Underage Players a Problem at Some Bingo Sites

Bingo is generally seen as a soft form of gambling and is considered socially acceptable by most people. There has been very little criminal activity associated with bingo and a vast majority of bingo players are women who are not inclined towards bad behavior. In the UK players at bingo sites must be over 18 years of age and most bingo sites go to great lengths to comply with the gambling laws regulating underage gambling. Many bingo sites require new players to either fax of mail a copy of a government approved form of identification, usually a driver’s license or passport.

Despite all the precautions taken by most bingo sites occasionally an underage player slips through. A recent report in the Daily Mail told the story of a 16 year old player that was able to log on the the Sky Bingo website. The player won £180 pounds ($292.062 USD) and then decided to brag about it on his Twitter account. Many wondered how an underage person was able to play bingo online in the first place and also wondered if he was able to collect his winnings. Land based bingo halls have had their own problems with underage players. Underage players may use forged identification making enforcement of age rules difficult. Today many young people look older than their chronological age and most bingo hall managers have had to deal with underage players at some point.

Under the current regulations online bingo players must be 18 years old and most credit card companies will not issue cards to those under 18. Recently government sources said that legislation is in the works that would ban the use of credit cards at all online gaming sites in the UK. The proposed regulations could have some unintended consequences and make it more difficult for online bingo sites to verify a player’s age. Many players would turn to ewallet services that generally do not have age requirements to establish an account.

Some experts see other problems with a wholesale ban on the use of credit cards at bingo sites. Currently some bingo sites require winners to provide extensive and sometimes unreasonable documentation to collect winnings. Gaming experts say that some bingo sites may abuse the new rules making it all but impossible for players to collect winnings. Sometimes well meaning legislation can have negative consequences.

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