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BINGOLife Spring 2019 - Issue 29

We Smashed it!


The No. 1 Association for bingo Shaping policy Developing business Driving the industry agenda The Association for all things bingo – working with senior management and operators for more than two decades – successfully promoting and developing the interests of all bingo operators. For industry news, comment and information on the benefits of membership, visit www.bingo-association.co.uk T 01582 860921

E info@bingo-association.co.uk gambleaware.co.uk


BINGOLife Published by ACE Publishing Ltd

Publisher - Peter White Tel: +44 (0) 1892 740869 Mob: +44 (0) 7973 273714 pwhite@ace123.com


Editor in Chief - Glyn Thomas Mob: +380 952 705 596 glyn@ace123.com Editor - Miles Baron miles@ace123.com Associate Editor - Janice Chaka Guadalajara - janice@ace123.com

Correspondents Asia - Bill Healey bill@ace123.com Europe - Andrew Behan abehan@ace123.com

Welcome to the Spring 2019 issue of Bingo Life.

International - Damien Connelly dconnelly@ace123.com

We start the New Year with a new issue and two industry trade shows: EAG and ICE.

UK - Naomi Green naomi@ace123.com USA - Jack Bulavsky Las Vegas - jack@ace123.com


Design - Stewart Hyde stewart@totaldesignworks.com www.totaldesignworks.com

We hope that you enjoy the issue, and shows, and look forward to sharing news and stories with you in our Summer issue later this year. If there is an idea, topic or news item that you wish to share then be sure to let us know. Happy reading!

Webmaster and IT - Sudip Banjaree sb@ace123.com

Sales and Marketing Subscriptions - Helen Holmes subs@ace123.com




Contents 1

Welcome to Bingo Life Winter 2019 Miles Baron


Editor Foreword Miles Baron

5 Guest Comment Kate Chambers Managing Director Clarion Gaming 7

News Round Up

13 London Calling 16 Responsible Gambling Week 17 Raising Standards Conference 19 Machine Messaging 21 Variety Update 24 Coronet 26 Bingo Life Interview with Manso Richards, Finance Manager National Bingo Game 28 Shipley Creative Celebrate new mail milestone 29 Challenges and Changes: ISD Computer Services 30 ECM – for services to the bingo industry 32 Leisure Electronics return to the Bingo Pavilion for ICE 2019 33 Edward Thompson celebrate 60 years of bingo 34 Gaming Progression on Show G2E Asia 2019 Preview



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The Editorial policy: The views and opinions expressed in Bingo Life remain principally the views of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or publishers. The publishers wish to avoid inaccuracies and whilst every precaution has been taken to ensure that information contained in this publication is accurate, no liability is accepted by the editor or publishers for errors or ommissions however caused. Unless otherwise stated, articles appearing in this publication remain the copyright of the publishers and may not be reproduced in any form without the publishers’ written consent. Printed in the UK by Premier Print Group Ltd

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Chief Executive’s foreword


don’t think too many Licensed Bingo Operators will mourn the passing of 2018. What started off as a promising year for the industry quickly turned out to be a false dawn as a sustained period of hot weather, increasing Brexit anxiety and government changes to the welfare system combined to dampen early trading optimism: yes, we were delighted to see the end of the long drawn out debate around B2 machines, even though the issue continued to rumble on long after the consultation outcome was announced, however, the DCMS and the Gambling Commission have made clear this is not the end of further measures to protect the consumer from gambling related harm. With my National Bingo Game Association (NBGA) hat on, I am delighted to announce that the recently launched off-line National Bingo Game has been a resounding success, with record levels of operator participation and in November last year the NBGA took 106 lucky winners to London, for a VIP London’s Calling Weekend, ensuring an amazing and memorable weekend (see page 13 for full report). There is no doubt in my mind that treating our customers to these type of events is important in maintaining the positive profile and reputation of both the NBG and the bingo industry at large: lest we forget our customers are the lifeblood of our industry and we should never take them for granted. Well done to Alastair Stewart and the NBG Working Group for making this game such a success. This year we hope to complete the necessary systems changes to allow the game to be played in venues such as holiday camps, high street venues and arcades, further extending its reach beyond retail bingo clubs. I was also delighted that Meeron (an NBGA subsidiary) was able to complete the purchase of ISD in June 2018 from the Winslade family. ISD provides the selfexclusion capability for members of both The Bingo Association and BACTA. It also supplies and maintains the Maxim Membership System, used by nearly 75% of Bingo Association members and a small number of customers from outside the gambling industry. That business has now stabilised thanks to the hard work of Chris Wrigley and the commitment of the ISD team in Portsmouth. The challenge for 2019 is to grow and develop the business whilst maintaining a strong day to day ‘business as usual’ capability. ISD will be exhibiting at ICE this year, on The Bingo Pavilion.


Miles Baron, Chief Executive, The Bingo Association

So what do we think 2019 will bring? Well, inevitably it will continue to bring with it scrutiny over the bingo industry’s ability to protect its customers from harm, particularly the in the area of B3 gaming machines, which make up a vital part of bingo club income. Therefore we cannot be complacent and this is why the Association will be driving initiatives, such as improved Social Responsibility messaging on machines (see page 19) and exploring the potential of time and limit setting tools on B3 machines. The Association will be looking to ensure on behalf of its members that success with these types of interventions will mitigate the need for Mandatory Tracked Play, which in the short to mid- term would be an existential threat to the Licensed Bingo Industry.



In addition we can expect a full and detailed evaluation of The Bingo Industry Self–exclusion scheme from IPSOS MORI, on behalf of Be Gamble Aware. To improve the effectiveness of the scheme The Bingo Association will aim to remove paper from the process by the end of March, providing every member with the digital capability, either through ISD or IHL, to record, manage and deliver a GDPR compliant paperless selfexclusion scheme. The Bingo Industry Self-exclusion scheme is one that we believe is effective and are proud of, under the close supervision and watchful eye of Cherry Hosking and The Bingo Association Compliance Committee, something I have no doubt that will be reflected in the evaluation by IPSOS MORI. Away from Social Responsibility, The Bingo Association will be providing members with a comprehensive set of consumer research data to add weight to decision making and casual analysis of the impact of various factors on the industry. Each wave of data will be available on a four monthly cycle, available three times a year, tracking a combination of consistent themes and bespoke one off issues. 2019 sees the extension of Variety, the children’s charity as the official charity partner of The Bingo Association: we are committed to raising £250,000 in 2019 to add to the £1.3m already raised over the last four years. Variety works well for our industry, delivering 4

benefits back into the communities in which we operate. It enables us to show case the bingo industry positively and engage with politicians and opinion formers alike at events such as the biannual House of Commons Receptions, the latest of which was held in November, attended by over 160 customers, charity champions, operators and MPs. The Bingo Pavilion at leading trade show ICE has grown once again and continues to provide a key focus point for industry suppliers and operators. The Pavilion is located to the rear of the South Hall, near loading gate 18: the same location as last year, and will see Captec, Cowells Arrow, ECM, Edward Thompson, ISD, Leisure Electronics, NRM and Shipley Creative exhibiting. The Bingo Association networking space will be open to all members throughout the show and we look forward to seeing you there. Finally, myself and the team at Dunstable look forward to representing the Licensed Bingo Industry in 2019. I am grateful to all our members for their fantastic support, to our Chairman Alan Morgan for his leadership, and I am looking forward to working with Chris Mathews CEO of Buzz Bingo as incoming Chairman of The Bingo Association from June. A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all, Miles issue 029


ICE London is once again setting the agenda Social responsibility is part of the DNA of ICE London on a number of different levels.

Kate Chambers, Managing Director, Clarion Gaming

The Consumer Protection Zone (CPZ), which we launched last year, has been given a new high profile home on the show floor adjacent to the Bingo Pavilion in the South Hall at ExCeL London. Responsible gambling plays a huge part in the culture of all serious operators across all of the gaming verticals and ICE London’s CPZ will serve as a focal point for regulators, research agencies, treatment organisations and those commercial organisations that have harnessed the power of new technology to progress the social responsibility message. We are hosting charities and non-profit organisations on a complimentary basis and the aim is to enable organisations to engage with operators about their innovations and, courtesy of ICE London’s unrivalled international reach, help to progress responsible gambling and consumer protection throughout the global gaming industry. I’m delighted to confirm that CPZ sponsors have generated in excess of £35,000 for charities and not-for-profit organisations working in the responsible gambling space. However, our responsibility as an industry isn’t restricted to player protection: we also have a responsibility to the environment and, in particular, with reference to single-use plastics – an issue which is close to my heart. I know many ICE London stakeholders are making huge strides in terms of limiting the use of plastics and I felt it was time that Clarion Gaming did its bit to help the planet. Figures produced by Ecobooth, which is the world’s first genuinely zero-waste events production company, show that 100,000 tonnes of waste from UK exhibitions is either incinerated or buried in landfill sites each year. That’s both unacceptable and unnecessary. We have linked up with Ecobooth to collect the stand graphics from participating exhibitors which will then be recycled into a sheet material and used to make an array of products and outdoor furniture, and donated to community projects and spaces in the Borough of Newham, home to ExCeL London, and one of the poorest boroughs in the Capital. www.bingolifemagazine.com

It would be fantastic if everyone who engages with the ICE brand takes the single-use plastics message back to their place of work. This is a small step, but an important one – and, guess what, ICE London is the first event to partner with Ecobooth in this way! Have a great time in London experiencing the new products and services from the 612 gaming brands drawn from 66 nations who will be occupying a record 44,500 sqm of net space. No other exhibition in the international gaming space can come close to delivering this scale of opportunity.

