Online Bingo Establishes Itself As the Clear Favourite

For those who love bingo but are too entwined in their everyday lives to make the journey to bingo halls, online bingo is god-sent. Bingo is in a state of flux, owing primarily to the changing times. Though land-based bingo has seen great highs, its glory days are numbered. With lives moving ahead at supersonic speed, leisure is the first thing that is sacrificed at the altar of making room for other things. However, with online bingo games finding their way right into our houses, things need not be so dreary.

So, you love a game of bingo but cannot seem to fit the travelling it requires in your already choc-a-block to-do list? Don’t fret, now there is a solution to that. All you need is a computer and an internet connection to lose yourself in the immense sea of the many wonderful online bingo sites. Now snuggle into your cosy sofa or settle into your bean bag, bingo can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. You can also decide to take bingo to your bedroom and tuck yourself in bed with it – the choice is yours. Alternatively, with pre buy and auto daub options open to all bingo lovers, you can buy your ticket and forget all about it. If you have the winning combination, your account will get fat with cash, even without your having to log in while the game is in progress.

Having brought such alacrity to the lives of millions of bingo fanatics across the world, the soaring popularity enjoyed by online bingo sites is a given. By moulding itself with the trends of the changing times, bingo has found a permanent abode in the hearts of online gamers. So much so that in the matter of only a few years, bingo has shot up the popularity charts and placed itself firmly on the top. As the nation’s favourite leisure activity, online bingo games today are there to be enjoyed in a variety of sites. The debate on whether the large number of bingo sites available is a boon or a bane is still raging. The fact is that the debate can swing in either direction, depending on the person involved. While some may struggle to differentiate the good sites from the bad and struggle to find their feet, the more enterprising bingo lovers can use the huge number of bingo sites to their advantage by choosing different sites for different types of games. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is the software provider that powers the site. Having established that the site in consideration is from the house of a reputed software provider, one can feel free to invest time and cash and choose the promotions best suited to them to play bingo.

There are quite a few variants of bingo to enjoy. While one bingo site may offer wonderful jackpots in their 90 ball bingo games, some others may do the same for 75 ball bingo games. Then, there are also the 80 and 30 ball games to try. Since not every site brings forth the whole gamut of bingo games, it makes sense to sample the specialities of all the trustworthy bingo sites. Reading up the reviews and news sections of reputed bingo portals is a good way of ensuring one is updated about the most reliable bingo sites and the best current promotions, respectively.

Quality Over Quantity – Why USA Online Casinos Are Superior

Back in 1996, the explosion of online casino gambling swept the world. The United States had been a large part of this, and many gamblers had turned to online casinos for all of their gaming. For many years, these casinos continued to be played unabated. Unfortunately, back in 2006, legislation was passed that made it slightly difficult for online casinos to continue to operate. This legislation, sneaked in by piggyback through the Safe Port Act, would be named the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and it became a thorn in the side of the online gambler, the online casino, and all payment processors there in.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or the UIGEA, had, in a nutshell, prohibited banks and payment processors from processing transactions that would correlate to online gambling. This has not only complicated loading accounts, but also withdrawing. While USA online casinos have continued to operate, they have had to use payment processors that would circumvent these restrictions. Sadly, the UIGEA was not even set to go into effect until December of 2009, thought the implications of the legislation had fall out that would be nothing short of catastrophic for many online gambling companies, especially those that relied heavily on the United States market.

The UIGEA had hamstrung many of the operations around the world that utilized the American market in order to stay ahead in profits, all the while keeping losses to a low. The implications ran deep, damaging many companies operating these casinos. Not only had some of the larger, publicly traded online casinos taken a major hit to the price per share, which in turn hurt the shareholders of those companies, but also cost the companies profits from the United States Market. PartyGaming comes to mind specifically, though other large gambling firms had taken a hit. Additionally, many executives in charge of several of the online casinos, including Anurag Dikshit, one of the early founders of PartyGaming, had been indicted and fined for their involvement in online gambling – despite the fact that these companies had been based outside of the United States. Payment processors had also been significantly impacted, as many of these financial companies had taken a blow from federal persecution, which, in some cases, amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in seizures. Sadly, the UIGEA had not even been invoked in many of these seizures. Rather, the Wire Act of 1961, a law that had been passed years before the Internet was even beginning to develop into what we see today.

Despite the laws that had begun to inhibit online casino gambling, many online casinos continued to accept USA players. While several of the larger brands of online casino had been stripped from the United States market, many others had remained steadfast in their dedication to delivering casino gaming to the American market. Though there are online casinos still operating in the USA, the choice has become limited. In order to focus on a marginal market, online casinos accepting American players had to provide a service of higher quality. That having been said, those online casinos have had to outclass the older forms of casino software that had removed themselves from the American market.

