The UK Bingo scene is widespread. Worth more than £1.3 billion every year, the development of web bingo led to a multiplication of bingo websites in the past decade. Nonetheless, things are taking a new turn. Since 2017, for the very first time, the number of internet bingo sites getting close was more than the number of bingo sites opening.
Since then, the difference has been getting wider and numerous bingo operators such as Rank Group PLC (LON: RNK), who regulated Mecca Bingo, are now concerned that over-regulation could cause a massive decline in bingo.
The past year witnessed a record number of penalties dished out to wagering operators. Gambling giant 888 were slapped with a record penalty of £7.8 million for not protecting vulnerable customers who still could access their bingo platform.
William Hill was also on the receiving end of a hefty penalty, having to pay up £6.2 million for violating anti-money laundering and social responsibility conditions. Operators are more closely monitored for self-exclusion more than ever before. An approximated 6% stakes have self-excluded with numbers scaling higher per year.
Since the UKGC took control of web-based gambling activities back in 2014, it has leaned majorly on sports wagering and casino sites. Nonetheless, in the last year and a half, bingo has seen its operators put under the spotlight, most notably in advertising.
Stride Gaming, a UK based bingo regulator, was charged with compliance failure and fined with a £7.1m at the end of last year, this followed after previous warnings. Compliance is even more stringent with the latest introduction of KYC (Know Your Customer) rules which as at this month requires every potential bingo participators to verify and Identify themselves at the point of registration.
It is implied that a weak onboarding process could lead to a drop of up to 45%. On the advertising world, questions are being asked as to whether the ASA is laying over-protective regulations on staking? Recent rulings indicate they are.
Finally, the impacts of the wagering tax increase, from fifteen percent to twenty-one percent will, without doubt, compel a pressing on betting operators. As at now, there has emerged statements on closures on wagering shops or bingo halls, and we are yet to see the full effects.
Regulatory bodies have tightened up their belts and so not appear to be loosening up any time soon. Upon settling down on the newly updated set of both KY and regulations procedures, online bingo sites will get used to the change and learn to live by it. Online bingo in the UK will survive, but the squeezing is on.
Elsewhere, Buzz Bingo the most extensive retail operator in the UK has pledged to offer more than 500,000 pounds in donations towards two Alzheimer charities in an upcoming event on Saturday 15th June.
The charity occasion hosted at Buzz Bingo Tooting, South London will be open to every buzz bingo member who will as well refresh themselves with a complimentary drink on arrival.T hey will also have a chance to carry home one of the ten £1000 full House Prizes.