Kate Chambers, Managing Director, Clarion Gaming 5

5-7 February 2019 ExCeL London, UK

Applied Mathematics Applied mathematics expanded considerably when Pierre de Fermat and Blaise Pascal set the groundwork for probability theory and the corresponding rules of combinatorics over a game of gambling. #spiritofgenius

To experience gaming’s Spirit of Genius visit icelondon.uk.com


The Bingo Pavilion @ ICE 2019

The Bingo Association, with the support of ICE organiser Clarion, will once again be hosting The Bingo Pavilion at this year’s show, taking place on 5-7 February at London’s ExCel. Following the success of The Bingo Pavilion at ICE 2018, this year’s pavilion will be larger and occupied exclusively by BA members: Cowells Arrow, Edward Thompson, Leisure Electronics, NRM and Shipley Creative, who are joined this year for the first time by Captec, ECM Systems and ISD Computer Services. The Pavilion will be nearly double the size of last year’s space, with a central Bingo Association stand providing a members networking area with a small number of informal meeting tables and general reception desk. Following the success of last year’s members’ drinks receptions hosted by the Association on Tuesday and Wednesday, sponsored by Network Resource Management (NRM) and Edward Thompson, respectively, there will once again be drinks on The Bingo Pavilion, again kindly sponsored by Edward Thompson and NRM. Each members’ drinks reception will start from approximately 16:30 and finish at 18:00. Over the last four years the Association has been working with Clarion events to build the profile and presence of the land-based bingo sector at ICE. Thanks to the increasing support of members and industry suppliers the sector’s presence is slowly but


Bingo Pavilion Exhibitors


Captec................................ www.captec-group.com Cowells Arrow.....................www.cowellsarrow.co.uk Edward Thompson........ www.edwardthompson.com ECM Systems......................... www.ecmsystems.net ISD Computer Service.................... www.isdgroup.uk Leisure Electronics......www.leisure-electronics.co.uk NRM.......................................... www.nrmgroup.com Shipley Creative.................. www.shipleycreative.com surely increasing, and with a dedicated bingo pavilion ICE is an excellent networking opportunity. As usual, the show runs across three days: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Delegates are advised to register in advance to avoid delays at entrance gates. ICE www.icetotallygaming.com



A winning streak More prizes: more winners on the National Bingo Game

Back in April last year a new National Bingo Game was launched: new tickets, new prices and new prizes - on a nationwide mission to make more winners!

• Over 10,400 winners of a £100 Jackpot

The game, which brought back a club prize, also introduced some new components: instant jackpot prizes of £100, £1,000 and £50,000 available to be won on every game. The game also marked a departure from the previous 90 number game format, opting for 50 numbers instead, creating a quick fire game and immediate confirmation of win.

• And 55 winners taking home a £50,000 Jackpot each.

Having completed it’s first eight months the game can reveal some highly impressive statistics, confirming that it’s a ‘valid winner’. With 280 clubs participating, from 36 different operating companies, this means that around 85% of all licenced bingo clubs in Great Britain, or 5 out of every 6, are playing the National Bingo Game.

For the full list of £50,000 Jackpot Winners visit www.nationalbingo. co.uk. To keep up to date on all National Bingo Game news, follow them on Facebook @ NationalBingoGame.

71.5m tickets were sold in 2018, and over £17 million paid out in prize money:


• Over 1,100 winners of a £1,000 Jackpot

The National Bingo Game is looking forward to creating lots more winners in the coming year: the first £50,000 Jackpot Winner of 2019 was on 5th January at Castle Bingo, Cardiff.

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Bingo beats Bezos Latest research reveals that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is faced with an unlikely threat in the UK: Bingo! Bingo By The Numbers, Buzz Bingo’s new research report by MIDiA Research, reveals some interesting and compelling statistics, proving bingo is bigger. There are now more bingo players in the UK (5.6 million) than UK Amazon Prime video subscribers (4.8 million) or UK Apple Music subscribers (3.8 million). The report also reveals that British bingo contributed over £1 billion to the UK economy, compared with £750 billion from Spotify and Netflix combined. The report also provided good news for those suffering from the January or New Year blues, revealing that bingo could be the antidote to the melancholic feeling that takes over the nation annually at this time of year, particularly on Blue Monday, the third Monday of January, with 70% of bingo players stating that they consider themselves to be happy, compared to 63% of all consumers. There is a clear correlation between bingo playing and a positive mental attitude, with the report showing that three quarters (74%) of bingo players feel they have a generally positive outlook on life, which is eight percentage points more than the overall population. What’s more, 63% of bingo players consider themselves to be confident, compared to only 50% of the overall population. Bingo players in each UK region get a special mention with Scottish players found to be the most competitive, visiting bingo clubs more frequently than any other region, at around 3.6 visits per month. Players in the north enjoy the intergenerational appeal of bingo, while in the Midlands and Wales it is the camaraderie of playing with others that is especially important: playing bingo to combat loneliness was found to be most common in the south, and bingo players in London are most likely to play to meet new people. Mark Mulligan, Managing Director of MIDia Research said, “Bingo is still relevant to the British public. Mobile and online playing is becoming an increasingly popular complement to being in a Bingo Club. However, it can’t just exist online –the clubs have the crucial social ingredients to nurture a positive outlook on life which is found more commonly in bingo players than the total population.” www.bingolifemagazine.com

Chris Matthews, CEO at Buzz Bingo says, “The game is popular today for several reasons. First, it’s intergenerational - the average UK bingo player is just 39 years old and we’ve seen an increase in younger players since we rebranded to Buzz Bingo last year. Second, it’s affordable – you can have a great night out for under £20. Third, it offers a safe environment for women – 73% of our players are female. Finally, bingo is a fun activity in a world where social media and divisive politics can make us feel increasingly pessimistic.” Participants in the survey that gave rise to the report were asked to select statements they agreed with about the key benefits of playing bingo, of which the most commonly cited were the chance to be social and the sense of community. Nearly two thirds (61%) of bingo players said they liked the fun of playing with other people the most. Participants felt that the friendly staff and comfortable environment inside bingo clubs makes them feel safe, connected, and happy. Getting away from screens and social media for a while was also cited as a key benefit of playing bingo in clubs. Buzz Bingo aims to replicate the social aspects of the inclub experience at buzzbingo.com. Online players can find and play with their friends with just one click of a button by using the site’s ‘Buzz Bingo Buddies’ feature, which no other online bingo operator currently offers. 9


Captec to showcase new eBingo tablet technology at ICE 2019 uninterrupted gameplay with maximum reliability and performance. As well as occupying a large proportion of the UK’s eBingo tablet market, Captec is now penetrating the USA with a significant contract win in the last quarter of 2018. The current X232 8-inch model has now been joined by the new 10-inch X230, which will be on show for the first time at ICE. The 10-inch tablet has been rolled out by Buzz Bingo and features dual batteries, an ergonomic handle with stand, and additionally integrated wired networking for the rapid upload of new games and content. Both the X232 and X230 are designed to be used with Captec’s multibay charging stations, accommodating 16 or 48 (X232), and 20 or 60 (X230) tablets to be charged simultaneously in a single, small density station. The multibay stations also create the option for customer self-service by removing the need to plug in separate cables.


Peter Mlyneux, Captec

he Bingo Pavilion at ICE 2019 is shaping up to be a must-visit area for major players in the bingo sector. One company who will be there is Fareham-based technology suppliers, and member of The Bingo Association, Captec Ltd. Captec, the leading UK manufacturer of eBingo terminals, has made its name in the bingo industry designing and manufacturing 8-inch and 10-inch tablets and charging solutions. It combines specialist engineering and through life support to meet the specific needs of land-based gaming applications; its technology is used by leading operators including Mecca and Buzz Bingo (formerly Gala). Captec’s compact 8-inch eBingo tablets are currently deployed by Mecca Bingo to deliver ergonomic, 10

Alongside its product offering, Captec provide throughlife support with a dedicated service centre and tailored repair rapid turnaround Service Level Agreements. In addition, Captec provides casing solutions that accommodate Dell tablets, enabling them to be used with the Captec multi-bay charging stations, ideal for mixed estates, whilst adding the extended features of the X23 series. Peter Molyneux, Captec’s Strategic Projects Director for Gaming said, “We are very excited for this year’s ICE exhibition which represents a great opportunity for us to engage with existing and new customers, both in the UK and internationally. “As well as showcasing our technologies, we will be demonstrating our passion and commitment to providing the bingo industry and its customers with reliable, ergonomic and high-performance gaming solutions that reduce their total cost of ownership and increase revenue.” You can visit Captec on stand BP3 on The Bingo Pavilion at ICE 2019 to review products and services, and meet members of the team.

