Essentially, online bingo is a form of gambling based on the fact that players wager money to try and win more.
In certain countries, gambling is prohibited, however in the UK and a number of other regions across Europe, online bingo has a large following, with more joining up to sites every day. With in excess of 250 UK and Ireland based bingo sites, there is ample choice for customers to make their decision.
Online bingo effectively, is no different from the rules of online gambling with sites having to abide by the same rules and regulations. Because of the fact that the majority of gambling firms also either offer online bingo under their same brand or either own separate brands, this is a firm indicator that bingo is legal to play online – at least in countries where gambling is legal anyway.
What you should look out for when searching for an online bingo site
Players who are interested in playing online bingo need to have an idea of what to look out for when trying to find a bingo site to join.
Without a doubt, the most important thing is to make sure that the site is licensed and regulated by a relevant authority, such as the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) and you can usually find this out by scrolling down to the bottom of the site and looking in the footer, where you will see the logo of the particular gambling commission.
Furthermore, the job of the particular gambling authority is to police the internet regularly to ensure that gambling websites are following the guidelines and regulations that they have set, which means that the likelihood of a site displaying this logo without having prior consent is highly unlikely. This is because gambling commissions are on top of things and tend to know every online gambling site that falls under their jurisdiction.
The relevant gambling commissions provide the bingo (or gambling) sites with licences, which enable them to be able to run smoothly, adhering to the guidelines set out by the particular commission.
There are, as a result, three different kinds of licences that bingo companies require, which apply to certain criteria.
These are ‘operating licence’, ‘personal management licence’ and ‘premises licence’ and while some businesses may need all three, it is the ‘operating licence’ that applies to the majority of companies, especially those that only have sites.
The licences stipulate that online bingo sites adhere to certain rules, which ultimately ensures that the players are protected, and fair practices are carried out.
Two of the biggest elements that they cover are the protection of customer funds, which requires the operators who hold the customer funds to disclose information to customers about whether their funds are protected if insolvency occurs, the level of protection that the customer has and which method helps to achieve this.
Secondly is the segregation of customer funds which stipulates that all operators who are remote and hold customer funds to make sure they are kept separate from the ones which belong to that particular company.
When a bingo site applies to the gambling commission with an application, the gambling commission in question has to review an ample list of considerations before moving forward. These points include the identity or ownership of the site in question, the financial status of that person(s), honesty and integrity of the person(s), while history, expertise and experience are also factors, while any criminal records will also be taken into account as well.
The codes of practice that online bingo sites have to follow include making sure that all gambling which occurs is conducted in a fair and open way, there are no underage or vulnerable who will be harmed or exploited to gambling and there is assistance that is available which points people in the right direction if they have been or could in the future be affected by the problems of gambling. These fall under section 24 of the Gambling Act 2005.
Online bingo sites also have to adhere to marketing standards, which falls under the purview of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), ensuring that they make it perfectly clear that there are no guarantees about winning as well as potentially misleading information in their marketing material, including their website as well as any television adverts.