UK: Guidance on what constitutes “bingo”


In the UK, we have (like a number of other jurisdictions) an array of definitions for gaming products. “Bingo” is defined as “any version of that game, irrespective of by what name it is described” (s353(1)), which is not the most helpful definition.

It is an important issue for some operators who may provide products that sit uncomfortably between the definitions of “bingo” and “lottery”. Indeed, in some jurisdictions, the two are lumped together. The consequence in the UK is that bingo can be operated by private operators, whilst commercial lottery (so, put aside lotteries with charitable ends, generally) is the realm of the monopoly, Camelot.

The Gambling Commission has just published a note to try and assist operators. The guidance can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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