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Cracker of an evening at Mecca Drumchapel


ocal bingo fans are celebrating after winning a share of a £54,000 jackpot special Firecracker event. Four lucky Mecca Bingo players have started 2019 with a bang after hitting the jackpot at Mecca Drumchapel’s biggest ever prize giveaway. The club hosted its biggest ever Firecracker prize giveaway over Christmas and gave away prizes worth a total value of £54,000, with four lucky locals scooping the top jackpots on the night. Aberfeldy resident, Lorraine Reed, Angela Montgomery from Inverclyde, and a third winner who wishes to remain anonymous were the big winners on the night, each walking away with £10,000. Drumchapel local, Janette Weir, also scooped a £6,000 top prize on the night, with other smaller cash prizes won by bingo fans who attended the Firecracker event. It was a case of beginner’s luck for Lorraine, who has only visited the Drumchapel club a handful of times and is still letting her jackpot win sink in. The £10,000 win will be put towards her daughter’s wedding later this year, as well as home improvements including a new extension. Angela is a regular visitor at Mecca Drumchapel, and plans to use the money for some home renovations as well as booking a well-earned cruise later in the year. Commenting on her £6k win, Janette said, “As a local at the Mecca Drumchapel club, I always enjoy my nights at the bingo, but the atmosphere at the Firecracker night really went off! “I was hoping I’d win a share of the huge jackpot, but didn’t for one second think it would be as much as £6k. It was certainly a shock, but I’m excited to share the win with my friend and bingo buddy as we both hope to go on holiday with the cash.” Duncan Anderson, club manager at Mecca Drumchapel, said, “We had a fantastic turnout for our Firecracker event, with an extra 500 customers through the doors than normal, thanks to the big jackpot prizes up for grabs!


£10k winner Angela Montgomery

“We’re always thrilled to celebrate with our winners, especially when the prize provides a welcome start to the New Year. We can’t wait to welcome them back in to see if their lucky streak continues.” 11


Rewind to the 90s at Mecca Leicester Those attending this very special night can expect a jam-packed evening of fun, food and cocktails plus shots, beers and burgers available throughout the evening. The event will also offer players great selection of special ‘wacky’ prizes up for grabs throughout the night from unicorn onesies to big cash prizes, with a DJ to really put the ‘dab’ in dabber prior to the bands.


ig nights! Big sounds and Bonkers Bingo! Mecca Leicester is offering music fans the chance to ‘Keep on Movin’ as some of the hottest bands from the 90s prepare take to the stage at the club. On Saturday 30th March at 7pm, 911, B*Witched, 5ive, S Club and Ultrabeat will be putting on a show to remember, giving players the chance to sing along to some of their biggest hits including Pretty Green Eyes, Reach and C’est la vie. The bands have all recently reformed and will be performing at the club to allow music fans to rewind to the 90s for one night only. To kick start the proceedings and get the party started there will be a Bonkers Bingo event from 5.30pm.


Andrew Smith, General Manager at Mecca Leicester, said, “We are so excited to watch all of these classic 90s bands perform here at Mecca Leicester – there’s a number of hits we’ll all be singing along to! “We’re expecting a fantastic evening going bonkers for bingo, with hundreds of fans dancing along to some of their favourite songs of all time and winning some fun and hilarious prizes.” It is great to see clubs offering special entertainment nights and events, attracting new and regular customers. Tickets to watch the bands perform live are from £25 and can be purchased at the club or online at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rewind-to-the-90sleicester-tickets-53106360554. To attend a Mecca Club you need to be aged 18 years or over - please bring photo ID to prove you are over 18.

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London Calling VIP weekend #BingoVIP


right lights! Big city! It can only be London, and nothing feels quite as good as when it’s done five star: something the National Bingo Game goes all out to deliver for its lucky experience winners and their guests, as winners of the latest London Calling VIP weekend discovered on their luxury weekend experience to the capital. In September 2018, clubs participating in the National Bingo Game were excited to be offering customers the chance to win an experience of a lifetime: a National Bingo Game VIP winners’ experience to London. Across the country there were some lucky players who already knew what that would mean, as previous lucky winners recalled their own NBG VIP experiences on Mediterranean cruises, weekends at the races, and trips to London. By mid-September some 106 lucky winners knew that they too were about to discover what it meant to be #BingoVIPs. The 2018 London Calling VIP weekend took place from Friday 30th November - Sunday 2nd December and saw 116 winners, guests and hosts have the weekend of a lifetime. With all travel arrangements booked and tickets dispatched to winners, all that remained was for guests to pack their bags and be ready to travel, explore, live the high life and make new friends and memories. Checking in at the 5-Star Grange Hotel in the City of London, immediately next to St Paul’s Cathedral and the comfort of a superior room, winners and guests were welcomed personally by members of the National


Bingo Game team, and invited to join their hosts for a light lunch and an afternoon relaxing, before heading off to bingo! Travelling through London on private coaches, winners and guests saw some of London’s famous sites on their way to Beacon Bingo, where they were given a warm welcome and the VIP treatment: table service; bingo tickets and dabbers for everyone; a winner, celebrating her birthday, was presented with a birthday cake and balloons to mark the occasion; while another guest called HOUSE on £500. At the end of the evening, session winners and guests boarded private coaches for the return trip to the hotel and a nightcap in the bar, with a special detour to take in the spectacle of London’s Christmas lights: first along Oxford Street, the UK busiest shopping street, with more contemporary designed lights; passing the world famous Selfridge’s department store; then down Bond Street, home to some of the most famous designer shops in the world, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, with lights in the style of crowns and peacock’s feathers; before turning into Regent Street,



home to Hamleys (one of the oldest and largest toy shops in the world) and Liberty, the grand wide street was decorated with multiple angels, each with large wings, spanning the street.

Super Saturday

After a restful night, for those that made it to bed early, and a full breakfast, it was time for the VIPs to wrap up warm and head over to the London Eye, located on the banks of the River Thames, in time to board the first pods of the day: the 45 minute flight in private pods had a special ‘lift’ for winners and guests as they were served a glass of bubbly while taking in a bird’s eye view of London and the river. Landing safely and disembarking, it was time to board the private boat, moored and waiting for VIPs right by the London Eye and ready for a river cruise to see the city from a different perspective: passing landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, Royal Festival Hall, London Bridge, and The Monument to the Fire of London, before being dropped a short stroll from the hotel, where lunch was waiting. Following lunch it was off to the West End by private transfer ready to experience the magic of Motown at the Shaftesbury Avenue Theatre. With tickets for the best seats in the house, programme in hand and ice-cream and drinks booked for the interval, everyone was ready to be thrilled - the award winning show, packed full of hits, hit the spot. Everyone was wowed by the show, which created some new Motown fans. Bingo VIPs returned to the Grange Hotel in time to freshen up and dress to impress, ready for pre-dinner cocktails. Winners and guests were invited to a private cocktail reception with canapés, held at the Sky Bar of the hotel in the shadow of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, with the City of London twinkling in the background: a truly magical setting, as cocktails were tasted and the views admired. 14

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FEATURE: LONDON CALLING London Calling VIP Weekend Winning Clubs

As the last cocktails were sipped, VIPs were asked to make their way into dinner, held in the Wren Suite, where tables had been laid and equally dressed to impress. Beyond the tables the dance floor was waiting for guests to finish their final course, as National Bingo Game Chief Executive Miles Baron gave a brief speech thanking everyone for helping to make such a truly memorable experience. Soul Sensations, a soul and Motown tribute group, took to the stage and quickly had the room dancing and swaying until midnight. Not wanting the night and conversations with new friends to end, guests retired to the bar for a nightcap, or two. Sunday saw many winners and guests make a more leisurely start to the day, after what had been a busy and fun packed weekend: taking time to enjoy breakfast before heading home, or time-permitting, a guided private walking tour of the area. A video capturing highlights of the amazing weekend and comments from winners, guests and hosts is available to view and share on the National Bingo Game’s Facebook and YouTube pages: www.facebook.com/NationalBingoGame/videos www.youtube.com/user/NationalBingoGame www.bingolifemagazine.com

Winner #01 Winner #02 Winner #03 Winner #04 Winner #05 Winner #06 Winner #07 Winner #08 Winner #09 Winner #10 Winner #11 Winner #12 Winner #13 Winner #14 Winner #15 Winner #16 Winner #17 Winner #18 Winner #19 Winner #20 Winner #21 Winner #22 Winner #23

7th September 7th September 7th September 7th September 7th September 7th September 7th September 8th September 8th September 8th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September 9th September

Winner #24 Winner #25 Winner #26 Winner #27 Winner #28 Winner #29 Winner #30 Winner #31 Winner #32 Winner #33 Winner #34 Winner #35 Winner #36 Winner #37 Winner #38 Winner #39 Winner #40 Winner #41 Winner #42 Winner #43 Winner #44

9th September 10th September 10th September 10th September 11th September 11th September 11th September 12th September 13th September 13th September 13th September 13th September 13th September 14th September 14th September 14th September 15th September 15th September 15th September 15th September 15th September

Winner #45 15th September Winner #46 15th September Winner #47 15th September Winner #48 15th September Winner #49 15th September Winner #50 Winner #51 Winner #52 Winner #53

