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By Ruth Lythe for the Daily Mail. Andrew Muir knew his wife Sheila enjoyed the occasional flutter playing online bingo. Then they sent a huge chocolate Easter egg. Mr Muir thought it was a standard free gift sent out to anyone who used the site.
Without it, I felt useless and on the scrapheap. It sounds stupid, but I was at home alone and was desperately looking for a way of making some money. Because it was online, it was like Monopoly money. Before she started playing online bingo, Sheila, 62, had only ever gambled once before: But once she started playing Kitty Bingo, she found herself logging on in bed at night. Free online childrens games uk similar sites targeting women include ladies and Pink Casino.
Scores of such websites gambling winnings included gross income sprung up across the internet. They attract users with innocent-looking home pages decorated with cupcakes and cartoon animals. The chocolates and the egg were gifts from the website loyalty club. A spokesman for Kitty Bingo said that though the website could not comment on individual cases, it allows customers to set a daily limit and all they need to do is to contact the customer services department.
She is one of a growing demographic: They are being bombarded by calls from women — many of them middle-class — who have developed a gambling habit after being lured by cuddly-looking betting websites. Sheila's addiction to Kitty Bingo has meant she is now one of a growing demographic: Picture posed by model.
By contrast, only a third of male callers reported problems with online gambling. Many women become hooked after using the sites to escape the pressures of juggling relationships, a busy job and young children. Like Sheila, many hide their debts from their partner. One day, I was standing at a railway station and realised I could understand how people could have so much on their mind they would think about ending it all. The marketing of these websites is loosely targeted at women with a sentimental side.
Kitty Bingo, for example, has a photo of a middle-aged woman stroking a tabby cat. Users can join a loyalty scheme, Kitty Club, which allows players to build up points, which they can then trade in for treats and free games. Many have UK web addresses, but they are often based in British territories such as Gibraltar and the Channel Islands that are not yet covered by UK Gambling Commission rules — though they have their own regimes.
They will soon have to adhere to UK rules, following new legislation later this year. In the first part of this year, more than 60 online betting firms advertised on TV. Those targeting women pay millions to advertise in leaugue online daytime to catch an audience of housewives and stay-at-home mothers. The ladies site will place you in a randomly generated bingo team with other players every fortnight.
The pink website is decorated with cheery photographs of recent female winners. It offers games such as Cheeky Tipple, a virtual fruit machine game. If you line up a row of cartoon Pina Colada cocktails, you win a cash prize. Free roulette video games are photos of a lavish party in a hotel with Chippendale-style waiters serving champagne to bemused middle-aged women — gambling advertising in canada of them players of ladies or affiliated websites.
Winners are rewarded with prizes such as an iPad, jewellery and shopping vouchers. All this is designed to gambling winner the site seem inviting, fun and solicitous towards its users. It has its own magazine packed with interviews with celebrities such as former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton and ex-glamour model Linda Lusardi.
With gambling, you can escape your problems, but still get up to go to work in the morning or look after the baby. I sign up to Pink-casino. Usually, I find buying anything online a bit of a faff. There are so many boxes to fill out and inevitably I miss one out or enter my phone number incorrectly. The next screen dazzles me with rows and rows of games, illustrated with colourful pictures. It is all so simple and sugary sweet it makes me feel a bit childish.
I try a game called Kitty Glitter. There is no skill involved. If I get a row of cats in matching colours, I win. I can place my bet by clicking on an arrow at the bottom of the screen. I start playing for just 30p a go. On the first two spins, I lose. But on the next go, I win.
It is the very definition of a mindless activity, but it is strangely hypnotic. Caroline Owen gives every impression of being a typical hard-working, middle-class mother. The year-old lives in a comfortable home in a prosperous town in the South of England with her husband Rob and their toddler son Jack. She had stumbled across the websites while filling in an online competition form she had seen advertised on breakfast TV. The websites would allow me to switch off completely and not to think about any of my problems.
She quickly became hooked. She played in her office, on maternity leave when Jack was sleeping, while she was making dinner and even while she chatted on the phone. I see people on the bus playing them on their phones and no one need know what they are doing. He would sometimes question why we were overdrawn each month and I would always make up some kind of believable excuse.
She confessed her addiction to a close relative, who loaned her the cash on the condition she sought help. After speaking with a counsellor, she plucked up the courage to admit her problem to Rob. She also contacted the sbg global online gambling she had used to get them to ban her. Websites licensed in the UK are required to ban you for a minimum of six months if you identify yourself as a problem gambler — or longer if you request it.
A spokesman for ladies said: There, you might meet friends, gossip over a drink, congratulate the winner and commiserate with the loser. How very different from sitting alone on your laptop late at night clicking over and over again on desk bell roulette slot machine game and potentially losing thousands of pounds.
The views expressed in gambling game names contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. The cynical websites using pictures of kittens and cupcakes to lure women into debt and despair: Share this article Share. Most watched News videos Huntswoman appears to batter saboteur with riding crop Devastated sister of Gaia Pope gives an emotional tribute Moment off duty cop holds baby while shooting suspected thieves Zimbabwean delegates dance as Mugabe is sacked by his party Is this astronaut reflection proof moon landing was a hoax?
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