July 9, 2018, 9:26 am

Has increased compliance damaged the growth of the UK online gambling industry?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Make Money Online

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the organisation responsible for regulating the UK gambling industry, provides the latest gambling statistics and details on each individual sector in the overall gambling scene. The details and statistics are directly obtained from the license holders in the regulatory returns.

Generally, data from the UK gambling industry is released in the months of May and November every year, and the latest statistics show us that the industry is on the rise and steadily increasing revenue.

Tim Miller, the CEO of UKGC commented that the “latest statistics are proof that the gambling industry in the UK is continually generating exponential growth, even more so via the online sector”.  He also stated that the growth has a factor of massive responsibility attached to it and addressed the need for those operating in the gambling industry to protect their customers from the negative effects that come with gambling.

Mr. Miller also stated that as the regulating body of the UK gambling industry, their focus is on the protection of the consumers, therefore creating a safe, transparent, and stable gambling environment to ensure that customers are well-protected.

This is where online casinos such as MoneyReels.com as are a nice change of pace, offering safe and secure platforms for which customers of the gambling industry have peace of mind.

According to statistics from the period of April to March 2017, the UK gambling sector had a total Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) of £13.7 billion, which rose by 1.8% in comparison to the prior 12-month period, with the online sector of the industry rising 10.1%, with a total yield of £4.7 billion.

Another statistic found was that of the number of individuals employed in the industry, there was a 1% decline from March 2016, and the betting shops declined by 3.9%.

Also, land based bingo halls are also on the decline, having dropped 1.4% since September 2017.  Arcades, as well, have fallen approximately 5.1%.  However, gaming machines registered in the UK have increased exponentially.  The National Lottery has also been noted contributing £1.5 billion, which is a 16.9% decrease from the prior year.  This is contrary to the large society lotteries whose contributions and donations rose a massive 20.5%.

With all of the statistics floating around, it would seem that the industry as a whole is growing, but local implications are declining.  Online sectors of the industry seem to be where most of the market growth is stemming from, which may signify a change in the market, and even total reinvention of the gaming sector as a whole.

As far as the gambling industry goes, an emphasis has been put on protecting the customers and ensuring that they do not suffer too seriously from the negative effects that gambling can enact.  This limits the overall revenue that a gambling business can bring in.

Despite all things, the online betting companies are the stars of the industry.  With online casinos experiencing a spike in numbers and all physical betting services experiencing a declining, it’s safe to assume that people are spending more time gambling online, and less time on actual gaming machines.  Whether that simply stems from the convenience of online gaming versus having to get up and go out, or if it’s simply because individuals feel they have better chances on an online game, the statistics show that online gaming is where the future of gaming lies.

With the registrations amongst online sites climbing rapidly day by day, one could probably bet that a continued decline in the bingo premises, arcade halls, and the machine registration of physical gambling industry outlets will be steady, eventually leading to the culmination of online gambling being the leader in annual gambling industry yields.

This is all theory, however, based on statistic reports by the UK Gambling Commission.  Many sites, such as aforementioned Money Reels,  may, more than likely, see a massive spike in registering individuals who flock to online gaming as declines in physical gaming premises continue.  Whether this is an opportunity for would-be investors to climb aboard the UK gambling sector gravy train is yet to be seen, but odds are good that it is a gamble that would pay dividends, excuse the pun.

What this means for the industry, as a whole, is still a toss-up.  Either this spells massive revenue for the online sector of the industry and a monumental dip in the physical premises, or it’s just a alienation from the normal pace of things.  In the swing of things, most industries see hills and valleys similar to this and usually the scheme of business will return to normal, but, on occasion, things do shift and tides will change.  The question that begs to be asked at this point in time is, do we embrace the change, or do we fight it?  As most of us won’t have stakes in whichever route the tide flows, it may not even be a question that we ask ourselves.  But, those that have a stake in the UK gambling sector may begin to re-evaluate their positioning in the market and the preferred sector of the gambling industry that their stakes are resting on.