15th September 15th September 15th September 15th September

Buzz, Cumbernauld Gala, Barnsley Mecca, Leicester Castle, Bootle Carlton, Fife Gala, Nottingham New Globe, Johnstone Gala, Bradford Mecca, Brieley Hill Gala, Bromborough Buzz, Motherwell Gala, Derby - Foresters Gala, Kilmarnock Mecca, Wednesbury Mecca, Birkenhead Mecca, Swansea Mecca, Chester Beacon, Northampton Carlton, Livingston Buzz, Motherwell Gala, Worcester Cosmo, Stalybridge The Palaces, London Elephant & Castle Castle, Barnes Hill Mecca, Hartlepool Gala, Chorley Opera, Whitehaven Mecca, Douglasfield Mecca, Southend Beacon, Cricklewood Mecca, Exeter Mecca Middlesborough Mecca, Newcastle Castle, Merthyr Tydfil Castle, Newport Castle, Bridgend Cosmo, Stalybridge Mecca, Leeds Mecca, Ayr Barney’s, Fleetwood Mecca, Luton Mecca, Croydon Mecca, Thanet Mecca, Leeds Cross Gates Buzz, Aberdeen Buzz, Cumbernauld Buzz, Liverpool Croxteth Gala, Ashmore Park The Palace, Great Yarmouth Gala, Colchester Mecca, Gateshead Carlton, Livingston Mecca Thanet



Responsible Gambling Week organisations registered to access the RG Week resources and artwork. The involvement and support of some key and sizeable organisations enabled the campaign to extend its reach and messaging into sporting venues (racecourses and football clubs), building on the support of licensed premises which had helped mount the very first week. The single largest increase in reach in the 2018 campaign was brought about through social media impressions, which increased from 7 million in 2017 to over 13 million in 2018. In terms of total audience reach, the 2018 campaign increased its reach with the general public by 2%, with no increase in spend.


ast year’s Responsible Gambling Week took place from the 1-7 November and was a great success, moving the dial on a significant number of notches from the 2017 week.

The first ever RG Week was held in October 2017 and saw the gambling industry unite behind the campaign, through the Industry Group For Responsible Gambling (IGRG). The vision was, and remains, to create a conversation about gambling responsibly with customers, staff, the general public and key stakeholders.

A full evaluation of the 2018 campaign is still underway, the results and learnings from which will be used to shape the drive Responsible Gambling Week 2019, the date of which will be confirmed shortly. Thanks to the support of Clarion, organisers of trade show ICE, Responsible Gambling Week will be present at this year’s ICE Show at London ExCel as part of the show’s expanding Consumer Protection Zone.

The 2017 campaign was well supported by operators across all sectors of the gambling industry and was a great start, aimed first and foremost at customers of gambling establishments and those who gamble. The aims, objectives and messaging for 2018 remained consistent: using the theme ‘Let’s talk about Responsible Gambling‘, with the challenge to obtain wider industry support and taking messages to a broader and larger audience. The 2018 campaign got off to a great start, with the campaign launching its own website (www. responsiblegamblingweek.org) and the decision of Irish associations and operators to join the week, setting the tone for increased numbers of operators from across the industry getting involved and supporting the week. By the start of the week, over 190 individual operators and online brands were actively involved in supporting the week, with over 200 individual users from supporting 16

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Raising Standards:

The Gambling Commission’s annual conference 2018 Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Gambling Commission


n 8th November 2016, The Gambling Commission hosted its first Raising Standards Conference, held in Birmingham. It was the first time that the Commission had run such an event, recognising the place for faceto-face discussion as a way of building understanding. The conference was a call for all operators, across the gambling sector, to accelerate the pace of change at which they were putting social responsibility at the heart of business decisions. The ‘call’ came from then Commission Chief Executive Sarah Harrison during her speech at the Conference, where the industry was challenged to become the most trusted gambling sector in the world. Harrison said that while operators had been making progress in areas including the


development and implementation of harm reduction strategies and gambling management tools for consumers, there was still more to be done: and so the tone and challenge was set. The licensed club bingo sector responded quickly to these challenges and has kept up the pace of change.. Twelve months on from the inaugural conference the challenge was reiterated, with an added request to speed up the rate of progress, particularly at the larger operators, or risk long term success in the industry. While the key intentions for the initial conference may have been collaborative working, discussion and building on a shared interest in the health of the sector,


FEATURE: RAISING STANDARDS CONFERENCE to achieve my aims I need your support: I need you to work together to make sure you are the best - the fairest, safest - gambling operators in the world.”

by the close of 2017 this appeared by some to have been lost in translation, as the relationship became more combative and punitive. The latest Raising Standards Conference, held in November 2018, saw a return to the original constructive approach for the event with new Chief Executive Neil McArthur, hosting his first Raising Standards Conference, having taken up the position of Chief Executive at the Commission in April 2018. Collaboration, innovation and the consumer, and evaluation were the key themes highlighted by the Commission. McArthur was appointed as Chief Executive at the Commission having been acting as interim CEO since Sarah Harrison MBE left the organisation at the end of February. Commenting on his appointment he said, “I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead to make gambling fairer and safer. I am really proud of the Commission’s achievements over the last 12 years, but there is a lot more to do. Ensuring consumers are empowered to make informed choices about gambling while addressing and reducing the harms that can come from gambling is a challenge that cannot be overcome by us alone. It needs continued strong partnerships with other regulators, consumer representatives and government. Most importantly, it requires gambling operators to treat their customers fairly and they can expect us to be tough but fair in making sure they meet their responsibilities.” Speaking at his first Raising Standards Conference in November last year, attended by 170 leaders from more than 100 gambling businesses, he called on the industry to work together and know their customers better to make gambling in Britain the fairest and safest in the world. He said: “I want consumers in Britain to be able to enjoy the fairest and safest gambling in the world...and 18

He went on to tell delegates he wanted gambling businesses to collaborate and focus on three areas - understanding the early signs which could indicate a customer is experiencing or developing problems, interacting with those customers to ensure they can receive support and advice, and rebuilding public trust by changing advertising strategies, stating “This is a call to action to join the race to the top. A race to put your customers, their enjoyment and their safety, at the top of the agenda for your management meetings, your board meetings and meetings with your investors.” He continued, “A race to approach the minimum requirements we impose as exactly that: minimums not maximums. A race to look for real solutions to the public health issue of gambling-related harm.” Delegates also heard from Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and representatives from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), and Twitter UK. Guy Parker, ASA Chief Executive, said: “The existing rules that regulate the content and targeting of gambling advertising are working effectively, but there is public concern about the timing and quantity. Today’s Gambling Commission conference is a great opportunity for gambling firms to discuss how those concerns might be addressed.” George Lusty, CMA Senior Director for Consumer Protection, said: “We’ve seen gambling operators making changes to promotions and withdrawal practices, and this is a great start, but it’s only one aspect of achieving compliance and clearly much more needs to be done by the sector to win back customer trust. The best operators going forward will be those who lead by example, those who build on the work we’ve done and treat their consumers fairly and responsibly.” Social responsibility has been very much at the forefront of much of the sector’s key decision making and development in the last two year’s, with the underpinning principles firmly embedded in the majority of organisations working and operating in the sector: the support for and success of Responsible Gambling Week is a testament to this.

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Bingo Association trial leads the way


he Bingo Association has been leading and supporting licensed club bingo operators in the area of social responsibility for several years.

Within the license conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) the Gambling Commission has suggested that the Gambling Industry should work harder to improve messaging in the areas of play, product and general Social Responsibility messaging: whilst research into the land-based Bingo Industry by Ipsos MORI (2014) suggests that bingo customers experiencing a problem with their gambling were not always sure where to get help, despite the wide range of information available. In recent months The Bingo Association has been tackling the issue of messaging, by exploring improved socially responsible player communications on Gaming Machines that resonates with customers. Put bluntly, the aim is to move towards a style of messages that prompts self-awareness amongst customers without wagging a finger or lecturing them. Research studies confirm responsible gambling messages currently in use are too technical and lack www.bingolifemagazine.com

impact. Some have also been viewed as lacking in player empathy, failing to stand out and relevant only to the problem gambler. This was particularly evident in research conducted by Revealing Reality in March 2017 - Phase 1 ‘Emerging Findings and Next Steps’, which was a thorough exploration of gambling industry social responsibility messaging, from which three themes evolved: • enabling the consumer to make an informed choice (cost of play labeling) 
 • Improving self -awareness (social messaging) 
 • creating supporting environments (role and importance of responsible gambling staff training) 
 Armed with the Ipsos MORI and Revealing Reality research reports The Bingo Association set out to explore and improve social responsibility messaging on Gaming Machines in Bingo clubs in order to promote positive behaviour change and ensure players know where to go to get help. In September 2018, with the support of venue operators and machine manufacturers, an initial trial was held in 19


In September 2018, with the support of venue operators and machine manufacturers, an initial trial was held in the West Midlands, across 522 gaming machines in 22 bingo clubs and adult gaming centres (AGCs): three sets of messages, each consisting of three different messages, all displayed in a consistent design format were trialed.” the West Midlands, across 522 gaming machines in 22 bingo clubs and adult gaming centres (AGCs): three sets of messages, each consisting of three different messages, all displayed in a consistent design format were trialed. The drafting of each individual message was informed by formal independent industry research. Examples of messages: • Keep control...Only spend what you can afford 
 • Just a heads up...It’s good to set yourself limits 
 • Stay in control...Set your limit The messages were each run, as an animated poster/ advert, in the promotional top boxes located on top of machines, interspersed with regular promotional messaging over a period of three weeks. Independent research organisation Chrysalis Research were asked to evaluate the impact and messaging with players at trial venues, assessing design, content and location. Although only 7% of customers said they recalled the messages, that figure increased substantially to 41%, approximately two-fifths, when prompted. And in fact when compared against other types of retail based messaging 7% is not a bad result.

