Statistics show that bingo is rising in popularity, with as many as 1.35 million people playing the game online or in person over the past month. As a result, the Gambling Commission has released guidelines for the running of Bingo events at common locations such as nightclubs and student union bars.
The guidelines are offered by the Commission’s Senior Manager Peter Rangeley to ensure the events are properly regulated and run legally.
Rangeley’s tips include:
1. In order for premises to legally host a bingo game, they must first have a liquor license. No under 18s are allowed to participate and steps to avoid underage gambling must be in place.
2. Games must be non-profit. Venues cannot charge for participation nor can they take a percentage of any winnings or losses. Furthermore, games cannot be held at venues that require an entrance fee and all money raised through stakes must be returned as prize money.
3. Maximum stakes must not exceed £5 per game and all participants must have equal chances of winning.
4. Individual bingo games cannot operating across different venues and cannot be linked up or run in collaboration.
5. Games that exceed £2,000 worth of stakes, whether in a single game or collectively over the space of a week, must inform the commission of their intention and may need to apply for an operating license.
6. Games that are conducting for a charitable event may benefit from operating under different rules for non-commercial gaming.