Is online bingo in the UK legal

In the past, people used to play bingo in person at a church or town hall

Today, people can still go out to a bingo hall and play a game of bingo with other players in person, but there is another option for those who want to play the game from the comfort of their own home – online bingo.

What is online bingo? Online bingo is just like old-fashioned bingo, but the game takes place on your computer or smartphone.

Gambling Commission
Gambling Commission

You can play online at any time, day or night. The first thing you do is buy some credits from the website you're playing on. Once you have credits, you can go to a bingo room and start playing for free, or you can purchase a ticket that allows you into a more exclusive room with a better payout.

Legislation: What is the legality of online bingo in the UK?

In contrast to many other nations, online bingo and other types of 'for money' gaming are not only legal but also licensed and controlled in the United Kingdom.

This implies that as long as you play at a licensed bingo site, you can expect a fair game. So, if you're thinking about joining a new gaming site, the first thing you should do is check its licensing status. The UK Gambling Commission should properly license and regulate any platform that offers real money online gaming to UK players.

Despite the fact that bingo has no legal definition or set of rules by which it is played, the product has evolved to the point where it is regarded an equal chance game.

While no official definition of bingo exists, the UK Gambling Commission has issued its own interpretation of the game and how it differs from other kinds of gambling. As a result, any platform intending to lawfully provide bingo games to the general public in the United Kingdom must first obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission.

Types of Licenses

Before bingo enterprises may legally sell products to players, they may need to apply for one of three types of licenses offered by the UK Gambling Commission. Depending on the nature of the business and where it operates, some firms may require all three licenses, while others may just require one.

  • Licence to operate.
  • Licence for personal management.
  • Personal permission to use.
  • Licence to operate on the premises (issued by the local council, not the UKGC).

In most cases, if you're providing bingo services, you'll require an operational license, which covers all online platforms. This license applies to bingo rooms as well as remote bingo services where players pay to play. A license like this will cover a wide range of activities.

What steps should you take if you believe a bingo site in the United Kingdom is breaching the law?

If you believe a UK bingo site is not following the rules, the UKGC provides channels and processes for you to file a complaint. You may believe, for example, that you have not been paid when you have won, or that you have not been paid the whole amount, that the advertising terms and conditions have not been followed, that your bets have been cancelled, or that you have not gotten adequate customer service.

What can you expect from a licensed bingo site in the United Kingdom?

When using a licensed bingo site in the UK there are some very important services & features you need to look out for.

The paperwork required for new bingo sites to get licensed is extensive, and casual gamers are unlikely to want to go through it all. As a result, some of the important features and services you can expect while playing at a licensed and controlled UK online bingo site are summarised below:

  • Easy access to current balance information as well as the opportunity to evaluate previous transactions.
  • Information that clarifies the worth of any transaction, as well as how much you're betting.
  • If and how your deposited monies are protected if the business falls insolvent should be specified in the T&Cs.
  • Game rules, how-to-play pages, and RTP information are all easily accessible.
  • The potential prizes and payouts in a game must be displayed.
  • If you are affected by a system error, you will be alerted, and steps should be made to correct it.
  • Free play games do not present deceptive information about the chances of winning when playing for real money, for example, they employ the same RNG as real money games.
  • The regulations for the progressive jackpot are clearly displayed and easily accessible.
  • A description of what happens if a game is halted due to a system malfunction is presented.
  • There are facilities in place to help players set personal restrictions on how much they wager or how long they play (including the capacity for reality checks to appear on screen).


In conclusion, online bingo in the UK is legal and operators are strictly regulated.

Online bingo in the UK has been legalised, which was not the case before 2001, and operators are strictly regulated.

It is safe to say that playing bingo online is risky and therefore players should be careful.

The game can provide some fun and entertainment when played offline, but there are many risks involved when playing bingo online.