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Zynga Drops After Abandoning U.S. Online-Betting Plan

via Bloomberg

Zynga Inc. (ZNGA), maker of the social-networking game “FarmVille,” plunged as much as 20 percent in early trading after abandoning plans to enter the online-gambling business in the U.S.

“While the company continues to evaluate its real-money gaming products in the U.K. test, Zynga is making a focused choice not to pursue a license for real-money gaming in the U.S.,” the San Francisco-based company said yesterday in a statement. The stock tumbled as low as $2.81.

The shares had surged 48 percent this year through yesterday on optimism that Zynga could use Web betting to revive growth amid a slump in gaming on Facebook Inc.’s (FB) network. Zynga took preliminary steps to get a gambling license in Nevada last year, working to enter a U.S. market for online betting that may reach $7.4 billion a year by 2017, according to Manchester, U.K.-based researcher H2 Gambling Capital.

“Zynga probably realized they’re not going to get one,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. in Los Angeles. “There’s a greater sense of urgency on turning the business around.”

The company also forecast third-quarter sales and earnings that fell short of analysts’ estimates as fewer users access its titles on Facebook’s website.

Can you play free bingo indefinitely?

blg0723If you really set your mind to it – do you think you could play free bingo indefinitely? The answer’s probably no in reality – but it would be an interesting experiment and, of course, it all depends what we mean by “free”.

For starters, most of the best online bingo sites offer generous welcome bonuses – so it’s not technically free though, if you play carefully, you could leave that element of your own cash that you’ve deposited untouched. And all being well, this cash could then stay untouched while you play on for small stakes or searching out only the free games that carry with them the possibility of a real cash prize. And just in case you didn’t realise that was possible – it is, but only with certain online bingo sites.

32Red is one example of a big and reputable online bingo site which does offer free games with cash prizes and many other bonus features etc. You can always find at least one or two free games to play on 32Red bingo – and you can check the bingo schedule here to find out when the free games are exactly. Of course, you can play all the games for free in demo mode only if you prefer – but that’s not what we’re talking about here and these games don’t carry with them real cash prizes, of course. So instead, this is a purely hypothetical experiment to consider whether you could play ad-infinitum without spending any of your own cash if you so desired.

Playing free bingo games that carry with them the chance of an actual cash prize or, better yet, a progressive jackpot prize isn’t going to cost you a penny of your own cash. But it’s really all a question of self-discipline.

The reason the sites offer the free games is that they know we’ll get tempted in to playing other games with our own cash – in which the likelihood is that we’ll steadily lose money. Now depending on your viewpoint – perhaps this doesn’t matter? Many of the research reports from different online bingo operators seem to suggest that many of us play more for the fun of the games and the chances of socialisation they bring – as opposed to the serious expectation of making any kind of steady profit. But at the same time, we at least expect the chance to win a life-changing amount.

And on this score, playing online bingo is similar to buying a Lottery ticket. In other words, we know we are unlikely to make a steady profit by winning small amounts, but what keeps it fun is the ever-present possibility of winning the kind of prize that really would fundamentally change our lives.

So it is, theoretically, possible to play online bingo only with “their” money only if you were completely self-disciplined and you stuck just to the free games and you always maximised any bonus opportunities including introductory bonuses. But in practice – you may find this a little dull unless you’re a very robotic kind of player!


by Guest Sponsor
Special to Bingo Bugle

Why it’s best to play bingo online

Bingo is a game that has traditionally been played within the community. It used to always draw different people together to one meeting place not only to enjoy a game of bingo, but the bingo hall also acted as a social hub.

Today, bingo still does that, even though there are so many more players who now play online bingo as opposed to bingo in a land-based bingo hall or community centre. But there’s still a sense of community amongst the online players on a bingo site and today’s bingo hall is now a bingo chat room. This is where players gather to catch up and exchange opinions on all kinds of subjects – not just bingo.

The internet has opened up bingo to so many people who might never have gone to a real bingo hall. There are so many sites where you can sign up to play this simple and amusing game. You can even click here for free bingo games online if you don’t want to play with real money. Many of the free games have prizes attached to them too, so it gives you even more reason to play. If you lose, you’ve lost nothing and you’ve had the fun of playing, if you win, it’s even better! You’ll spend the rest of the day on a bingo high!

For some people, playing at home in the comfort of their own living room is a good idea on so many levels. You save the need to spend money on travelling to a bingo game, you don’t need to spend on drinks and food while you’re playing and you can play at any time that suits you, rather than waiting for the opening times of a bingo hall. Online bingo sites are always open and there’s always a game about to start when you login. And there are certain character types who obviously aren’t meant to spend time in bingo halls, where courtesy and respect are called for at all times.