There are currently three major brands of casino software that have yet to cease operating within the United States. These brands have no intention on leaving the American market, and still out perform those that have already left USA players high and dry. Real Time Gaming, or RTG, Rival Gaming, or simply Rival, and Odds On, also known as Vegas Technology, are the three types of casino software still accepting Americans. Each carries its own unique features, though they universally out perform those who have left the United states behind, including Microgaming, Playtech, and others. While some of the individual casinos operating under these brands have decided not to content with the contention of the United States government, nearly all of them continue to supply USA players with high quality casino gaming.

Casinos powered by RTG are one of the superior three. Real Time gaming has brought high quality gaming to players throughout the United States. Their superiority comes through the digital eloquence of their games. Rather than delivering tired, bland tables games and slots, they have taken steps to ensure that each player will enjoy the smooth graphics and game play of their casino. Real Time Gaming casinos supply their players with enough diversity to remain entertaining, as well as huge bonuses for their players. Casinos outside of the United States, particularly Microgaming casinos, will almost always fall short in terms of bonuses. Through integrated security, these casinos under the RTG brand also remain the most secure.

The second brand of casino gaming comes through Rival Gaming. Rival Gaming has created and subsequently distributed a unique series of games. These games, the Interactive Slots, have brought a whole new level of entertainment to slot games. Rather than the standard spinning of the reels, Rival has raised the bar to the pinnacle of casino gaming. Their table games have also been a huge hit, bringing in players who seek simply to play cards, dice, or other table based casino games. Though players outside of the United States may enjoy the Interactive Slot, there is no international online casino that blocks American IP addresses that offers anything remotely similar to the power and variety of the I-Slot.

Finally we come to Odds On. With Odds On Casinos, players are entitled to use one of the original types of online casino software. Odds On has revolutionized the way games are played, particularly slots. The Odds On bonus slots have brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to their winners. Additionally, these bonus slots are backed by the large, multiplayer slot tournaments that have become a staple for many gamers around the world. The size and popularity of these tournaments are almost exclusive to Odds On. Slot tournaments provide players with the ability to enjoy slot gaming without an overwhelming financial risk, while providing easier access to large winnings. Though other types of casino software will periodically provide players with the chance to enjoy slot tournaments, none will be as versatile or commonplace as those found through Odds On – proving once again online casinos accepting USA players are superior to those found open only to European players.

Though casinos accepting Americans have had a bumpy road, particularly in 2009, hope lies on the horizon. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which held a deadline of December of 2009, has been delayed. This delay bought time, six months to be exact, that would enable legislators to reconsider the law’s passing. Several legislators, particularly Congressman Barney Frank, have been pushing for a change in legislation. In order to aid in the push for regulated Internet casino gambling, any individual may contact their senators and representatives in order to express their opinion. There are also political action committees, such as the Poker Player’s Alliance, that are trying to bring casino gaming into the homes of players throughout the United States. Despite these laws, the casinos still operating for American players are ranked far above those who have decided against continued operation Stateside.

La Tules – Monte Queen of Santa Fe

Born around 1800, Maria Gertrudis Barceló’s childhood years are still being debated among historical scholars but her subsequent marriage to Don Manuel Antonio Sisneros on June 23, 1823, is recorded in the registers at Tomé, a small village about 30 miles south of Albuquerque. Though married to Sisneros, a member of a prominent family, she maintained her maiden name. She preferred the attribution of Doña Barceló. As she gained popularity as a gambler, the locals began calling her “La Tules” a nickname that translates into “the reed,” referring to her diminutive thin frame.

After moving to Santa Fe, she lost two sons in infancy and adopted a daughter in 1826. During this time, La Tules decided to turn her gift for dealing cards and reading men into a career as a courtesan, Monte dealer, madam, and an expert mule trader. She knew exactly how to capitalize on the insatiable gambling habits of the traders who traveled from Missouri on the newly opened Santa Fe Trail. Working in a public gambling hall, she used her charm and beauty to separate the traders from their money. As many as 100 Monte tables operated in Santa Fe during this time, with stakes as high as $50,000. By 1838, town officials realized there was more money gained by granting gambling licenses than collecting fines, and sanctioned the formerly illegal activity.

In a few years, she had enough capital to purchase a “Sala,” or gambling house and saloon, in which she entertained her guests with dances, drinks, lavish dinners, and gambling. Over time, she amassed a fortune as Santa Fe’s most renowned Monte dealer and confidante to some of New Mexico’s most powerful political, military and religious leaders. This menagerie included Manuel Armijo, the Governor of New Mexico, with whom she carried on an illicit affair that eventually led to his downfall.