As a whole, the statistics are not as entirely conclusive as they initially appear to be.  There seems to be perpetual growth in the industry, no matter which sector is experiencing the spike in customers and revenue and regardless of the even tighter compliance restrictions.  With the minor dip in employees, bingo premises closing, and arcades, it’s probably a rather safe presumption to say that employment in the gambling industry may be a tad unstable for a short time.  However, even with that being said, it’s not far-fetched to assume that the physical sector will experience a spike, resulting in its ascension once again.

Keep a close eye on the overall statistics and observe any changes in the aforementioned data before drawing in concrete conclusions.  Things tend to develop and change rapidly in the world of business, and with our ever-changing society, it’s anybody’s guess as to which sector of the gambling industry will come out on top, land or online.

Image source unknown. Found through Pinterest.

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June 25, 2018, 5:08 am

Get The Best Price When You Sell Gold Coins

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

Investing in gold coins can’t be a one-way street. You need flexibility and the ability to trade gold coins back and forth to respond to market changes and adjust your portfolio appropriately. A smart investor doesn’t just sit on their portfolio. Even passive investors need to make adjustments to meet their investment goals. But when your portfolio includes gold coins (which it should), how do you sell gold and get the best possible price?

Expect Spot Prices on Gold Coins

If you’ve done your research on gold coins and invested strictly in bullion gold coins, expect to sell gold coins at or near spot prices at the time of sale. That’s the price you would pay if you bought gold coins today, plus premiums, so expect it when you cash in. There will likely be fees such as shipping and insurance, which should always be factored into your earnings calculations before you sell. Always know the exact gold contents of your coins, including purity and weight.

Sell Gold Coins to Online Gold Sellers

Reputable gold sellers should be the first place you go to sell your gold coins. If they operate online like Silver Gold Bull, it’s even easier to do business with them. Always do your research into gold buyers. Check their credentials and reviews online and make sure they’re the real thing. Here’s what happens when you sell gold to a dealer like Silver Gold Bull:

  1. -Fill out a quick online form with product details to get a quote
  2. -Get a shipping label with insurance from the company once you’re approved
  3. -Get paid as soon as your gold coins are verified

If you’re selling bullion gold coins, never go to a pawnbroker or a cash-for-gold business. These are better options if you’re selling gold jewelry that will fetch a smaller price. That’s because gold jewelry is typically melted down for bullion, incurring higher costs. That process doesn’t need to be done for bullion gold coins.

Hold onto Gold Coins

Successfully investing in gold coins means carefully watching the market. You have to take your portfolio’s needs into consideration when you decide to buy or sell gold coins. If you need to cash in to fund another investment and balance your portfolio, it’s time to take the profits. However, gold often does best in the long-term and it can be risky to sell off your insurance policy. You may want to hold out for higher gold prices in the long-term rather than opt for marginal gains today.

Trade Gold Coins for Silver

When you trade in your gold coins, you don’t necessarily have to do it for cash. With online gold sellers like Silver Gold Bull, you can easily exchange gold coins for silver or vice versa. Why would investors swap gold for silver? Both precious metals tend to move in tandem, but silver rises and falls at a greater rate than gold. On a positive upswing for metals, you may want a higher exposure to silver, but then trade silver for gold coins to protect yourself from downsides.

With these rules in mind, you’re ready to sell your gold coins.

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June 18, 2018, 11:21 am

The Most Successful Investments Made by Poker Pros Revealed

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk


Image: Pixabay.com
Caption: From small poker acorns do big businesses grow

What’s the best way of turning money into even more money? Investing it. That’s what some of the legends of the poker industry have successfully achieved with their profits made at the tables. When you consider just how much prize money is on offer in the poker industry today, it’s unsurprising the very best in the business choose to diversify their profits by investing in initiatives outside of Texas hold’em. Last year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event saw the third-highest prize pool in the history of poker tournaments, with $67,877,400 up for grabs. The top ten professionals in terms of live career earnings include the enigmatic Phil Hellmuth, who just so happens to be one of the shrewder investors of his poker winnings, as we will explain in more detail shortly.