“...all of a sudden this big bubble comes up with the writing inside...you know when something catches your eye and you automatically look”. Female, aged 60+ Player responses to individual messages varied, with the majority feeling that they were appropriate to players, in that they made you think, while not being too bossy of patronizing which was of course the original aim. Equally the location of the messaging, directly above machines, at approximately eye-level, was seen as helpful in attracting their attention. Of course, there were also things to learn: text size was too small, and some messages worked less well than others. In summary, the initial findings, of what was a small pilot trial, have been positive enough to extend the trial to more sites, with BACTA joining The Bingo Association for the next phase in March this year.

Generally customers responded by saying that the colours, clarity of message and simplicity of the format stood out. For some, the animated build drew their attention. 20

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Bingo♥Variety £1.3 million – We smashed it!

Following on from a fantastic four years of fundraising, The Bingo Association, it’s members and customers, have raised an amazing £1.3 million for Variety – the Children’s Charity. This has exceeded the target of £1 million which was set in 2015 when the BA first teamed up with Variety. The Association have committed to an additional year of fundraising in 2019, and to raise a minimum of a further £250,000 for Variety. The monies raised to date have made a massive impact on so many disadvantaged children’s lives. The Bingo Association is delighted that the amounts raised by customers is targeted at the very communities from which they are raised.

House of Commons Celebration

With the fundraising for 2018 complete, Miles Baron, Chief Executive of The Bingo Association, handed over a cheque to Joe McFadden, a Variety ambassador and Strictly Come Dancing Winner, at a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons on Tuesday 20th


Bingo customers Sophia Powell and Chantelle Sewel

November 2018. Joe accepted the cheque alongside Frances Lang, CEO of Varity, for the £1.3 million donation from bingo customers, club team members and bingo operators. The charity reception was organised to celebrate the charitable achievements of the bingo industry as a 21

FEATURE: VARIETY UPDATE Below is a summary of where the funds have been distributed

THANK YOU for raising

Alastair Stewart National Bingo Game and Anna Turley MP


Winner Paul McGlinchey with David Linden, MP, and Stuart McDonald MP



Youth Clubs


Sunshine Coaches


Variety Great Days Out






Frances Lang CEO Variety Guest and Jo McFadden

whole, with customers, charity recipients, politicians, and industry charity champions all in attendance. The Bingo Association wanted to acknowledge that bingo customers around the country have also helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for other great charities apart from Variety, including Rank Cares, CHIPS and the Alzheimer’s Society, and representatives of these charities were also in attendance at the reception. 22

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Miles Baron CE The Bingo Association and Frances Lang CEO Variety

In addition to the cheque handover, there were speeches by Anna Turley, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Bingo, Miles Baron, and Frances Lang, who announced how delighted they were that the relationship with the BA was being extended, especially as the Charity celebrates its 70th birthday in 2019. The evening reception also included a special House of Commons charity bingo game, which saw an additional ÂŁ500 being donated to Variety. www.bingolifemagazine.com

Mimms Davies MP Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Miles Baron CE The Bingo Association and Chris Matthews CEO Buzz Bingo



The family that plays together, stays together: New Coronet Bingo


ingo plays a vital role in the communities it serves, with many clubs acting as a key social facility for customers of all ages, in addition to providing employment opportunities. Clubs provide a friendly, welcoming, safe environment for players, who feel equally at ease going with friends and family or alone. For some players, the safe, friendly community of bingo is their primary, and in some cases only, source of social interaction. In this respect bingo in communities helps address the increasingly important issues of isolation, social cohesion, intergenerational integration and active aging that are becoming so apparent in modern societies. The familiar nature of bingo and the communities it supports and creates ensures that it is one of the most accessible social networks for people of all ages and backgrounds: a broad church, where all are welcome to join the family and fun. Approximately one third of all licensed bingo clubs in Great Britain are independently owned and run, a significant proportion of which are family run, and in some instances bingo family includes real family. The New Coronet Bingo Club in Didcot is a great example of a community based club at the heart of 24

“I like to come to bingo three or four times a week, it gets me out of the house and I feel safe coming here. I also like a good chat to Mrs. C when I am in.” a close-knit community that has been managed by, and is currently run by, three generations of the same family. New Coronet Bingo is a key facility in the local leisure landscape and pivotal in the lives of many of its members. The New Coronet was built in the 1930s as a cinema: Bill and Norma Carpenter took over in 1977 with their son, John. The Coronet continued to run exclusively as a cinema until 1974, when bingo was introduced for four nights each week. Following Bill’s death in 1980 Norma and John took over running the venue and offered bingo exclusively seven days a week from 1984, due to popular demand. The team that run the club is very much a ‘family’ affair, encompassing real family and loyal committed staff. Norma Carpenter, known to all as Mrs C, is still very much part of the team at Didcot, working five days a week and always taking a lead role in party nights. Son John Carpenter is currently the Head of Operations, issue 029


taking an active role in the club and supported by his own son (Norma’s grandson), Laurie, who joined the business full-time in 2002, after completing university. Club Manager, Sean Tucker has been part of the team for over thirty years and of the 30+ part-time staff working at the club, eight have been part of the ‘family’ for over ten years, with six still going strong after more than twenty years. The ‘family’ team are a key part of what makes working in, and attending bingo, fun. In addition to regular bingo nights there are lots of events and party nights throughout the year that provide staff and players alike with the opportunity for fun and social interaction, not to mention the odd dance and sing-a-long. As part of the bingo community players feel they belong and have somewhere to go where there is always a warm welcome for them, no matter who they are. The New Coronet Bingo Club currently has over 20,000 registered members (over 3,000 on their new system introduced in May 2018), who are big fans of bingo and The New Coronet team. Here is what some of the regulars had to say: Deana – age 40 “I come with my husband about twice a week. There’s a really friendly atmosphere. Doesn’t matter what age group you are, everybody has a really nice time together.” Claire – age 21 “I started coming when I was 18 and celebrated my 18th Birthday here. I come regularly with friends and family.” Dawn – age 52 “We have a good laugh on band nights, with a cocktail or two: really nice entertainment, it’s just a nice night out.”


Edith – age 72 Edith started playing at the Coronet when she moved to Didcot in 1985 and has been a regular bingo player since she was 18. Bingo is her only social activity. She said, “I like to come to bingo three or four times a week, it gets me out of the house and I feel safe coming here. I also like a good chat to Mrs C when I am in.” Laurie Carpenter, the third generation of his family to have fallen for bingo, in considering why he works in the industry said, “I stopped by bingo for a cup of tea and they needed cover for a manager. I said I would help out for a short while, which I did, and am still here today. I suppose you could say I fell in love with the people, the place and the atmosphere. It is a great job, slightly unsociable hours but very sociable, and very rarely do I wake up on a Monday morning with the blues. I actually look forward to coming to work. “The most rewarding aspect I guess is seeing people enjoy themselves. It is a very comfortable place to socialise, like a home-from-home, and our staff help create that feeling. Most will say this is more like their social life than a job. “The most surprising aspect for me is how varied the age range is, and how young and old, singles and groups, interact well.” The Coronet refurbished its bar, kiosk and stage areas over the last couple of years, retaining many of the traditional features from the original cinema days, giving the club a unique and authentic atmosphere. The new lounge bar with special cocktail nights, along with live bands on the new stage, help keep things fresh and appeal to both old and new customers alike. To find out more about The New Coronet Bingo visit: www.coronetbingo.com 25


The Rhythm Of Life


ingo Life meets the National Bingo Game’s Finance Manager and latter day rapper, Manso Richards, for whom the Hippodrome Casino London holds a special place in his heart.

The finance department is a very important team, and particularly so at the National Bingo Game Association as they are the people responsible for making sure that all that lovely prize money reaches the right places: a very important team for the thousands of lucky National Bingo Game and National Live winners. Heading up the team is Manso Richards who joined the National Bingo Game in 2018. It seemed, based on the truly unique spectrum of his career and life experiences, that it was nothing short of destiny that led him to bingo and the National Bingo Game: a natural performer, with first hand experience of the entertainment industry (from a stage perspective); an appreciation of history and tradition; an understanding of publishing and style; a love of food and hospitality; management of rubbish; excellent production diagnostic skills; a qualified Chartered Management Accountant, with pharmaceutical experience: the perfect skill set for bingo. Born in South London, his early years were spent in Balham, Streatham, Sierra Leone and Camberwell, before attending the University of Essex in Colchester. Naturally a lover of music, university was where he formed contacts that encouraged him to maximise his musical talents and form a rap group, Vudu Faction, in his final year with two other budding performers. Vudu Faction were not without talent or some degree of success: their collective performance skills secured some paying gigs, including being the support act for two Malaysian groups, rap group Poetic Ammo, and R&B group Innuendo, at London’s Hippodrome. Poetic Ammo is Yogeswaran Veerasingam (aka Yogi B), Chandrakumar Balakrishnan (aka Land Slyde), Nicholas Ong (aka Point Blanc), and Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan (aka C Loco). Although most of the group’s songs were written in English, the group also released tracks in Malay, Tamil and Cantonese. Innuendo, best known for their remake of the Carefree’s evergreen ballad ‘Belaian Jiwa’, and more recently their 70s style single ‘Only Dancin’, Innuendo is one 26

of Malaysia’s premier R&B groups. Formed in 1992, when a love for R&B and soul music brought Reymee bin Mohamed Hussein, Shamshul Azhar bin Nazeer, Ahmad Tajuddin Bin Mohamed Tahir and Saiful Amir bin Abdul Wahab together. Both groups have their own Wikipedia entries and you can hear their music on You Tube, Spotify and Deezer: we understand that neither band has any current plans for a release or tour. Supporting the two Malaysian groups was to be the pinnacle of the Vudu Factions musical success. Manso said, “Little did I think at the time that twenty years later I’d be back at the Hippodrome!” The National Bingo Game use the venue to host its annual general meeting. Discovering that a musical career was unlikely to be quite as fulfilling as he had hoped, Manso continued his formal education at the University of Essex, graduating in Accounting and Financial Management. Upon graduation he moved back to Camberwell, London, where he met his wife Ami, moving to Peckham and Gipsy Hill before leaving London for Milton Keynes not long after the birth of their first child, as Ami’s family were in the area too. Manso’s first position in finance was that of Purchase Ledger Clerk at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and issue 029

