The UK Gambling Commission and Player Safety

The UK has one of the largest and most active online bingo markets in the world. There are several reasons for this among them the 2007 smoking ban that sent millions of players online and the fact that bingo is considered a part of British culture. Bingo is more than a game for British players. Online bingo is a source of entertainment and social interaction for most players. With the increasing numbers of high speed internet users the game has become even more popular and some bingo halls have held training sessions to teach players basic computer and internet skills. Great Britain has one of the highest computer literacy rates in the developed world.

Even though most players see bingo as fun the government still regards the game as gambling and as such is subject to several regulations. The Gambling Act of 2005 set the regulations for bingo operators in the UK. There are at least three million regular online bingo players in the UK and the industry is worth about $2 billion annually. The rise in the number of players and the increased amounts of money to be made has prompted the government to put regulations in place to protect players. The fast paced games and large amounts of money to be won prompted the Gambling Commission to consider many factors.

One of the Gambling commission’s main concerns was to keep organized crime out of the internet bingo industry. The commission also wanted to protect the vulnerable, especially children, safe from criminal activity and exploitation. To gain a license in the UK online bingo operators must prove that their games cannot be tampered with and that the software is tested regularly. Credit cards are another concern and the commission requires sites to provide safe and secure transactions and are not allowed to divulge any player information to third parties. Today most reputable online bingo sites use state of the art security software for financial transactions.

Online bingo sites must divulge the terms and conditions of all bonus offers including wagering requirements. To prevent money laundering online bingo sites must submit their financial records for regular inspections. The Gambling Commission has asked online bingo sites to provide information about problem gambling and links to organizations that help and treat problem gamblers. Many online bingo sites offer a self-exclusion option for problem gamblers. Since a majority of players are women chat room rules are strictly enforced. Because of the rules set by the Gambling Commission UK bingo sites are probably the safest in the world.

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