Ever since Bingo was invented in the 1530s, the rules have shifted around a bit. It’s not exactly the same game that was known as “Il Gioco,” but that’s what happens when a game goes from country to country, then across an ocean and back. It’s like Chinese Whispers. It morphs somewhat and changes shape. New rules are implemented, and old ones are discarded.
That’s what happened to Bingo on its long journey to arrive in 2021. It’s been a lottery; it was called “beano,” the number of balls has changed, and now Bingo is one of the most diverse games within itself that exists – find out more at OnlineBingo.
You can play with numbers, words, and colors, or you can even use it as a drinking game. You can invent a new sort of Bingo where it’s mixed with online slots and call it Slingo, and you can even play Bingo in the middle of a rave and call it Bongo Bingo.
There must be thousands of forms of Bingo all around the world today, from classrooms to bingo halls. No one is that strict about how it’s played. That is until you start gambling.
Playing Bingo for Money in the UK
We’re going to focus solely on the UK for this article, as there are different rules around the world regarding betting regulations.
Clearly, in the UK, you’re free to play Bingo wherever you choose, provided you’re not playing for money. If you are, you’ll have to check you’re playing Bingo legally!
Firstly, the Gambling Commission establishes that within pubs and clubs:
“Bingo can be offered on alcohol-licensed premises, members’ clubs, miners’ welfare institutes, and commercial clubs without an operating license.”
However, the games must be only for adults over the age of 18 and mustn’t be linked with other games of Bingo on separate premises.
Pubs must also ensure that no participation fee is charged and that they remain within the stake limit of charging a maximum of £5 per person per game.
Bingo as “Prize Gaming”
Prize gaming is where various prizes can be won, but they are not directly related to the stakes paid. Importantly, regarding the number of people allowed to play Bingo, prize gaming means that neither the nature nor the size of the prize is determined by:
- the number of people playing
- the amount paid for or raised by the game.
Therefore, people can host Bingo as a “prize game” without a bingo operating license in adult gaming centers, family entertainment centers, unlicensed family entertainment centers, and traveling fairs.
This is different from “cash bingo,” though. Cash bingo is where the stakes paid make up the cash prizes that are won.
Bingo as “Cash Gaming”
Cash bingo is the main type of Bingo played in commercial bingo premises. As the UK Gambling Commission website Part 18, Section 3 tells us:
“Commercial bingo premises also offer prize bingo, largely as games played in the intervals between main stage games. This means that only premises with a bingo premises license, or a large casino premises licence issued under the Act (where the operator holds a bingo as well as a casino operating license), will be able to offer Bingo in all its forms.”
As long as there are at least three players involved in the bingo game, there are no numerical limits to how many people can play. However, if you’re playing in a live online event, the host may close the game for new entries when he or she deems that enough people are in.