INTERVIEW: WITH MANSO RICHARDS then with behemoth of the fashion magazine publishing world, Conde Nast (VOGUE, House & Garden, GQ, etc), where he once spoke with journalist and author, the late A A Gill. Having chosen to study and qualify as a Chartered Management Accountant, Manso faced the tough challenge of studying whilt working in order to qualify, not a soft option. His first role as a Management Accountant was in his next post with IMS Health, a pharmaceutical market intelligence company, where he stayed for six years, following which it was on to Veolia Environmental Services, who provide waste management services, where he qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 2014. After six years as Management Accountant at Veolia Manso was hungry for new challenges and the post of Ops Finance Accountant with food services specialist Baxter Storey was the perfect move. Never one to rest on his laurels, and always interested in new challenges, his next more before joining the National Bingo Game was to in vitro diagnostics specialist Sysmex UK Ltd. It was here that he was given his first managerial role, with Sysmex supporting his study for the Institute of Leadership and Management’s (IML) Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management, and affording him the opportunity to travel to Sysmex in Germany. We asked Manso, why bingo? “I fancied a change in industry and thought bingo was different to all the previous industries I had worked in, which were by comparison quite sensible, if you exclude my brief stint as a performer.” As bingo had not previously been on his radar, we were curious to know when he had first experienced the game, he commented, “I played bingo for the first time in January 2018 in Bedford: using an EBT for the first

Beacon Bingo, Cricklewood

time was a highlight of the evening. Shortly after that I played in Cricklewood, which was an equally fun but quite a different experience.” Married, with three daughters, Manso commutes into the NBG offices in Dunstable from Milton Keynes and is philosophical about the vagaries of M1 and A5 traffic, taking it all in his stride. He says he just plays some music or listens to the radio: his favourite choice of music? Still mainly rap and R&B, though Poetic Ammo and Innuendo, he assures us, are not on his current play list. Outside of keeping up with his family and the challenges of being the only man in the house, when he does have some spare time he likes to cycle. “I have always liked cycling,” he said, “but really started enjoying it around 2005 when I discovered I could jack in my £1,000 annual travel card and commute to work for free, which I did for 3 years. This stopped when I moved to Milton Keynes in 2008 as work (Veolia) took me all over the country. I was still cycling but sporadically and would occasionally cycle to work in Stewartby, where I was based. I now go out first thing in the morning before work, and have cycled to Dunstable twice.” Since 2005 he has regularly participated in the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton bike ride, and in 2015 and 2016 also rode the London to Milton Keynes rides: his cycling is purely recreational, and he has been a member of the Broughton Cycling Group for the last three years. This year he has already committed to the London to Brighton ride and Prudential’s Ride London 100. Generally of a happy disposition, sometimes (according to his family) annoyingly so, he keeps the rhythm in his life up-tempo and remains, he assures us, the best dancer in the house!




Shipley Creative celebrate new mail milestone service of great value. It allows them to create reactive promotional campaigns, harnessing the skills of our inhouse designers, in-house print room, and our amazing rates with Royal Mail.” Adding a special touch of gold, silver or bronze to point of sale is always a popular eye-catching production treatment, which requires a specialist foil blocking process. This is now something that Shipley Creative can offer in house, along with “Spot UV” varnish finish, another excellent production option to give promotional items a distinctive finish and feel. Graphic Designer at Shipley Creative, Bev Williams, said, “Many clients use our foiling and spot UV service to add a touch of luxury to their designs. Just imagine a VIP customer receiving something personalised to them using a stunning metallic colour palette: it really needs to be seen to appreciate the dramatic effect.”


“Adding a special touch of gold, silver or bronze to point of sale is always a popular eyecatching production treatment, which requires a specialist foil blocking process.” hipley Creative is celebrating the new year as they mark sending out over five million pieces of direct mail on behalf of their clients in 2018.

In a digital age, it’s amazing to see the results driven by such a traditional form of marketing: going postal has not lost its touch and delivers something both tangible and personal. Stuart Knowles, Shipley Creative’s Business Development Manager, explains. “We can design, print and post a great looking mailing piece from as little as 41p. We can include variable data into the artwork ensuring that a customers marketing message is targeted and personalised to the recipient”. Shipley Creative is open seven days a week, mirroring the hours on many of its clients, meaning they are oncall when you need them. Anthony Halliwell, General Manager, comments, “The majority of our clients are open seven days a week and find our ‘always open’


Shipley Creative will be attending ICE 2019 as part of the Bingo Pavilion between Tuesday 5th and Thursday 6th February. You’ll be able to view a range of print samples, design ideas and learn more about their range of digital services, from in-store screen animations to social media and so much more. They will be on stand BP7, with a brand-new look for 2019 and look forward to meeting clients, both old and new. If you would like to see first-hand the full range of production facilities offered by Shipley Creative, on Wednesday 27th February they will be holding an open day at their studios in Leigh. Those attending will be able to meet the full team of graphic designers and see the print room in action. To book your place please contact theteam@shipleycreative.com with the subject title ‘Open Day’... and why not send them a brief to work on when you visit, so that you can see your ideas come to life before your eyes?

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Challenges and changes: ISD Computer Services


SD Computer Services is a name that will be known to many in the bingo and wider gaming sectors: a company started by Nick Winslade, who will always be remembered as a dynamic and inspirational businessman, who helped build the company and promote its core product, the Maxim membership management system. The company is now part of the National Bingo Game Association family of companies, following its purchase in June 2018. The tech company, based on the South Coast in Portsmouth, has built a solid reputation delivering membership systems to the bingo industry and wider gaming world for over 25 years. 2018 was a challenging year, with the acquisition of the company going through against a backdrop of the new GDPR regulations: the impact of which has been felt by everyone. All the systems provided by ISD were impacted by the new regulations in some form, and it was the ISD team’s job to ensure that all their customers using ISD products were compliant in regard to ISD systems by the May 2018 deadline. It is a tribute to the small but highly skilled team at ISD that these demands, which created challenges for even the largest businesses, were met head on and delivered. The ISD team responsible for meeting and mastering such a challenge comprises of: three talented and hard working developers, Paul Evans and James Roberts, who have been with the business for a while, and new team recruit Daniel Thorne, who will shortly complete his first year with the business; Office Manager, Sam Winslade; and Managing Director, Chris Wrigley, who has worked in the bingo sector since 1990. The combined mix of skills, heritage and operational experience meant that ISD were well placed to meet the GDPR challenge, and are equally well placed to deliver further well-designed products into the gaming sphere going forward. ISD has been at the forefront of the customer relationship management (CRM) industry since the very first electronic membership systems and loyalty cards were introduced, helping their clients harness, manage and utilise membership data in order to deliver commercial benefit and aid business success. The solutions ISD develops give their clients total control of their data, enabling them to implement campaigns www.bingolifemagazine.com

that build relationships, engender loyalty, drive footfall, and ultimately increase sales. Targeted CRM in every business is about understanding who your customers are: when you know what makes them tick, you can target your sales and digital marketing services more accurately and effectively, creating strategies, or even products and services, that match their needs. ISD’s Maxim membership management and direct marketing software drives hundreds of businesses in the leisure and gaming sectors – from market-leading national brands with multiple sites, to small independent operators: the Bulk SMS service that it operates sends out over 2 million messages per month and allows operators to contact their customers quickly, efficiently and effectively. In addition to Maxim, ISD also create bespoke software applications, having earned a reputation for the ability to resolve complex technical challenges. Going forward, ISD will continue to develop its products, meeting the needs of its clients and the sectors in which it operates. The team are ready for the future and to write the next chapter of ISD’s history. 29


ECM – for services to the bingo industry

Ian Creer and Jodie Biglin


CM Systems is a name that has long been synonymous with land based bingo: purchased by leading online gaming software giant Playtech, they are successfully establishing themselves as a key part of the business and working hard to reap the benefits of being part of a sector leading company, helping them meet customer needs more quickly in a market place that is increasing steered by technology. 30

It has been an incredibly busy and exciting twelve months for ECM, under the second year of ownership by Playtech, and working hard within the group to integrate their product portfolio. ECM Systems employ over sixty dedicated and highly skilled staff, with a remarkable number having been with the company for over two decades. The team have been working hard to combine and integrate issue 029


‘Following last year’s Buzz Bingo launch in club and online, using the Playtech online platform, ECM and Playtech will continue to work in close partnership with Buzz to enhance player experience and integrate their Touchpad Software.’

single account is built on this principle, and the player has full control of their spending. They can easily set daily deposit limits which apply whether they log in online or play in a club, and can also choose to selfexclude, which will permanently lock their account and prevent them from gaming for a chosen period of time. Bet Buddy, a ground-breaking responsible gambling analytics platform built around data mining and predictive analytics, was acquired by Playtech in 2017. Bet Buddy combines the latest research into gambling behaviour patterns with the power of machine learning, delivering a sophisticated end-toend solution to proactively identify and engage with at-risk players.

their accumulated knowledge and experience, in close collaboration with the broader Playtech group, to transform and adapt their industry leading Electronic Bingo Terminal (EBT) system at a rate not previously seen.