There are many poker icons that have successfully diversified their poker fortunes into even more profitable business ventures. If you’re familiar with the world of poker, you’ll almost certainly have heard of this trio of poker gods-turned-entrepreneurs:

Jerry Buss: Successful owner of the LA Lakers

For a number of years, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Jerry Buss was a high-stakes Texas hold’em cash game player. He had been a major player in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas card rooms and then became a regular entrant in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) events in the 1990s. Buss’ best-ever finish was a third-place finish in a seven-card stud WSOP tournament, followed by a runner-up finish in a World Poker Tour (WPT) invitational event back in 2003. A charismatic individual, Buss was also invited to play on NBC’s Poker After Dark television series, as well as the High Stakes Poker series on GSN.

Using much of the revenue he had generated from the cash game and tournament poker tables in the late 80s and early 90s, Buss then invested heavily in professional sports teams in Los Angeles. He spent $67.5 million on acquiring the World TeamTennis side, the LA Strings, the NBA giants, the LA Lakers and the NHL outfit, the LA Kings. Undoubtedly, Buss’ most successful investment was his purchase of the Lakers, where he was able to attract a string of big-name stars to the Lakers roster; namely Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. It was his desire to provide world-class entertainment for the fans that led in the Lakers’ ‘Showtime’ era. His financial contribution to basketball was marked by an induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 prior to his 2013 death.

Dan Harrington: Real estate riches with Anchor Loans

72-year-old Dan Harrington, nicknamed ‘Action Dan’ in the poker fraternity, is best known for winning the WSOP Main Event in 1995. Harrington had been a successful bankruptcy lawyer for a number of years prior to entering the world of poker and business. Harrington learnt his trade playing poker at the Mayfair Club in the 1980s, sitting alongside some of the other household names of professional poker in Erik Seidel and Howard Lederer. Harrington made the final table of the 1987 WSOP Main Event, finishing in sixth place and started to generate solid revenues from his love of tight-conservative Texas hold’em.

Harrington began to dabble in real estate and stocks and shares before co-founding an enterprise of his own with two of his friends in the world of poker, Stephen Pollack and Jeff Lipton. In 1998, Anchor Loans was established, providing short-term loans to ‘fix-and-flip’ real estate investors. The company has funded more than $5.3 billion in short-term loans in its 20 years of business. Harrington retired from the business in 2010 but is still a shareholder in the company. Harrington has a long and proud history as a poker author, publishing a string of books on online and offline cash games in Texas hold’em no-limit, suitable for beginners and intermediate players. Although he penned a book on ‘Modern Tournament Poker’ in 2014, he hasn’t gone as far as writing about some of the latest poker room incarnations such as SNAP poker that is fast-fold and offers instant gratification for millennial players. Although Harrington’s live tournament earnings are barely a quarter of Phil Hellmuth’s, it’s obvious that Harrington has diversified his poker revenues impressively into real estate and publishing.

Phil Hellmuth: Book publisher extraordinaire


pp-ed-how-good-phil-hellmuth” (CC BY 2.0) by Chingster23

Caption: Poker Brat turned publisher for the sharp-tongued American

Phil Hellmuth is one of the larger-than-life characters in the world of professional poker. The aptly-named ‘Poker Brat’ has never taken kindly to losing at anything in life, most certainly not at the poker tables, and his will to win has helped him become one of the most respected poker pros on the tour. As of last year, his live tournament earnings were in excess of $21 million, sitting eighth in the all-time winnings list. Hellmuth also holds a record 14 WSOP gold bracelets and also holds the record for the most amount of cashes at WSOP events, standing at 108. These landmarks further serve to commemorate the commitment and passion Hellmuth has held for his poker craft through the years.

Hellmuth has always had a passion for telling stories and, in 2009, as the poker boom started to decline somewhat, he opted to set up his own publishing house with a view of allowing fellow poker professionals to tell their own accounts of life at the tables and away from the felt. The book, Deal Me In: 20 of the World’s Top Poker Players Share the Heartbreaking and Inspiring Stories of How They Turned Pro, written by Stephen John and Marvin Karlins, has proven to be extremely successful among the poker community. Amateurs and semi-pros alike have found it particularly inspiring to see how even the world’s most powerful poker stars had to work hard to build their bankrolls from the outset. It also reinforces that those who have the courage to dream big can, and often will, succeed.