The sala of La Tules was situated on San Francisco Street at the southeast corner of Palace Avenue and Burro Alley where it extended the width of the entire block. It was a long, low adobe building that eventually sported finely carved furniture from Spain resting on exquisite Turkish carpets. The main bar wound around a gigantic room. Two additional mahogany bars connected to form a quadrangle. Large glistening mirrors adorned the walls behind the bars, but omitted from the gambling casino itself. Elaborate crystal chandeliers with rings of candles provided ample light. As a finishing touch, private card rooms stretched the length of today’s Burro Alley from San Francisco Street to Palace Avenue along the Plaza. The private card rooms were strictly for professional gamblers, important visitors, and the affluent. La Tules staffed the operation with a small army of bartenders, waiters, dealers, and female “hosts.”

There is considerable debate as to her beauty. Some accounts depict her as a stunning beauty with olive skin, radiant dark hair that poured down a slender neck, and sultry black eyes that flashed in the glitter of chandeliers. They described her as charming, beautiful, fashionable, shrewd, witty, and brilliant. One writer described her as: “… sylph-like in movement with a slender figure, finely featured face, smooth and dark of Spanish decent, thin-lined, arched eyebrows, flowing dark hair, thin lips, a beautiful woman, with steady, proud head and the demeanor of a wild cat.” On the other hand others depicted her in less glowing terms describing her garments as “Eve-like and scanty, low-cut chemises and short petticoats,” the negligé style. Another wrote, “When I saw her, she was richly, but tastelessly dressed, her fingers being literally covered with rings, while her neck was adorned with three heavy chains of gold, to the longest of which was attached a massive crucifix of the same precious metal.”

If you looked at the drawing of La Tules that appeared in the April 1854 Harper’s New Monthly Magazine you might side with her detractors. She appears as a dour, cigarette-smoking hag that surely could not warrant a description of an enticing beauty. In thinking it over you could postulate that the image depicted in the magazine was La Tules in her latter years where the wear and tear of the long hours of dealing monte had taken its toll on her looks. In all probability, she was originally a very striking young woman capable of being a superb seductress.

There is definitely no debate that La Tules was unmatched in dealing Monte in her sala. Matt Field met her in 1839 and was amazed at her genius in handling cards. He wrote: “A female was dealing and had you looked in her countenance for any symptom by which to discover how the game stood, you would have turned away unsatisfied; for calm seriousness was alone discernible and the cards fell from her fingers as steadily as though she was handling only a knitting needle.” In her book, Doña Tules, Santa Fe’s Courtesan and Gambler, Mary J. Straw Cook wrote about La Tulles. She wrote that, “She dealt night after night, often until dawn, with ‘skillful precision’ as the cards ‘slipped from her long fingers as steadily as though she were handling only a knitting needle… With feminine bravado, Tules’s deft and beringed fingers swept away piles of gold, the result of perpetual practice, as she won time and time again.”

Matt Field, while in Santa Fe one night, watched while La Tules dealt Monte to a Kentuckian whose declared goal was to break her bank. He later wrote that the drunken man was:

“… swearing that he would make or break before left his seat… and drinking to health of the Spanish lady in the again refilled glass which was at that moment handed to him… When the daylight was peeping through the door cracks, (La Tules) once more swept the table, and the reckless trader was left without a dollar.

The Senora then curtsied and disappeared though a side door with the dignity of an Empress and the same skillfully modeled smile, followed by her attendant with heavy bags of gold and Mexican dollars.”

One of the legendary tales associated with the gambling queen revolved around those bags of gold and Mexican currency. Because there were no banks in Santa Fe or Taos, La Tules periodically shipped some of her large winnings to banks in the United States. As the tale goes, she sent a 10-mule team loaded with 20 buckskin bags of gold to the U.S. with a contingent of armed guards. Somewhere in the desert, bandits attacked the mule train. Before being killed, the guards buried the cache of gold and would not divulge the location. No one ever found the gold and the legend began about the “Lost La Tules Treasure.”

La Tules was quite politically influential and though her relationship with Armijo, the last Mexican governor of New Mexico, she gained insight to the practices of the Politicos. They lived lavishly on graft and heavy taxation of the poor Mexican people and the American traders. As the conditions for war with the United States loomed she conceded that U.S. occupancy meant survival for her people. As Mexico’s power diminished and the United States took acquisition of New Mexico in 1846, Doña Tules secured her position with a loan to United States General Kearny for the purpose of paying his troops, on the condition that she have military escort to the Victory Ball at La Fonda. It was a lavish event attended by the upper echelon of Santa Fe Society.

