore, may be the only expense that can be cut.

Neil Greig of the Institute of Advanced Motorists confirmed that many families may have to limit car usage to essential journeys only.

“As prices rise, it will be optional trips, such as the Sunday run to the coast, country or garden centre, which will go first,” he explained to the Daily Mail.

When you add admission fees and the high cost of food and drink to the high cost of transport, a day or evening out can stretch the household budget to breaking point.

The perfect alternative is enjoying low-cost evenings in. Online bingo makes an exciting change from a DVD or night in front of the TV.

Many websites offer free bingo games which means that your night in needn’t cost a penny. You’ll have snacks and drinks to hand and don’t have to worry about dressing up and venturing out in all weathers.

Online bingo can also be a surprisingly sociable pastime. There are many chat rooms where you can meet like-minded people and have fun chatting and getting to know new people.

Another idea is to invite your friends around for an evening of playing online bingo. Open a bottle of wine and have fun with friends without the hassle and expense involved in a big night out.

With the money saved you could treat yourselves to a takeaway, some sweet treats or maybe even some pamper products to add another fun element to the night.

While expensive nights out may be off the cards for a while, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have any fun. Simply explore other options that don’t break the bank. Playing bingo online is a great way of having fun and socialising that needn’t cost a penny.

Renovation of Bingo Halls a go go!

Renovation of Bingo Halls a go go! March 2, 2011, Posted in London Bingo Blog, London Bingo News

With the increase of internet bingo we are constantly hearing about how the future of land-based bingo is very uncertain. Throughout the entire country bingo halls are closing left, right and centre. But, the ones which are still open are making some significant changes to keep up to date with current trends. So much so that the Rank Group, who own Mecca Bingo online, are planning to spend roughly £3 million and numerous bingo halls are to get a ‘facelift’ in the process.

We all know that land-based bingo halls are finding it hard to keep enticing punters through their doors, especially with the smoking ban and the vast amount of online bingo clubs, traditional halls are struggling to maintain the same lure they used to have. But, the ones which are refusing to close and fighting to stay open are resorting to quite drastic measures to drag in the customers and this means some very expensive renovations.

So, the news that the Rank Group are planning a £3 million refurbishment is not a massive surprise. The Entertainment group is also going to invest £2.7 million to land based bingo halls within the North-West this year, giving the Mecca bingo clubs, in Sale and Southport a brand spanking new look. And it is not just the bingo halls which are going to be getting the star treatment either, Rank Group is also going to be freshening up numerous casinos within that same area, reinvesting in an attempt to try and capture a larger share of the market.

This huge spending spree is going to create new jobs, which can only be a good thing with the current state of the job market, and it also means that more traditional land-based bingo halls are going to remain open. As much as online bingo has its advantages such as convenience, it is still not the same as a girls night out with your friends playing the number spotting game and having a gossip!

Bingo Backing MPs Pledge to Fight for Fair Play

Bingo Backing MPs Pledge to Fight for Fair Play February 22, 2011, Posted in London Bingo News, Uncategorized

Recent government statistics have revealed the rapid decline in the number of UK bingo halls. A decline of 29 per cent from 650 bingo halls in 1997 to 460 in 2010 has led to a campaign against what some MPs consider as foul play.

The fight for the survival of bingo halls may seem a surprising campaign for MPs to be backing as bingo games are a form of gambling, but the social aspect of the traditional bingo hall, known as land bingo, has clearly made its mark on the consciences of MPs from all three main political parties.

In autumn 2010, the Bingo Association announced that it had news from what is known as the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bingo (APPG). Since holding its first annual general meeting in October, the group embarked on a series of awareness campaigns with the aim of making land bingo games subject to the same level of VAT as other forms of gambling.

The campaigns were not successful in managing to exclude bingo from the rises; a result that many feel is unfair as VAT for online games has remained unchanged.

The group is chaired by the Conservative MP Brian Binley, who said: ‘I am delighted to have been elected as chair of the APPG on bingo. I have consistently called for a fairer taxation system for bingo halls in light of the social importance and that issue is a top priority for the group. You cannot underestimate the importance of bingo halls in the United Kingdom and I have been saddened by the closure of so many clubs over the last five years.’

New Labour MP Luciana Berger, elected as secretary of the group, commented: ‘Bingo was a big issue on the doorstep ahead of this
year’s election, which is why I pledged that if I was elected I would help the bingo industry reduce its tax burden. I am proud to have supported the bingo industry in the past but am now grateful that this new all party group has been formed to help drive the campaign forwards.’

Declining numbers at land bingo has been blamed on the impact of the smoking ban, the recent recession and the rising cost of VAT. On a night out everything has become more expensive and for bingo players, that bit extra is just too much. Many have turned to the increasingly popular online bingo games where you can have a night of fun without leaving the house. This trend has left land bingo halls struggling to compete and many independent and small venues closures.

It is easy to see why people are increasingly playing online bingo. The social aspect can be kept up with chat rooms but no longer does a player need to get dressed up and leave the house to participate. Free bingo games are common and without the need to buy drinks and food as you play; online bingo is cheap, accessible and yet retains its sociability. You can meet up with friends online or make new ones. Land bingo may be a victim of both the VAT increases and improved technology.

