Staying safe playing online bingo

 

This post was written on behalf of tombola bingo with editorial supervision from Digital Unite.
 
The great British pastime of bingo may seem to be in decline with an average of two bingo halls closed every month, but bingo itself is far from death’s door. Many fans are moving from physical bingo halls to online ones – in fact, internet bingo is currently estimated to be the fastest growing of any online game.
 
Playing Bingo on the internet can of course be a lot of fun, but as with any online activity you do need to be careful. Ewan MacDougal, writing on behalf of  tombola bingo has provided us with top tips for staying safe while playing online.
 
  • Research online bingo providers
An important first safety check is to do a quick internet search for some independent and trustworthy reviews of the bingo site in which you are thinking of spending any money.
 
Check out our guide on the best review sites, to find a trusted source.
 
  • Don’t give your details or spend money on a site on a poorly-rated site
Many bingo reviews you read will talk about the games available at a particular site, the nature of the community that frequent it and of course your chances of winning. Although these details are no doubt important to you, you should also pay attention to any claims that a site is untrustworthy. If you cannot find reviews of a site this is also a good indication that a site may not be very safe.
 
  • Do some safety checks yourself
Any UK gambling establishment, whether it is online or offline legally has to be licensed in a physical location, if a website is licensed you can be sure it has been subject to at least some checks from the Government, so make sure any site you use holds such a license. The website will most likely display this information prominently, often in an ‘about us’ section, or in the footer at the bottom of the website.
 
 
You can verify this information yourself by visiting the website of that gaming commission, a link to which will normally be provided by the gambling website that holds it.
 
  • Check the website’s security
For your safety, any website that you give your personal information to should be encrypting your data using a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer.) This makes it very difficult for anyone else to get hold of your data. Do not enter any personal information, particularly bank details unless you know the page has this protection. To be sure, check the website address bar when you are entering your information. If the website is safe the address will normally have turned green and have a padlock logo. Clicking on this will give you more information about the websites safety.
 
The padlock and green writing look slightly different depending on your browser.
 
Internet Explorer:
 
 
Mozilla Firefox:
 
 
 
Google Chrome:
 
 
  • Read the terms and conditions
At some point during the signing up process you will be asked to accept the terms and conditions of any gambling website that you join. Things to look out for in particular are any rules on when and how you can collect any winnings as well what you are agreeing to let the website do with your personal data (if they can sell it to third parties, for example). This way you know exactly what you are getting yourself in to. This is another time to look at reviews, usually any sites that have hidden unsavoury details within their terms and conditions will have been highlighted by reviewers.
 
  • Consider using PayPal
Most reputable bingo sites will allow you to add credit to your bingo account using PayPal. If you are not already familiar with PayPal more information can be found in our What Is PayPal? guide. PayPal is another way of sending your money to a website that you play on. Pay Pal charges a small commission so it can be slightly more expensive to use but means that the bingo site can never take more money than you give it permission to take, you do not need to provide the bingo provider with your bank details and you have access to PayPal’s services in money recovery should anything go wrong.
 
  • Look out for features to help you manage your spending
Bingo is a form of gambling and it is known that gambling can be addictive. If you think this is something that could affect you, many sites have features to help you manage your spending. Any bingo website should be associated and contribute to gamble aware, which offers information and advice on how to stop gambling developing into a problem or addiction.
 
Many sites offer further measures such as the ability to set a maximum spend limit which you decide upon before you play. When you reach this limit you are blocked from using the website for an allotted amount of time. This stops you from over spending in the heat of the moment and is quite difficult to undo as it is linked to your personal details and credit cards.
 
This post was written on behalf of tombola bingo with editorial supervision from Digital Unite.