Poker is a gruelling and demanding profession. Even those who stick at it for many decades will look to have downtime away from the tables to keep fresh. What better way for successful poker players to take their heads out of the game than to invest some of their riches in generating more income on the side.

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June 13, 2018, 4:55 am

A Brief History of Bingo & How It Took The Internet By Storm

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance


Bingo” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by ashleyt

Here at The Financial Blogger, we cover a variety of money-related topics, whether they be the more serious subjects such as loans and budgets or simply tips on how to make a little extra cash doing online surveys. We’ve also covered online games in the past, particularly those that fall within the iGaming genre as these are online games played for real money. We’ve discussed tips on how to succeed at online poker, the best payment methods to use at online casinos and we’ve even skimmed the surface of how bitcoin can be used in the online gaming arena.

However, one subject we are yet to cover in the world of online gaming is online bingo; arguably the most popular online game of all.

Where Does Bingo Come From?


130509-N-ZM744-028” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by SurfaceWarriors

Though statistics may lead you to believe that bingo originated in the UK, it actually all started in Italy with a weekly lottery named Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia that still continues to this day. The Italian lottery began in 1530 after the country was united and, much like modern-day lotteries, was won by whoever managed to correlate the numbers on their ticket with those picked at random from a huge collection of numbered balls. Unsurprisingly this lottery became extremely popular and soon spread to France in the 1700s, where it was renamed Le Lotto and was played by most of the very fanciest French aristocracy.

It was when the lottery transitioned to France that we first see the playing cards being divided into sections. There were three horizontal rows crisscrossed with nine vertical rows, with random numbers from 1 to 90 resting in each section except for four that were mysteriously left blank. Players would then gather together to listen to someone call out the numbers written on randomly selected tokens, marking off any numbers that appeared on their playing card. The first person to fill out an entire horizontal row was the winner.

These lottery games soon spread throughout Europe, many resembling what we know today as bingo, but it wasn’t until December 1929 that true modern bingo was born. New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe was driving to Jacksonville, USA when he noticed a country carnival taking place. He soon noticed that every single booth at the carnival was closed except for one that was absolutely packed, where it seemed players were sat around a horseshoe-shaped table covered in numbered cards and beans.

The locals called the game Beano, and it very much resembled the lotteries that had been played in Europe for centuries. The caller selected numbered disks from a cigar box, stating the numbers as the players quickly placed beans over the numbers on their cards. Once a player managed to get a line they would shout “Beano!” and be awarded a Kewpie doll. Lowe saw just how popular the game was and decided to make his own version, using dried beans, some cardboard and a rubber numbering stamp.

After returning to New York, Lowe invited many of his friends around to play his new game. Before long, his friends were just as into the game as those that had been at the carnival, with one woman shouting “BINGO!” instead of beano due to the excitement. Thus, Edwin S. Lowe’s Bingo! was created and became an overnight success, spreading through America without stopping. Soon the entire world was playing bingo, either engaging in games with family at home or travelling to dedicated bingo halls to compete against other fanatics. It was in 1968 that bingo was formalised in the UK under the UK Gaming Act and by 1986 when the National Bingo Game became legal, almost everyone was playing throughout Britain.

Alas, as the years went by, newer generations had many other pastimes to consider and soon bingo became a game reserved for older people. It wasn’t until bingo made the transition onto the internet that it began picking up popularity again.

The Beginning of Online Bingo

The first online bingo sites appeared in 2003, attracting numerous casual gamers who had flocked to the internet. In 2013, it was estimated that the European Union online bingo market was worth about €926.6m, €312m of which came from the UK – the world’s largest online bingo market. As playing online games for money became more popular at online casinos, bingo soon became attached to the iGaming industry, appearing alongside table games and slots at numerous online sites. According to Statista, this online gambling market was worth an estimated total of $37.91billion in 2015 and may increase to $59.79 billion by 2020.

Why is Online Bingo so Successful?

Considering the historical popularity of bingo, it’s not difficult to understand how the game itself became popular. After all, it’s a game of chance that allows us to play with family and friends without really being responsible for who wins or loses. It’s easy, it’s friendly and above all, bingo is fun. Still, even a successful game like bingo found it difficult to compete with more modern pastimes such as video game consoles, the internet and other 21stcentury activities.

