When organising a fun event like a bingo night to raise some funds for your chosen cause, the last thing you want to deal with is a bunch of legal jargon and confusion about whether you’re accidentally breaking the law.
As you may be aware, bingo is legally considered to be gambling and therefore falls under UK gambling legislation.
Bingo halls and online bingo sites require a UK gambling licence to operate, but do you need to worry about this when organising a bingo night fundraiser?
The short answer is no, not unless you don’t follow the rules. Unlike bingo sites, you don't need a gambling licence to host a bingo night. As long as you follow our instructions below and set up your bingo night correctly, you should be able to avoid any legal complications.
Yes, playing bingo in dedicated halls or playing online bingo is gambling. However, non commercial bingo nights are considered ‘gaming’ by the Gambling Commission, alongside casino nights and race nights.
If you are running one of these events for commercial purposes and intending to make a profit then you will need a gambling licence in order to operate. If you want more information on how to go about this, please visit the Gambling Commission website.
As you are likely intending on running a bingo night for fundraising purposes, then the rules are slightly different!
You do not need a gambling licence to run a fundraising event or a private bingo night, but that doesn’t mean you have free reign to run the event how you want.
Whether your event is open to the public or being held privately for a society (such as a sports club), you need to organise your bingo night to follow the below rules.
As long as you follow the guidelines above you should be able to have a fun, profitable bingo night without running into any issues with legislation. For more detailed or specific information, please contact the Gambling Commission.
By now you should be clued up on whether you need a gambling license, but do you know which type of bingo you want to play?
Max has written news & content online for nearly 10 years. As the editor of Online Bingo, Max is writing and editing the site's gambling content and also writes video games content for LootPots.
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