Following last year’s Buzz Bingo launch in club and online, using the Playtech online platform, ECM and Playtech will continue to work in close partnership with Buzz to enhance player experience and integrate their Touchpad Software. In addition to this ECM are also in key discussions with Mecca Bingo on planning the future roadmap of Max, Mecca’s successful EBT platform.

Bingo is a simple and fun game to play, but the barriers for first-time players can be daunting, and many new would-be players are discouraged from walking into a modern bingo club and trying to play. Even seasoned ‘online gamers’ find that the games and systems in bingo clubs are different to what they are used to online, and even for them this can be a barrier to joining in. Brand loyalty and familiarity are important factors, but users should ideally be able to play in the same intuitive manner on any platform, in any location, and on any device without having to manage different accounts and navigate through sometimes quite different user interfaces. Sometimes it may be more convenient to stay at home and play, or perhaps grab a quick couple of games whilst on the move, so logging in o play needs to be simple and consistent wherever the game of bingo is to be played.

Jodie Biglin (Independent Sector Account Manager) will continue to drive innovation on the Bingo Bee EBT software in conjunction with key operators to add in features and tailor the software according to customer requirements. This has recently included a complete overhaul and re-launch of the built-in food and beverage ordering application. This application now gives complete control to the operator to include pictures of their products, and to lay out the menu in their own style. A management website, which can be located in the cloud, also allows you to conveniently update and reprogram your menu from any internet connected machine. ECM Systems will be exhibiting at ICE 2019, for the first time as part of the Bingo Pavilion.

The transformation of the ECM EBT software will enhance and simplify the gambling experience for both online and retail bingo: the end goal is to produce the most engaging, intuitive and responsible gambling experience for players, whilst retaining the same look and feel whether they are playing online, or in a retail venue. Helping players to stay in control of their gambling is equally high on the agenda as Playtech and ECM are committed to ensuring that they enable a safe and responsible form of entertainment, and actively take action to reduce harmful play. The unified journey and www.bingolifemagazine.com



BINGO all the way: Leisure Electronics / Wexel Gaming return to the Bingo Pavilion for ICE 2019 is at a premium and where operators of sites do not have the luxury of being able to offer our fixed-base 22” screen positions.”


or Leisure Electronics and Wexel Gaming, ICE offers a very a different visitor demography to EAG, covering a much broader audience in terms of the markets it caters to and creating a great opportunity for both companies to showcase products and connect with other sectors, such as online, betting, bingo, etc. Factoring in international delegates attending the show, the audience becomes huge. We caught up with Leisure Electronics Chris Shipley. “We’ll be maintaining our core strengths of offering low-cost digital platforms and hardware: our main focus will continue with the bingo markets where our historical expertise stems from.” Chris continued, “The last twelve months have been about designing and manufacturing equipment that can increase dwelltime for bingo operators, whilst keeping operating and labour costs down. Our linked bingo product, Bingo Plus, is very successful at this and can now be played in all the major cities across the UK: it is, and will continue to be, the ‘go to’ high street bingo product for operators. We can already see the growth for Bingo Plus in the early part of 2019, and we’re confident that based on its performance, this is set to continue. “To enhance our ever-expanding linked bingo product we’ve introduced our Bingo Plus TAB: based on the operational aspects of our popular GTAB kiosk, this is a product that allows the operator to offer players the opportunity to engage in the linked games by means of a handheld tablet. This benefits locations where space 32

Complimenting the Leisure Electronics / Wexel bingo products, the ever popular GTAB self-service tablet kiosk continues to provide great Cat C & D slot content. The team find working with customers rewarding, as interaction and involvement helps to ensure products are continuously developed that meet market needs, generating positive responses to the product. Wexel have committed heavily to development, both in terms of software and hardware, over the last five years: the competitive nature of the bingo market makes for challenging trading, but does breed creativity where supported. Leisure Electronics / Wexel are committed to rolling out some new community based bingo games on to the Bingo Plus platform in 2019, to keep the product fresh and players engaged. Chris comments, “Our primary goal is to give players the opportunity to play bingo, or bingo-type games, whenever it suits them, like they can on-line. We do this to a certain extent already, but we need to keep broadening the window of play so that bricks and mortar bingo can work alongside the online offering availability.” The latest bingo variant release, Lucky 6, is available both as a stand-alone and a community game. Players can select up to 4 sets of six numbers from 49 numbers during the countdown, and then wait to see how many of their numbers match from the random 36 drawn out: there are 4 stakes of 10p, 25p, 50p or £1 and prizes can go as high as £10,000. With 31 cash prizes available on each draw this adds to the excitement and is proving very popular in premises where the game is currently offered. Chris and some of the Leisure Electronics / Wexel team will be delighted to see current and potential new customers on their stand BP1, on the Bingo Pavilion at ICE 2019. issue 029


60 years of bingo: an evolving love affair


ith a company history stretching back over 150 years, Edward Thompson have much to be proud of. But their love affair with bingo was instant and enduring.

Just over sixty years ago, Edward Thompson (ET) printed their first bingo ticket: a local priest had asked for supplies for a regular fundraising evening and the obliging team at Edward Thompson answered the call. A year later, with the change in the gambling laws, bingo boomed and ET have been in love with the game ever since: privileged to be ‘along for the ride’ on a journey that is nowhere near its end. From bags of balls, to tablets and the internet, ET have been party to, and part of, the evolution and development of the game into a key participant of the present day entertainment and leisure industry. From Saturday games in church halls and Sunday sessions in working men’s clubs, through to occasional bingo nights in theatres, to the reinvention of cinemas as bingo clubs and eventually the rise of the one thousand seat mega-venues, bingo has seen a lot of change and managed to keep pace. Thoughout its various incarnations and iterations ET have helped out at every stage: supplying roll-cages, paper and pens, manufacturing blowers and display boards – they even introduced Britain’s first bingo dabbers, complete with the unforgettable marketing lines like ‘have a dabber do!’ They also helped develop and print the first National Bingo Game tickets and started newspaper bingo, which was first played in the Sheffield Star in 1975, and eventually TV bingo: they even developed Bobs Full House/Lucky Numbers and helped sell it round the globe. The digital age did not pass them by, nor leave them standing, and were one of the first to introduce the then new electronic bingo terminals, called PETs: they became a bit of a phenomenon, with up to 12,000 units in play every night across the country. Not one to rest on their laurels, ET embraced a new bingo filled millennium and in January 2010 produced the first commercial colour bingo tickets in the world:


Left to right: Quinton Stephens, Paddy Cronin, Kirsty Walker and Spencer Hawksworth

these new tickets offered the market the chance for adding flexibility and fun while adding greater control, the possibility for sponsorship and sales simplification. Keeping pace with technology and harnessing the advantages it can offer, ET have built on their PETs legacy, introducing their QT bingo tablet, which offers players ‘true’ handheld bingo, with integrated slots and quick games, in a light and bright unit with industry leading battery life. Always interested in customers’ needs and challenges the ET team are constantly on a drive to discover new products, formats and versions that keep bingo bouncing. Edward Thompson will be exhibiting at ICE 2019 and can be found on the Bingo Pavilion where they will have some of their latest and most creative promotion and bingo items on display and will be happy to discuss your bingo needs. We♥bingo W: www.edwardthompson.com T: 0191 514 4199 E: clientservices@edwardthompson.com

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Gaming Progression on Show G2E Asia 2019

Bingo Life interview with Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions, Greater China learning and networking opportunities. Digital Content & Technology’s joint-exhibitor showcase of online game development and technology providers, plus a full-day forum, is a hub for Asia’s gaming technology community, spanning bingo, casino, lottery, mobile and social gaming. Whereas the Parts and Components Pavilion, Asia’s first and only trade and sourcing platform dedicated to the exhibit of parts and components in electronic-gaming-machine manufacturing, is a prime gathering spot for regional market operators to source unique and innovative parts, components and features that appeal to the Asian casino gaming customer.

