UK Bingo Laws and Legislation
UK Bingo Halls are now extremely popular in the online environment and more and more people are joining these websites. You might think that there are risks involved when you join such a site and deposit money, but if you choose a bingo hall that is based in the UK, you should have no worries. UK Bingo Halls are regulated by the Gambling Commission. The Commission states that bingo itself has no legal definition in relation to the rules and the way of gameplay, but the games are usually similar in Great Britain.
Online bingo has to comply with the same regulations that non-remote bingo has to comply with. This assures customers of the fairness of each game. Bingo hall owners must be compliant to a set of rules imposed by the Commission. There are four elements that must be respected, the first one being the Gambling Act of 2005. Besides this, other regulations that are made under this act must be respected. Moving on, the LCCP, or the License conditions and codes of practice is another set of regulations that owners of bingo halls must be compliant with. Finally, operating licenses might also have technical standards that must be respected, as well.
The Gambling Commissions ensures that these regulations are enforced in multiple ways. Visits and reviews are made at specific time intervals. Guidance and advice is provided to license holders to help them become compliant with the regulations. Preventive or remedial action can be taken by the Gambling Commission in order for a bingo hall owner to become compliant, if any issues are discovered.
Gaming machines must also meet specific technical standards. The Gambling Commission provides detailed information about each category of machines, four of them being the main ones: A, B, C and D. There are also subcategories, such as B3 or B3A.
License holders that own a UK bingo hall must report key events to the Gambling Commission. The Commission covers all of the key events in a special document that can be easily accessed on their website. There are key events that are mandatory for reports, while others are optional. It is advised to report any of these events as soon as possible. There is the possibility to report a key event through email, but a letter can be sent to a physical address, too.
Bingo premises feature gaming machines, and this is another aspect regulated by the Gambling Commission. The machines that fall into the C and D categories are not limited when it comes to their number in the premises. However, B3 and B4 gaming machines can only represent 20% of the total number of machines located in a bingo hall. A B3 machine can be tested at an approved test house, but the other machines must be tested by the manufacturer in order to receive a functionality approval that is within the compliance limits.
Usually, a bingo hall requires a bingo license. These licenses can be operating licenses, personal management licenses or premises licenses. There are exceptions from each of these licenses and for example, operating licenses are not required if the bingo games are played for fundraising or in a pub. Licenses can be applied for to the Gambling Commission and if the process seems difficult sometimes, there are guidance articles designed for each kind of license that a person might want to request. Other elements might be required when it comes to the application, such as a business plan or an organizational chart. Once again, everything is listed on the page of the Gambling Commission.
As you see, UK bingo halls are regulated tightly by the Gambling Commission. If this might seem as a tedious process, you should know that it is designed to always benefit end-users. This way, you can have the guarantee that the games you engage in are fair, whether you decide to play bingo in a physical hall or on the Internet.