When the BBC Sports Personality of the year nominations were announced, there were already 7 Olympic gold medallists on the shortlist, including Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Adlington.
Hoy and Adlington were main attractions that generated huge interest throughout 2008. The only person to top them was Lewis Hamilton, a Formula One driver and one of the hottest favourites in Sportsbetting. The 24-year old Lewis was spotted as a youngster racing at Buckmore by the McLaren Mercedes Team boss, Ron Dennis, and was taken under his wing.
The nurturing that the Team gave to Lewis paid off when he became the 2008 Formula 1 World Champion and subsequently received the 2008 BBC sports personality of the year award for the best sport man of the year on December 14 2008. Hamilton won the F1 Championship in a nail biting lap of the last race in Brazil by one point over Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. He was subsequently selected for the BBC award after being the younger driver to win the Formula One World Championship title.
Considered to be one of the best British sportsmen ever, Hamilton has a 2nd championship title in his sights. This time he will be driving his new car, the new Mercedes-powered MP4-24. He said, “The car looks beautiful…This is now my third season…I want the title again, that’s what we will be pushing for.” Hamilton believes that this year’s championship will be open due to the new rule changes. “That’s a great prospect for F1 fans,” he says. These changes include slick tyres instead of the previous 11 years of grooved tyres and the reduction of the rear wings on the cars to name a few.
It will be interesting to see how the favourites perform this year under these conditions. Spills or speedy passing? What will be the order of the day? For more rules changes, check out the official Formula One website.
The New Year’s resolution for Bingo Day for 2009 is to pay the utility bills for one of its Players for one full year. Players of this top-notch bingo hall will agree that Bingo Day understands just how trying these recent economic times have been for everyone so much so that they are willing to absorb these utility bills costs so that lucky Player can spend his/her money on other enjoyable things.
This special promotion runs til the end of January. Players must qualify to enter the random draw which will take place at the end of the month. Deposits of £20 will award Players entry into the draw. The winner of the draw will receive £1,500 to be used to pay his/her utility bills for the rest of 2009. The more deposits that are made, the greater the chances of winning. Players can also obtain tickets for the draw when they play specific games in the bingo hall.
More info is available at the Bingo Day website – see the Promotions section for details.
There is a vast difference to gambling online than gambling in a land-based casino – both good and bad. Below are my personal opinions on gambling online.
- You can play from the comfort of your own home. No more getting yourself ready and driving, walking, or taxiing to the casino.
- There is no obligation to tip as there are no casino workers around.
- You can avoid distractions from other Players. It’s just you and the computer.
- You are treated more like a VIP at an online casino. Because of the competitiveness of the online casino/ gambling business, many casinos will offer high bonuses, free cash, free credits, prizes such as trips or gift certificates to name a few just to get and keep your business.
- The rules are more varied and sometimes better than in land-based casinos.
- Your withdrawals take some time to process so you don’t immediately get your winnings as you would in a land-based casino. The casino has a policy regarding processing times for withdrawals and, additionally, there may be delays or policies instituted by the payment provider as well.
- If you use your credit or debit card to fund your playing account, your statements will usually specify the name of the merchant bank and not the name of the casino. This can be a hellish ordeal when it comes time to balance your statement.
- Where customer service is concerned, it’s a hit and miss. Some online casinos offer superior Customer Support and clearly publish contact email addresses and toll-free numbers on their site to make it easy for the prospect or actual Player to get in touch with a real live person. Some even go as far as to offer live chat services where a Player can speak directly with a representative right away and also call-back services where a Player can input his/her telephone number and a time that is convenient for a rep to call him/her back. Some online casinos publish their contact details on the site but may not be available 24/7 to accept a phone call or a Player may end up waiting days to get an email reply. Checking out online gambling forums to see which casinos receive the most bad press is a good way to nip that problem in the bud.
- Gambling disputes. These normally occur due to discrepancies with bonuses and withdrawals. Cases where a Player feels he/she has met specific wagering requirements but did not receive the bonus or where he/she has waited past the timeframe for a withdrawal to be processed but did not receive payment will more often than not lead to a dispute. The Player not knowing where to turn and having exhausted his options with contacting the casinomay feel the need to dispute the charge in the form of a chargeback. When a Player does a Chargeback, the casino may or may not (depending on the severity or circumstances surrounding the incident) report the Player to casino watchdog sites and the software provider so that his/her name is entered into a negative database. Once a Player’s name is blacklisted in this way, it becomes difficult for him/her to register accounts at other online casinos. Even if his/her name is accepted for registration, he/she will probably not receive the same courtesies as another Player (for e.g. he/she may not be eligible for deposit bonuses or other similar promotions. This is almost a no-win situation for both the casino and the Player because at some point in time, one of them could be construed as being dishonest in the face of a publicized matter.
To avoid The Bad and The Ugly, I urge Players to ask themselves 7 key questions before deciding on an online casino. Especially important is a casino’s reputation – is it licensed, does it pay its Players, and does it have multiple reliable payment options.
Click here for more key points on how to choose an Online Casino.