She was also credited with alerting U.S. authorities of the Mexican-Indian conspiracy of December 1846. La Tules had plenty of opportunity to hear Mexican plotting and skullduggery in her gambling rooms. As a result, she is recognized as possibly preventing a blood bath in Santa Fe.

Doña Tules remained colorful and controversial figure in Santa Fe history up to her elaborately planned and executed funeral, presided over by the newly appointed Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy. Records at the Catholic Church say she was laid to rest in Santa Fe, January 17, 1852. Various reports by her biographers have described her funeral as lavish – some say $1600 for spiritual services, another $1000 paid to the candles alone. La Tules’s lifelong gifts to charity had granted her access to the highest social circles of Santa Fe and in writing her will; she stipulated a final gift to the church to amend for her questionable past. She was one of the last people buried within the adobe walls of La Parroquia, the old parish church on the Plaza that was later replaced by the St. Francis Cathedral. What became of her remains during the construction and possibly where her treasure was buried in the desert is only part of the mystery that continues to intrigue historical researchers about this fascinating “The Monte Queen of Santa Fe.”

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Historical note: The popular gambling game of Monte (1800’s) is often confused with the sleight of hand swindle called “three-card Monte.” There is absolutely no connection between the two; one being a game of chance while the latter is a “sure thing” winner for the dealer.

Las Vegas Odds & Ends

The Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook again paces the pack by posting the first lines on over/under season win totals for all NBA teams.

The popular SuperBook proposition gives players a chance to wager on how many wins a particular team will have.

Defending champ San Antonio and Miami have the highest expectations with 58 1/2 wins apiece, followed by Indiana at 54 1/2 and Houston and Dallas at 53 1/2.

The second-year Charlotte Bobcats bring up the rear with 21 1/2 victories.

The Lakers, a popular team in the Vegas Valley, are 42 1/2 with the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves while their Los Angeles neighbors, the Clippers, are at 40 1/2.

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Bourbon Street has shut its doors and rumors insist the Tropicana also is on the auction block and that this is the last football season for the Imperial Palace.

Harrah’s is supposedly interested in the latter two to add to its growing kingdom of properties.

Look for a Leroy’s Sports Book to go into the Las Vegas Club, which is being kept open by employeees now that the Barrick Group has

gone bust.

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The Clark County Commission recently approved plans for Olympia Gaming to enter the Las Vegas Market.

Plans call for Olympia’s $750 million Southern Highland”s Casino-Resort on Las Vegad Blvd. South and St. Rose Parkway.

Having an ultimate build-out in the $2 billion range, it is the South Strip’s most ambitious property to date.

Eventually, it promises to be a mixed-use destination luxury resort that has the amenities and attractions of a major Strip resort.

*****

Caesars Palace Race and Sports Director Chuck Esposito leads the Gaming Today newspaper’s “Battle of the Bookies” NFL Players competition with a 68-33 mark and appears to be running away with the contest.

The closest pursuers are Mike Hendrie of Paris Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Hilton’s Jeff Sherman and the Golden Nugget Laughlin’s Steve Harvey with 59-42.

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Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Paris, the Flamingo and Reno Hilton have Vitali Klitschko as a minus $4.30 faviorte over plus $3.30 Hasim Rahman in their Caesars Palace WBC heavyweight boxing match Nov. 12.

The “will go” eight full rounds is minus $1.10 and “won’t go” is minus $1.20.

Klitschko is 8/5 to win on a decision and Rahman is 8/1. Klitschko is minus $1.80 to win by a knockout and Rahman is 5/1.

The draw proposition is 15/1.

Bernard Hopkins is a slight minus $1.20 favorite over Jermain Taylor (minus $1.10) in their WBC/IBF/WBO Las Vegas middleweight title bout Dec. 3.

The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds.

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Las Vegas oddsmakers obviously consider the Chicago White Sox one-shot wonders.

The Las Vegas Hilton has them at 15/1 to repeat as World Series champs and the Caesars Palace family lists them at 20/1.

Favorites are the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees. The Hilton’s current odds have the Cardinals at 5/1 and Caesars Palace has them at 3/1. The Yankees are 5/1 at the Hilton and 4/1 at Caesars.

There’s a big gap between the properties when it comes to the Cleveland Indians. They’re 15/1 at the independent Hilton and 5/1 at Caesars establishments.

The Chicago Cubs, perrenial action-attractors, are 20/1 at the two properties and the local favorite Los Angeles Dodgers are 30/1 at the Hilton and 40/1 at the Caesars group books.

The Los Angeles Angels are 10/1 at the SuperBook and 8/1 at Caesars bet shops.

Boston is 7-1 and 6-1 respectively.

Atlanta’s Braves are 12/1 at the Hilton and 7/1 at Caesars properties.

Long shots are the Kansas City Royals at 500/1 and 300/1.