Can you provide us examples of other key speakers at this year’s conference? “We’ll be officially announcing our G2E Asia 2019 speaker line-up in February. As with last year and many editions before, it’s guaranteed to be an exciting assembly of influential leaders that are fully representative of Asia’s gaming and entertainment industry.” What else can visitors to G2E Asia expect to see on the exhibition floor as well as the Conference? “There’s good reason why G2E Asia has earned its reputation as a one-stop platform in the industry. This year’s new and interactive bi-level exhibition space will stretch across 35,000 sqm to accommodate a projected 18,000 visitors from Asia and abroad. “G2E Asia’s ever-expanding and evolving show floor reaches all corners of the industry with a spotlight on key segments that offer unprecedented sourcing, 34

“The Integrated Resort Technology & Business Solutions merges professionals with key decision makers from Asia’s fast-growing integrated resorts sector. Its Integrated Resorts Experience Pavilion is a G2E Asiaexclusive and the region’s first-ever event to centralize sourcing of new IR products, technologies and services that drive revenue and value from non-gaming sources. While the Gaming Development Zone gathers game and solution developers with a showcase of the latest game development products and services from leading technology companies, including business matchmaking opportunities. “The concurrently held Asia Lottery Expo and Forum is a multi-faceted business, learning and networking platform uniquely designed for lottery professionals of all tiers. It provides unrivaled opportunities to meet the who’swho of Asia-Pacific’s lottery industry, together with a top notch education of the sector’s hottest themes and trends. “The new Esports Connect Asia will serve the exciting and emergent esports market, where all eyes are now fixed on Asia. Its dual business-and-networking platform will play a crucial role in transforming sports of the digital generation into the future of entertainment via the most efficient market solutions. It will feature an extensive showcase of the latest products and trends, in addition to networking opportunities for both community and industry leaders. The new Financial Technology Asia will shine a spotlight on Asia-Pacific’s skyrocketing FinTech industry. Its specialized platform will present the issue 029

FEATURE: G2E ASIA latest solutions and services, including cloud financial solutions, block chain technology, cybersecurity, FinTech and payment solutions, while bringing together financial technology and solution providers to share insights from an exclusively-Asian perspective.” What’s new for the 2019 Conference agenda and how can readers find out more about this year’s show and conference programme? “G2E Asia’s many benefits span beyond its show floor showcase. Held concurrently with the exhibition, the three-day G2E Asia Conference Programme’s contentrich offerings never stop evolving, keeping its gaming and entertainment participants up-to-date with the latest market developments and trends. Led by a line up of high-level industry leaders, influencers and experts, the programme gives direct exposure and understanding of today’s most critical issues, together with practical and cost-effective insights relevant to the challenges facing Asian operators today. The G2E 2019 Conference Programme agenda and speaker details can be accessed via our official website, where updates are constantly posted, together with the expo’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages. “ What are the opening times of the exhibition and conference this year? “The 13th edition of G2E Asia will be returning to The Venetian Macao on May 21 -23, 2019. The exhibition hours on May 21-22 run 10:30-18:00, and on May 23, 10:30-16:00. The G2E Asia Conference Program will be available all three days from 09:30 – 17:00. We look forward to seeing both new and old faces at this year’s event. Gaming and entertainment product professionals, from all walks and nations, are welcome to join in. It is their ongoing support and participation that has contributed to G2E Asia’s success.” Are G2E Asia visitors now able to use the new bridge to get to Macau by car or coach from Hong Kong and if not when? Is it more expensive that then ferries? “The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge has added a new and convenient option for our G2E Asia visitors, but unfortunately, not without restrictions. The bridge only allows passage to private cars with a cross-border Vehicle License Plate at a toll fee of 150 HKD per vehicle. The most convenient and economical option is the shuttle bus from Macau to Hong Kong at 65 HKD per person, and only takes 35 minutes. The same option is also available from downtown Hong Kong at 170 HKD per person. Ferry options take about 55 minutes, hover www.bingolifemagazine.com

around 180 HKD per person, and transport directly from the Hong Kong International Airport. Though note that each ferry has their own schedule and operating hours.” Do you expect the new bridge will have an increase effect on visitor numbers to G2E Asia? “Absolutely. The new bridge, connecting Hong Kong and Macau with Mainland China, had been only but a dream for many years. As 74% of our audience hails from overseas, many will be flying into Hong Kong before transferring to Macau. The bridge is conveniently located only 5 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport and open 24-7. Late-night arrival passengers can also opt for a direct-Macau transfer, which will surely cut down on their accommodation budget as well.”

“G2E Asia’s many benefits span beyond its show floor showcase. Held concurrently with the exhibition, the three-day G2E Asia Conference Programme’s content-rich offerings never stop evolving, keeping its gaming and entertainment participants upto-date with the latest market developments and trends.” G2E Asia’s 2018 edition boasted its strongest numbers ever. Have you that visitor numbers to G2E Asia 2019 and have you found any trend developing from a geographical attendee standpoint? “I’m proud to say that G2E Asia gets bigger and better with each edition. The last few years, in particular, have experienced staggering growth. G2E Asia 2018 was our most record-breaking edition with 16,358 visitors, at an annual increase of 17%. Satisfaction levels were also in high numbers, where the 2018 G2E Asia Survey reported 80% of visitors “likely to return”. In addition to a 74% international-visitor representation, the show continues to broaden its regional appeal with significantly increased visitor numbers from Southeast Asia.” G2E Asia continues on an upward path. This year, its 13th edition, is expected to be our biggest one yet with our expanded (and bi-level) exhibition space, together with new and exciting segments and offerings. We’re anticipating more than 18,000 visitors.”


FEATURE: G2E ASIA Getting around an exhibition and conference venue is never easy what provisions have you for visitors them with planning their schedule for attending conferences and locating booths on the exhibition floor? “G2E Asia’s Online Business Matchmaking is an amazingly versatile networking tool that facilitates attendees’ meeting planning with audiences most targeted to their needs. Operating up to three months prior to the event, it works to deliver private and preshow networking opportunities between G2E Asia exhibitors and visitors. Additional functions include proactive recommendations based on visitor and exhibitor profiles and interests; a meeting-request feature with auto-scheduling based on time availability; and an appointments schedule with automatic reminders. “The G2E Asia App, Mobile Match, continues support onsite by helping exhibitors and visitors keep organised with anytime-access to meeting schedules and the added convenience of 15-minute meeting reminders. App users can get additional assistance onsite at the Match Me Booth and via the multi-located 3D exhibitor floorplans.” Networking activities for G2E Asia visitors “The momentum doesn’t stop with an unmatched product showcase and industry education. G2E Asia spans beyond the show floor with non-stop and targeted networking events. This year’s offerings include the Gaming Regulator Networking Luncheon, providing regulators the opportunity to exchange views, share updates and explore cooperation prospects; the Presidents’ Reception, an exclusive, invitationonly cocktail that offers senior executive networking opportunities and brand exposure at the highest level; the G2E Asia Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner, which recognizes excellence and innovation in the field, while representing both the gaming and non-gaming aspects of Asian entertainment; and the G2E Asia After Party, open to all attendees at Macau’s popular Club Cubic, it provides industry suppliers with on-the-spot branding exposure and extended networking opportunities beyond show hours. “Attendees of all interests, levels and backgrounds can also benefit from the show’s Segmented Industry Networking Events, a series of small, casual and interactive networking offering with exclusive themes, namely Table Games Networking Cocktail, Slots Networking Cocktail, Digital Content & Technology Networking Cocktail, Future Leaders Networking Cocktail, and Lottery Networking Cocktail.” 36

What’s new for G2E Asia 2019? “There’s always something exciting and new with each G2E Asia edition. This year’s show floor will see the return of industry segments Digital Content & Technology, Parts & Components Pavilion, Integrated Resorts Technology & Business Solutions, Game Development Zone and the Asia Lottery Expo and Forum, while welcoming our newest additions ESports Connect Asia and Financial Technology Asia. The list just keeps on growing! “Users of the G2E Asia Mobile App will enjoy an even more comprehensive digital experience with the app’s Lead Generation Scanner’s enhanced feature functions, together with the New Product Hot Hits. “The show’s 3D floor plans can be viewed at various kiosk locations across the show floor. Their innovative search-and-navigation functions deliver full access to all exhibiting company profiles and details, including booth locations, making show-time navigation a cinch! The floor plans are also uploaded to the official G2E Asia App and website.” For companies considering exhibiting is there still time to organise a booth? “Absolutely. Though I wouldn’t wait too long as space is going rather fast!”

Biography Josephine Lee, Chief Operating Officer of Reed Exhibitions Greater China, was born in Hong Kong and has been working in the exhibition industry for 20 years. Since joining Reed in 1998, she has distinguished herself by winning four major awards - the Export Division President Award (2000); the Reed Chairman’s Award (2001 & 2009) and the Reed China President’s Award (2005). Her dynamic leadership has also seen her spearhead the restructuring of the Export Division in Australia; develop outbound business in Asia and establish Reed offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen (in 2002, 2003 and 2012 respectively). Today, in addition to Sales and Marketing responsibilities, she will oversee Reed Greater China’s entire portfolio of events, as well as the Operations Team.

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Market Trends. Quality Products. Networking. 市場趨勢、優質產品、建立聯繫

G2E Asia: Informs smart business decisions. 亞洲國際娛樂展:助您作出明智的商業决策

2019年5月21-23日 THE VENETIAN MACAO | 澳門威尼斯人 G2E系列展會 A G2E EVENT









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Profile for Casino Life Magazine

Bingo Life Issue 29 Spring 2019  


Bingo Life Issue 29 Spring 2019