Bingo News October Roundup – Emoldjis, Addicts and Bingo Adverts!
As Autumn well and truly sets in, there’s been plenty happening across the bingo world. This month, we bring you a reformed bingo addict, a trial where no one’s sure what really happened, and the new emojis you may be using soon. There’s also an in-depth look at bingo adverts, and the good people of Mecca have been at it again – raising funds and awareness for a worthy cause.
So settle down with your hot chocolate and mermaid tail blanket, and see what’s been going on throughout the month of October.
Not Guilty: a Controversial Trial and a Controversial Verdict
A woman has been cleared of using a dementia sufferer’s credit card without permission to fund her own online bingo habits.
Anne Marie Green, 40, spent £40 on 888.com earlier in 2016 – and used her employer’s card to do so.
The pensioner paid Anne Marie to clean for her, and also occasionally took her along to bingo halls – a pastime both were said to enjoy.
It was alleged that Green took the card without permission; this was refuted in court, however, when her 79-year-old employer failed to remember the events reliably. In the end, there was no other verdict that could have been reached.
The Judge condemned the manner in which the evidence was presented, and the use of a vulnerable person as the main witness.
This has served to highlight to problems that emerge when it is impossible to establish who is telling the truth, and when one party does not have a clear memory of an incident. To avoid such scenarios arising, we at BingoPort would advise all players to use play only within their own means and using their own money at all times.
The Bingo Addict who Lost it All
What would you do if you won over a quarter of a million pounds?
This was exactly the situation Stephen Milnes found himself in, mere days after losing his job. It was a dream come true for stove-fitter Mark, when a £3 bet on Major Millions Dream Bingo won him a massive £265,000!
Ignoring the advice of friends, Stephen didn’t invest much of the money, choosing instead to gamble it away in the hopes of winning more. Using online slot machines at sites like Ted Bingo, Milnes would spend every waking moment betting, and lost up to £20,000 a day; within 6 months he was completely broke, and had been driven to the edge of despair.
It was only when Stephen’s dad, Brian, intervened, that Milnes was able to begin getting his life back on track. Now, he is committed to ensuring that nobody else goes through what he did.
Plenty of us are, of course, totally in love with bingo; just watch out that this doesn't develop further than a bit of fun.
Should We Ban Bingo Adverts? Have your say.
There’s a move afoot to change the advertising regulations around bingo and lottery advertisements on daytime TV. Government Ministers are reviewing TV adverts in an attempt to crack down on gambling, a major cause of what they call ‘social harm’ – and it’s not just the hardcore stuff that’s being targeted.
Many forms of gambling are already excluded from appearing in the midst of, or surrounding, a television programme specifically aimed at children of any age. However, adverts for other forms of gambling – such as the lottery – are only eliminated from programmes aimed specifically at under-16s. Campaigners say this doesn’t go far enough, especially when it is considered that young children of pre-school age, or those who are off sick, are often subject to the same TV matter as their parents may choose to watch during the day.
The argument goes that any child who is exposed to daytime TV will see advertisements for bingo and the lottery as a matter of course. Since these adverts appear so regularly, it is feared that impressionable youngsters will develop a perception that such activities are ‘normal’, and that gambling is not a specific choice that only adults are capable of making.
It is claimed that showing bingo adverts only after the watershed, at 9pm, will therefore help to protect children from the influence of gambling, which is said to cause this ‘social harm’.
There is also the issue of those with gambling problems, who may also be affected by the seeming ‘normality’ of daytime ads. As they seek to rebuild their lives, the less temptation to slip off the wagon, the better. Of course, the same could be argued for alcoholic drinks, but these are already subject to more stringent advertising rules than so-called ‘soft gambling’.
With more and more gambling adverts being shown – 1.4m on TV in 2012 – it would be a big change to our screens if the proposals go ahead.
So, what do you think about banning bingo adverts on daytime TV? Let us know in the comments below.
Find out more about the current gambling advertising rules here.
Time to Care
What did you do with your extra hour on Saturday night? Sleep for longer? Party more? Well, for Mecca Bingo staff, it was an opportunity to show that they care.
There are thousands of unpaid carers across the UK, and Carer’s Trust – a charity that is partnered with the Rank Group (who owns Mecca) seeks to support these individuals, through financial and other means.
Staff from various Mecca Bingo halls dedicated the extra hour to these unsung heroes. In the run-up to the event, the public were asked to nominate unpaid carers, who were then given a helping hand. Activities ranged from gardening, to DIY, to dusting. Funds raised were also donated to the Carer’s Trust, and it is hoped that the publicity will help to raise the profile of the day-to-day struggles such carers face.
Emoldjis: The New (and Far More Accurate) Way to Express Ourselves
Emoji (n.) A small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.
They seem harmless, but are these fun figurines an expression of a wider problem in society: the failure to accept that, in this age of technology, young people aren’t the only ones that matter?
Diane Hill certainly seems to think so. After growing disgruntled that she was rarely able to send an emoji that accurately represented her feelings and activities, the 56-year-old grandmother from Coventry thought up a whole new range of designs. With the help of artist Chris Oxenbury, who was tasked with bringing the ideas to life, she created 9 ‘emoldjis’, which aim to relay the daily experiences, aches and pains with which those in middle age and above are well acquainted.
There is a ‘disapproving old person’ figure; a ‘memory pills’ design, and, hilariously, one entitled ‘spending the kids’ inheritance’. There is also a ‘bingo love eyes’ emoji, which we think is perfect for BingoPort members, old and young alike.
With women and minorities already achieving greater diversity in the emoji language, there’s most definitely a place for emoldjis – and we join Diane in calling on the emoji governing body, Unicode Consortium, to recognise the need for a more representative selection of digital icons.
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