Security guard Austin Whaley discovered the hard way how you should keep quiet in a real bingo hall. He shouted out bingo as a joke during a game and upset the regulars in the bingo hall in Covington, Kentucky, by doing so. The game was delayed while the false ‘bingo’ called was checked and the other players were furious with Whaley for disrupting their game. As Whaley refused to apologise, a police officer charged him with second-degree disorderly conduct and when his case came to court in March this year, the judge barred him from uttering the word ‘bingo’ for six months. Whaley is a great example of a person who would be better off playing bingo online, where you can shout and holler bingo as often as you like and it won’t affect the game for anyone else!

But it seems that it’s not only teens like Whaley who’ve been tempted to misbehave in a bingo hall. In February 2013, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, two ladies were seen pushing and shoving each other at a seniors’ bingo game over the fact that one of them was trying to sell Avon beauty products during the game, and in doing so, she disrupted the game. The police were called to separate the ladies, but had to return to the bingo hall two hours later as another player wanted to press charges.

So as you can see, bingo halls can be locations that are ripe for scenes of tension. Maybe people with fiery tempers are better off playing online where they can’t be upset by anyone or upset others!


by Guest Sponsor
Special to Bingo Bugle

Reasons to play online bingo

The number of people who play online bingo grows by the day, and there are millions around the world playing a bingo game at any one time. But what is it about bingo that has made it such a worldwide phenomenal success?

There are all kinds of reasons why people choose to play the game of bingo, that has been around in some form or other for centuries. Here are just a few of the main reasons why the online version has become such a success.

It’s cheap to play

Playing bingo has never required high stakes and online bingo is no different. You can play for pennies on many of the different bingo sites, and you can also play for free. It used to be that the free games were only open to those who had registered on a site and made their first cash deposit, but now many sites allow people simply to register and then play free bingo games without evening putting down a cash deposit. Some of the free bingo games have amazing cash prizes to play for.

It’s easy

The other big pull of playing online bingo is that it’s not complicated at all. You don’t even have to pay attention to the numbers as they’re being called out, as you would in a traditional bingo game. With online bingo, the numbers are marked off automatically, and if you’ve got the winning card, there’s no danger of missing that ‘bingo’ moment through a lack of concentration.

It’s friendly

Playing bingo isn’t just about the possibility of winning a great cash prize. There’s also lots of opportunity to socialise while you’re playing bingo. Bingo chat rooms are hotbeds of discussion on all kinds of topic – bingo and non-bingo related. Although traditional bingo used to require a ‘hush’ during the games, with online bingo, conversations can go on through the games. There’s also often the chance to win more prizes by joining in the chat games that you’ll find on most bingo sites.

If you’ve never tried online bingo, then you’ve been missing out on a world of entertainment possibilities – give it a try today!


by Guest Sponsor
Special to Bingo Bugle

Can you really develop an edge – or is it all chance?


If you’re a gambler trying your best to make it pay – then you either need a steady winning strategy which utilises your superior judgement – or you need to be lucky.

The truth is that if you play games of chance for long enough against the house in an online casino, for example, you will surely lose steadily according to the laws of probability. There may be a couple of ways around this, though, which we’ll explain…

Firstly, it has been proven that if a player can count cards effectively when playing blackjack, and follow a steady strategy depending on the cards dealt to his or herself and the bank – then he or she can steadily win out. But this only works in real life casinos and it won’t work for long as you can be sure the house will get on to you pretty quickly of you keep coming back.

However – there is another way you can firmly stack the odds in your favour and that’s by steadily taking advantage of the welcome bonuses and other bonuses on offer – and then buy choosing your games and strategies carefully. The fact is that house margins are wafer thin on some games such as roulette and blackjack so by playing with the generous bonuses and by not doing so for too long – the odds may well be in your favour; for a while anyway.

Otherwise, it’s a matter of judgement. And there have been plenty people down the years who have managed to make a great living by gambling simply by exercising a superior judgement to the majority. Bookmakers have been doing this for years and they haven’t faced many punters who have beaten them consistently.

Of course, with the advent of the betting exchanges, we can all effectively be bookmakers today as we have the ability to back and lay bets – so if you really have some kind of informational edge in some way – having done your homework better than the rest, you can, in theory, make it pay. But remember; you still have to overcome the “house” margin / commission which averages around five per cent – so your judgement has to be just better than the majority’s.

What this calls for, then, is knowledge, insight and, above all, self-discipline. This all sounds easy in theory but is much harder to put into practice. So what you need to do is just that – namely, practice. Prove to yourself that you really can develop an edge and that you have the self-discipline to stick at it with relatively small amounts first until you’ve proven your system to yourself. Then – if all is going to plan – build your stake gradually.