So, instead of slowly dying off and resigning itself to history, bingo revitalised itself by taking over the world wide web. Now, there are quite literally thousands of online bingo sites, so many that platforms like Oddschecker now sift through them all to find no-deposit offers and deals for online bingo enthusiasts. After all, not every online bingo site is created equal and if they want your business they best be offering a great deal.

No longer is bingo resigned to a town hall or abandoned cinema building like it was in the 90s; now players can jump online anytime, anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. On desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, online bingo sites are easily accessible and offer a wide variety of games suitable for almost every playing style.

Of course, it wasn’t just the game itself that made bingo popular all those years ago, it was also the human factors such as socialising and comradery. To add a little more socialisation into internet-centric games, online bingo sites have always had chat boxes, which allow players to converse. More recently, bingo sites have started introducing live streams, which allow players to watch and converse with a real-life, professional caller.

The more reliable a site is, the more games they offer and the more social aspects it has, the more popular an online bingo site will be. Of course, a good welcome package doesn’t hurt either. This is how online bingo became one of the most popular games not only on the internet but in the entire world. In fact, we’d like to know if you yourself play online bingo and if you’ve ever had any success? Let us know in the comments below.

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June 5, 2018, 7:50 am

5 Affordable Home Loan Options

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance

In today’s economy, it might seem like home ownership is out of reach for any but the rich, or at least “well to do,” but the fact is, there are home loan options that are practical for even those with relatively low incomes.

And many of these loans don’t require perfect credit, a large down payment, or a long, grueling application process either. Exploring your home loan options and taking advantage of the best program available that fits your needs can make the process simple and convenient.

Here are 5 of the most popular home loan types that work well for those with low to moderate incomes:

1. FHA Loans

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans used to be only for those with high incomes and great credit scores. But those days are long gone. It’s’ fairly common nowadays to get an FHA loan approved for manufactured home – and manufactured home loans can be tailor made to make them eminently affordable.

You can take out an FHA loan with only a 3.5% down payment, a FICO score as low as 500 (if you can explain the reason), and with relatively low income if it’s reliable. Single family, multi-unit, manufactured, and mobile homes can all qualify. So long as a bank underwrites the loan and it’s structure meets FHA standards, you can be in your new home in short order.

2. Rural Housing Loans

Despite the name, rural housing loans (USDA rural development loans), are also available for the suburbs and small towns. They are specifically targeted at low to medium income families (up to 115% of local area median income qualifies.)

Special advantages of these loans include: you can lump in home repairs/upgrades with the loan principal, your PMI fee is the absolute lowest of all loans (.35%), and there are zero “surprise fees” due at closing.

3. Home Renovation Loans

A home renovation loan (FHA 203k) is a mortgage that lets you buy a house to then immediately fix it up and make it more livable. It only requires 3.5% down and is very similar to standard FHA loans (#1 above).

However, you will need to borrow more than the purchase price to cover renovations, which means this loan type requires good credit, though not extremely high income, to get approved.

4. VA Home Loans

If you are a US Armed Force member or your deceased spouse was, then you will qualify for a special no money down VA loan. If you’re an honorably discharged vet who served a minimum of 6 years, you also qualify.

You will not have to buy mortgage insurance to get approved (though it’s still a good idea if you can afford it). Imperfect credit is not normally a problem with VA loans, and even bankruptcies won’t necessarily disqualify you.

5. HomePath Mortgages

HUD’s HomePath mortgage program is offered through Fannie Mae and is widely available to low-income families all over the US.

This loan type adds in the incomes of all who will live in the house, even though not all will be on the mortgage. It thus raises your DTI (debt to income) ratio and makes approval easier. This is for purchase of HUD homes only. It requires only 3% down and gives you a 3% bonus credit to use for closing costs IF you complete the “homebuyer education course.”

There are other affordable home loan programs out there too, but these 5 are easily the most common. Most people will be able to qualify for one or more of these loan-types, making home ownership truly realistic.

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