One of the popular bingo games online is no deposit bingo. This is when no deposit on your part is required to participate in an online bingo game. Online bingo sites can be quite competitive with their free bingo no deposit bonuses. By playing this method there is no risk to your finances.

The former Home Secretary Alan Johnson visited a land bingo venue in his constituency in November 2010 and saw firsthand how damaging the higher taxation rate is for the halls that are left in business. Other forms of gambling, online bingo and bookmakers are all subject to a lower rate of VAT and it is felt by many that the current legislation is an unfair application of taxation for the industry.

Steve Jones, manager of Alan Johnson’s local land bingo venue was delighted that the former Home Secretary had visited his local club. Steve said: ‘We appreciate Alan taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the club and talk to the team members about the social importance of bingo and its place in the local community. We hope that he will be able to use his role as Shadow Chancellor to press for a reduction in the unfair taxation of bingo.’

Alan said: ‘This is my first visit to the club and it was good to see first-hand just how important bingo is to customers from a social interaction perspective.’? He later commented that ‘bingo plays a key role in local communities so it’s important that they are subject to a fair tax regime.’

Whether people play land bingo or swap to play bingo games online, it is important to remember that bingo is gambling. Players are responsible for themselves and there is no certainty of any winnings. Free bingo is the only form of the game online that offers no financial risk. It will be interesting to see if the government admits foul play on the higher rate of bingo VAT and reduces it to play fair.

An average of two bingo halls close each month

An average of two bingo halls close each month February 15, 2011, Posted in London Bingo Blog, London Bingo News

We all know that online bingo has taken the lead in how many people play it on a day to day basis but I have no idea that the situation was so bad that an average of two bingo halls a month are closing somewhere in our beloved nation!

Research carried out by Ernst & Young has found what a lot of people have thought for a while, that the online version of the number spotting game, and the more recent development of mobile bingo, has taken over the land-based traditional form of the popular past time.

The research states that in the last 5 years the number of bingo halls that are actually operating in the UK has dropped drastically from 678 to just 526, meaning that 25 of these have shut down for business within the last year alone.

It was approximately five years ago that online bingo took off in the UK and leading bingo giants Mecca Bingo and Gala Bingo got in on the action straight away, since then there are smaller sites popping up here, there and everywhere. With the smoking ban bingo clubs saw players leaving by the dozens preferring to stay at home to play where they can smoke as much as they like.

Most bingo halls in the UK are drawing in less than 1,000 players per week, with a lot of them on the brink of closing down as more and more people are seduced by the idea of playing the game online in the comfort of their own home. So what does the future hold for bingo halls?

A man suffered heart attack while playing bingo!

A man suffered heart attack while playing bingo! February 8, 2011, Posted in London Bingo Blog, London Bingo News

But, don’t worry he is now fine and recovering.

A bingo enthusiast suffered a heart attack while at this local bingo club enjoying himself playing the number spotting game but has now recovered and has returned for another contest – they do always say you have to get straight back on the horse!

The gentleman in question, Mr Lydon Wright of Goytre collapsed while he was playing the numbers game at his regularly frequented Castle Leisrue Club in Newport, as reported by the South Wales Argus.

Luckily for 57 year old Mr Wright, this is one of the very few clubs that is fully equipped with a defibrillator and the fully trained staff at the bingo hall were quick to react helping to bring Mr Wright round almost immediately.

John Featherstone and Marcus McLean were the actual employees who took action and it is probably their roles in the event which helped to save the father of six’s life, and fellow bingo player but fully qualifies nurse Kate Howells also helped out by performing CPR.

Despite Mr Wright’s poor health, as soon as he came round it was bingo he was thinking of. Mr Featherstone told the newspaper that the first thing he said was ‘Did I win?’, despite everyone esles concern it seems Mr Wright was not as fussed!

Once back on his feet, the retired butcher headed straight back to the bingo club and has been every Friday night to try his chances at winning the jackpot.

It seems that playing bingo could also help Mr Wright see in many more birthdays as 100 year old fan Fred Parry recently said that playing the game helped his brain to keep active.

Drinking application for Bingo hall in Surrey

Drinking application for Bingo hall in Surrey February 1, 2011, Posted in London Bingo Blog, London Bingo News

MP to Richmond Park in Surrey, Zac Goldsmith, has put his voice to concerns regarding plans for a 24-hour drinking license at a venue which could possibly become a 2,000 capacity nightclub!

Zac Goldsmith asked the council to put in place far stricter conditions on the applications to make the Kingston Arena inside the former Gala Bingo Hall on Richmond Road, Kingston. January 26th saw a coffee morning being held at the Grey Horse Pub at 9.30am to talk about the residents’ worries and concerns.

Mr Goldsmith said: “Residents are rightly concerned by this application. A 24-hour licence will make it possible for the owners to do more or less what they want, adding “I hope the council will be able to apply strict planning conditions so whatever happens on the site, it is within the bounds of what is acceptable to people living nearby.”

The secretary of the Richmond Road Residents’ Association has put together an online petition for anybody living close to the venue or in the nearby area to object. It declares that Kingston town centre does’t have the capacity to cater for another large venue and lists another 15 reasons for the grounds of objection!

A council spokesman said before it could open the venue would need a licence and planning permission, which has not yet been applied for.