Of course – one big alternative is to go “all-in” with the online casinos’ free bonuses in the hope of landing a one-off big prize and these do sometimes run into life-changing amounts. And the odds are far better than the National Lottery’s – particularly if you’re gambling with their money!


by Guest Sponsor
Special to Bingo Bugle

How do online Bingo sites win market share?

by Guest Sponsor
Special to Bingo Bugle

If you stop to think about it – it could be perceived that all online Bingo sites are largely the same. After all, Bingo is a game of pure chance and there are laws governing the operation of such sites – to ensure that no games can ever be fixed to maximise income etc. So is there anything to choose between the alternatives?
The short answer is “yes” in terms of initial promotions and rewards for new members etc.  As an example, the fast-growing Jackpotjoy site offers new members £30 for £10 deposited. It also offers £20 for recommending new members. The offers are real and genuine and you do get something for nothing.
But when the offers have run out – what then? Is there really much difference between the various well-known sites? Again, the answer seems to be a resounding “yes” but this is mainly to do with keeping up your level of interest.
If you keep playing the same games continually, there is a chance you’ll get bored. Having said that, some customers positively welcome monotony in the Bingo they play – so there really is no “one size fits all” approach here.  If we go back to Jackpotjoy again you’ll soon see that its nine different online Bingo offerings offer something for everyone which may help explain why it’s growing so quickly.
To be successful, any Bingo website has to appeal to two very different audiences at the same time; namely, the old traditional Bingo audience and the modern user who may play a game or two whilst doing other things online – or maybe even working. After all, online Bingo needn’t demand high levels of concentration – it all depends how you want to play. You can even play for nothing with Jackpotjoy if you’re just playing for the sheer fun of the game.
And that’s the magic word for many new players today – “fun”. Today’s newcomers to Bingo want to have a little fun online whilst doing other things – yet still have the chance of landing a big cash prize. And many of Jackpotjoy’s big cash Bingo prizes regularly run into many tens of thousands of pounds – so there’s a real possibility of a little dabble turning into a life-changing experience. And if not, well … you’ve been thoroughly entertained by the creativity of the games along the way – all for what is a very small outlay for most players.

What a pain in the…

ouchFrom my new series, “I Refuse to Age Gracefully”…

Here’s what I’m shopping for today: Coccyx cushions.  My ass hurts, ’cause I sit on it too much.  So rather than get off my sore ass, I’m looking for a cushion that will allow me to keep sitting on that ever-widening part of my body.

Getting older sucks.  I’m thinking of wrapping what’s left of my betraying body in foam insulation.

I found a store not too far from here that sells them (and other “aging gracefully” accoutrements), so that’s where I’m headed as soon as I get off my rear.

I wonder if they have a GameStop near there?  I’ve been wanting to go by GameStop for a while.

I’m at an awkward age… GameStop and Ass Pillows.

- boots

Art Appreciation Tuesday

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Head of a Dog” – 1870. How cute is THAT?!

Winners Circle Report

by Gayle Mitchell
Special to Bingo Bugle

“I Won the Jackpot” is the sound of dreams coming true. With the ever-increasing progressive jackpots offered by casinos, the Big Hits are what we seek. This report details four of these winning stories from the lucky winners. It is interesting that the first two winning tales occurred on different dates, different slot machines at casinos far apart, yet both are almost equal in winnings. Curious, yes? Enjoy your read.

1) Super Wedding to Come
Colin Savage of Lowestoft England was visiting Vegas for the first time with his fiancée, Tina French and made stop at the Bellagio Casino. He chose a Quartermillion$ progressive that was soon to pay out $596,149. “I put $100 in the machine, but only planned on playing $20,” said Savage. “We are going to pay off the mortgage and then have a fantastic wedding. “This still has not sunk in. It’s truly unbelievable.”

2) Locked in a Win
Jane Schwaegerl, a nurse from LaCross, WI, related her winning strategy after hitting a $595,109 Wheel of Fortune MegaJackpot at a dollar machine. “If I am successful on other machines, I try the 3X slot to see if I can win more and this time it worked. It was unreal.” “I realized that the other machines scrolling numbers had changed and my machine locked on the winning amount.” Schwaegerl had played about $100 at the Majestic Pines Casino in Black River Falls, WI. There will definitely be presents for the grandchildren and Jane plans to invest the rest.

3) A Rewarding Detour

Sharon Haggard, 54, of Oakdale, CA is a legal assistant who stopped in Reno with her sister during a road trip. Upon arrival at the Grand Sierra Casino, a 50-cent Wheel of Fortune progressive was selected along with a wager of $100. The casino is a favorite stop for Haggard and her husband who compete for slot winnings. It will be difficult for her hubby to top Sharon’s Megajackpot win of $1,595,843. As she stated, “Mama’s got her mojo back.” The future does not include retirement for the new millionaire, but assisting her mother, son and daughter is a definite plan.

4) She Returned to the Wheel

The anonymous winner from Las Vegas explained her huge payday of $6,978,753. this way, “I had decided to walk away from the machine, but after a while, I opted to come back and play one more time. That was the best decision I every made. This is a dream come true.”   Before walking away, she had asked a man at the Orleans Casino in Vegas sitting next to her how she would know if she won the jackpot. “He told me to keep an eye on the middle line and watch for five Wheel of Fortune signs all lined up in a row,” said the 52-year-old Korean native. Future plans include paying off her car and house, helping her children-grandchildren and donating to her church.

Gayle Mitchell’s site is and