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Mar 11, 2020

4 min to read

Prize Bingo

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Gambling has 2 forms of play: for money (most common) and for prizes. The last means a player is rewarded with cash substitutes, such as winning chips, tokens, some material goods etc.

According to the Gambling Commission definition , “prize gaming“ has 2 determining characteristics:

  • the number of people playing
  • the amount paid for or raised by the game

Speaking of bingo in the United Kingdom, the following establishments can run prize bingo games without having operating license:

  • adult gaming centers
  • family entertainment centers
  • unlicensed family entertainment centers
  • travelling fairs

Meanwhile, these 4 categories should match the following regulations:

  • the maximum stake of £1 and a prize worth no more than £70 - per game
  • no more than £500 of prizes per game
  • no more than £500 in stakes per game.

Prize competitions vs. Free draws vs. Lotteries

Gaming establishments in the UK are allowed to organize prize competitions, as well, without having licence.

According to the Gambling Act 2005, prize competition is one run in such a way that the organisers believe that the requirement for skill, knowledge or judgement will either:

  • deter a significant proportion of those who wish to enter from doing so, or
  • prevent a significant proportion of those who do enter from winning a prize

The free draw is similar to prize gaming, however, has a distinguishing lineament - a price for entry. Two types of free draws are determined, hence:

  • where all entries are free
  • where there are both paid and free entry route

However, these gaming should be organized carefully in order not to take the form of illegal lottery.

See the table with distinguishing features of prize competitions or free draws and lotteries in the UK (consider this is non-exhaustive).

Prize competition & Free draw Lottery
Purpose can be organised commercially for private benefit and profit can only be run for good causes
Outcome depend on the exercise of skill, knowledge, or judgment by the participant depends on chance
Permission (licence) not required required
Regulatory Institutions The Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Act 2005

The Gambling Commission

Where to play prize bingo in the UK?

TOP bingo sites, such as Tombola or Wink Bingo, offer free bingo games for prizes. If you’re living in the UK and willing to find an offline bingo club and play bingo for prizes, here’s our best venues to visit:

  • Quasar Amusements
  • Majestic Amusements
  • Oasis Amusements
  • Deluxe Bingo Hastings

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