Both online bingo and land-based bingo are still as popular as ever; however, some people may still be worried about playing, especially online. Online bingo is 100% safe and secure when you join a properly licensed and regulated site. In the UK, the official authority for regulation is the Gambling Commission, but there are many other reputable authorities worldwide. Carry on reading to find out more about the main gambling regulators, bingo licensing and regulation in the UK, and which countries worldwide provide online bingo licenses.


The Main Gambling Regulators

There are many different gambling regulators around the globe, and some have a better reputation than others. Here are some of the most reputable and recognisable gambling regulators you will find when online gambling:

There are many other commissions available but may not have the same reputation as those listed above. Additionally, countries such as the United States have separate regulators for each state.


How Does the UK Gambling Commission Create Bingo Regulations?

In the UK, the regulatory authority body for gambling is the Gambling Commission. All bingo and casino sites have to be licensed and regulated by this body if they want to operate legally in the UK. This also applies to other forms of gambling such as poker, sports betting, lotteries, and land-based venues.

The role of this body is to protect players in the UK from rogue sites or bad practices. They will ensure that all UK gambling laws are enforced and that they create regulations to help players. They will ensure these rules are enforced by:

  • Visiting gambling sites
  • Doing regular reviews with the gambling site
  • Providing help and advice to ensure compliance with bingo regulations
  • Can issue fines
  • Can remove licenses and ability to trade

By enforcing these rules, players can enjoy gambling with complete peace of mind that it is safe and secure.


UK Bingo Regulation and Legislation

The term ‘gambling’ covers both land-based and online bingo regulation, and in the UK, bingo is subject to legislation to both. It is regulated by the Gambling Commission and must comply with these laws to keep its license to operate. There are a few pieces of gambling legislation that have impacted bingo in recent years.

Gambling Act 2005

The first gambling act was introduced back in 1968 and so to keep up with the times, it was updated in 2005 to provide more regulation. It was this legislation that established the UK Gambling Commission and it also allowed gambling advertisements to be shown on television. Furthermore, it stated that under this law, you had to be of the legal age to gamble

Gambling Act 2014

In 2014, the Gambling Act was overhauled. Now, any online bingo site operating in the UK, advertising to UK players and targeting UK players, must be licensed and authorised in this country. This also means they cannot be based off-shore and have to follow the strict advertising laws, tax laws and codes of conduct. It also now falls to the site to find out where players are from, verify their age, and confirm their address.


Bingo Legislation Around the World

Online and land-based bingo are not legal in all parts of the world, and below we have listed countries and whether or not bingo is legal in their borders.

Online Bingo Legal Land-Based Bingo Legal No Legal Framework
Argentina Yes Yes
Australia Yes Yes
Austria Yes Yes
Bahamas No Yes
Bahrain No No
Belarus Yes Yes
Belgium Yes Yes
Brazil Yes No
Canada Yes Yes
China No No
Cuba No No
Denmark Yes Yes
Finland Yes Yes
France Yes Yes
Germany Yes Yes
Greece Yes Yes
Iceland Yes – limited No
India No No
Ireland Yes Yes
Italy Yes Yes
Japan No No
Mexico Yes
Netherlands Yes Yes
New Zealand Yes Yes
Norway Yes – limited Yes- limited
Pakistan No No
Portugal Yes Yes
Russia Yes – limited Yes – limited
Sweden Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates No No
United Kingdom Yes Yes