In this article, we are going to advise how you can find out if an online bingo site is legitimate or not.
This is often related to how safe players are online and the legitimacy of a bingo site. However, there are a number of clues that players have at their disposal to check how secure the sites are.
Of course, the legitimacy of a bingo site can cover a number of factors and, as a result, players can rest assured that here at BingoSites we only recommend those sites that have passed all of the requisite checks and are deemed 100 per cent reliable. Let’s look at what players can check for to make sure that a bingo site is completely legitimate.
Is the bingo site licensed?
Every site that can be found here at BingoSites is licensed by the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission), as a minimum, while some have more than one licence. This effectively means that they are required by law to adhere to a set of legislation that is in place to protect players and their gameplay experience.
One easy way for players to check if a bingo site is licensed is by scrolling down to the footer of the homepage and searching for the relevant logo (simply UKGC), while some may state “licensed and regulated by the UKGC”.
All bingo sites are monitored on a weekly basis by representatives from the UKGC to make sure that they are operating in a way that is deemed ‘appropriate’ by the relevant gambling commission that they are licensed. Any issue that they encounter is immediately flagged and the bingo site is contacted to put it right immediately.
In addition, if a player suspects any foul play from a bingo site, they are well within their rights to report it to the relevant regulator, who is then obligated to investigate such matters. However, the recommended course of action is to first contact the bingo site in question about any issues that arise, who will internally investigate the matter. If a player is unhappy with the resolution, they can then take matters further with the regulator, explaining the course of action that has already been taken. If a bingo site is licensed, it means that there are several things that it has to have in place. Let’s take a look at what some of the main things are.
Online security surrounding banking and payment methods is one of the major concerns for online bingo players, primarily because some players deposit and withdraw large sums of money.
If a bingo site is licensed, it means that it must by law have SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption in place to protect all financial transactions and make sure that it is as robust as it can be.
Some players often prefer to use e-wallets (most bingo sites have at least one available, such as PayPal) because this adds an extra layer of security on top of the bingo site’s encryption.
If a bingo site is licensed, the regulator will insist that it has a Responsible Gambling policy and inform its players about it. The UKGC is closely affiliated with BeGambleAware – an organisation that promotes responsible gambling and as a result, many bingo sites have this logo on their site.
Essentially, this means players will see relevant text informing them of advice that can help to prevent gambling addiction, such as not wagering more than they can afford to lose and taking regular breaks. In addition, all online bingo sites are also required to have links to organisations that can help people who find that they may be developing an addiction to gambling.
By law, every online gambling site must be audited by an independent testing agency, which exists to ensure fairness across the board of all of a site’s products. There are many different testing agencies in the industry from several countries, though arguably, the most famous is eCOGRA, which is made up of consultants from some of the ‘Big 4’ management consultancies.
One of the responsibilities of testing agencies is to take a deep dive into every product at a bingo site. As a result, it has the resources to investigate the fairness of bingo games and also slots, which run off unique algorithms. Testing agencies look at things like the frequency of payouts, and how often specific numbers appear and make sure that slots have been categorised with the correct volatility and RTP (Return to Player) classification based on the results that they produce.
Every bingo site is required to undergo testing regularly, especially because many add new products all of the time, which makes it even more crucial. Also, it is easy to check if a site is subject to testing because they will promote this, usually in the footer of their site, with the relevant company logo.
Does the popularity of a bingo site provide any clues?
In most cases, if players notice that a site usually has many people in bingo rooms, taking part in a game and, regularly, this can often lend a big clue as to the legitimacy of a bingo site, which means many people are happy with their experience.
While this is by no means a guaranteed way of finding out how legitimate a site is (there could still be an issue), it does provide peace of mind to players – especially those who are new to the game.
Ultimately, players should always do their own due diligence when getting a feel for the legitimacy of bingo sites, though the checks that we have covered here are certainly good starting points.
David Smith-Williams is the managing director of BingoSites - one of the UK's leading online bingo operators. He has a proven track record in running successful online businesses and has worked across a number of top e-commerce brands in the UK. David has been interviewed by various business magazines and he holds a master's degree in business from Durham University in the UK. When he's not working, David enjoys sailing at the weekends with his wife and two young children.