Bingo News August 2016 Roundup - Trials, Take-Overs and Bingo Olympics!
The Olympics are over, and Team GB finished an astonishing second place in the medal table… but we here at Bingoport think that we could have added a few more golds to that tally if bingo were an Olympic sport. In fact, some people are hoping that it will be in the future—so we’re taking a look at the campaign aiming to add bingo to the list of sports in 2020.
We’ve also seen plenty of drama this month in the world of bingo. The verdict’s in for the bingo carpark shooting; we assess a brand new Slingo game; there’s more cheating and lying to fund addictions; and the Philippines has decided to ban the game completely! Phew!
So, grab a cuppa and settle down to read about the news-packed month of August.
3 Jailed in Gala Bingo Carpark Shooting
Last month, we reported about the ongoing trial of 3 men in Manchester accused of shooting Scott Calder and his mother, Marie, in a bingo hall carpark in 2015. Now, we can bring you the dramatic conclusion.
Three men have been found guilty of a multitude of crimes between them, including attempted kidnap, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, wounding with intent and blackmail.
Mark Barker (46), James Instone (34) and James Henry (29) have been jailed for 25, 22 and 15 years respectively. 2 others have been cleared of the offence.
It was claimed that Scott had stolen drugs and money from the guilty parties, who then committed the attack as an act of revenge. Whilst the judge noted that the Calders were also involved in criminal behaviour, this had no bearing on the sentences.
Scott and his family have subsequently moved out of the Manchester area, as they fear for their safety. He has been given a new identity by the police in hopes that this will prevent further attacks.
Accused by rival gangs of being ‘grasses’, the Calders claim they only went to the police after several threatening acts, including Scott’s brother’s partner being held at gunpoint in her own home, and in front of the couple’s children.
The Rank Group and 888 have had their second takeover offer rejected by William Hill.
The news comes after the companies’ initial bid was refused, under claims that the multi-billion pound offer undervalued William Hill. It appeared they were still keen to get their hands on the a section of the business though, with a 3-way merger being proposed.
It would have been ‘the UK’s largest multi-channel gambling operator by revenue and profit with a complementary combination of retail and digital brands and proprietary technology, content and products across sports betting, casino, poker and bingo’, as described by Rank and 888 in a statement last month.
It wasn’t to be. The Rank Group have, however, reported an increase in profits, suggesting that the Brexit vote has not affected this year’s takings.
Read more here:
Philippines to ban bingo
How would you like to live in a society that regarded playing bingo as a crime? We’ve discussed before about the possibility that a group of Canadian pensioners, playing for mere pennies, may be breaking the law; now, the new President of the Philippines is stamping down on all forms of gambling – and that includes bingo.
The reasoning is that gambling activities are destructive for society, because they entice those who can’t afford to play. Here at BingoPort, though, we believe that playing bingo in a responsible manner online leads to life-long friendships and a lot of fun.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Son cheated out of £40 000 car accident compensation by mother and brother
It seems that almost every month we have to report on another person being swindled out of their money… money that is then used to fund extreme bingo habits.
The latest story regards Jamie, who was cheated out of £40,000 by his brother and mum – a 10th of the money compensated to him following a road accident. The money was placed in a trust fund, requiring signatures from both Jamie and his brother Philip to be removed. Jamie had already given several thousand pounds to his family, who cared for him while he recovered.
When Jamie left the family home (he now lives with his partner and their first child) he didn’t notice anything amiss until he found that bills he had signed cheques for weren’t being paid.
Looking into the fund, he discovered that his signature had been forged on documents, reducing the amount in the account by £40,000. The police were called, and a court heard evidence, including a phone recording of Mrs Martin admitting to the embezzlement. .
Philip Martin and the boys’ mother have both been found guilty of fraud offences; they were handed a 15-month jail sentence and a suspended sentence respectively.
We’d like to take this opportunity to remind BingoPort readers to play safe and spot the warning signs of bingo addiction (in yourself or others) early.
X Factor Slingo Game
Summer (what summer?) is drawing to a close, and as we settle down to an autumn of reality TV, there’s a new game that everyone’s talking about: X Factor Slingo.
Due to be launched later this month, the game is (astonishingly) a new version of the all-time favourite Slingo – and is all (wait for it) X Factor-themed! You didn’t see that coming, right?
One thing you won’t be able to guess just from looking at the name is that this game has not 1, not 2, but a 3 stage progressive jackpot! In plain English, that means that there’s a good chance of finding the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow!
And what better way to celebrate the return of the X Factor to our screens? Watch this space for more updates, coming very soon.
Bingo: 2020 Olympic Sport?
If you’re feeling glum that the Olympics are over for another 4 years, there’s something exciting to focus on.
There has been a movement across the UK to get bingo on the cards (so to speak) for next time round.
And as Caroline Webb, at Mecca Bingo, pointed out: ‘Successful bingo playing requires a steady hand, intense concentration and mental agility; three attributes that most athletes are keen to possess and that our members have by the bucket-load.’
The likelihood of bingo succeeding in its quest is slim; chess, bridge and poker have all failed before in their attempts for Olympic recognition. It does, however, have all the attributes necessary for eligibility: bingo is cheap, easy to play, and is loved around the world.
So let us know… if bingo were to be in the Olympics, would you be going for trials?
And finally, the stories that didn’t make it
Every month, we search high and low for the most interesting, entertaining, and relevant stories for you, our loyal BingoPort players and readers. This month, there was just so much going on that many of them just didn’t make the cut. Just because we didn’t cover them here doesn’t mean they’re not worth reading—so here are a few more stories for bingo lovers:
Read about the rising conviction count after threats to bingo hall staff and the new deal between SG and Gala. Find out about the armed raid on Gala bingo; the Mecca club that’s closed down; and check out how the industry may just be jumping on the Pokemon Go bandwagon. Last but not least, have you ever heard of Bingomation or Bongo’s Bingo? Well, one thing’s for sure… you have now.