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Jun
21st

Internet Bingo Sites Adopt Strict Age Verification Policies

For most people bingo is a socially acceptable form of gambling probably because of the game’s long association with churches and charities. Bingo is also considered a low stakes game that does not attract a criminal element. Problem gamblers are rare at internet bingo sites and many have programs in place to identify problem gamblers. Online bingo is one of the most popular and played games online but some officials are worried that bingo sites are not doing enough to identify underage players. In most jurisdictions players must be 18 years old to play internet bingo. Most bingo sites require players to submit some form of official identification to prove they are old enough to play legally. Most bingo sites require extensive information for players to withdraw winnings. Some players claim that withdrawal requirements are onerous and that some bingo sites will refuse withdrawals using the flimsiest of excuses.

Occasionally an underage player may slip through the age screening procedures at some bingo sites. There was a recent bingo news report of an underage player who won £180 pounds ($292.449 USD) while playing at a well known UK internet bingo site. The player was so thrilled with his win that he went on a well known social networking site to brag about his win. It was revealed that the lucky winner was only 16 years old and people began to ask why a 16 year old was able to play online bingo in the first place. While internet bingo is hardly a craze among 16 year olds the incident prompted the interest of government regulators.

The incident prompted questions of whether the bingo operator exercised due diligence in enforcing the age requirements for players. Land based bingo halls sometimes encounter underage players with fake identification cards but generally land based bingo halls have done a good job preventing underage gambling.  The UK is considering a ban on the use of credit cards at internet bingo sites and some regulators say that a credit card ban would make it much harder for underage gamblers to play online bingo. Most credit card companies require cardholders to be at least 18 years old. Actually a ban on the use of credit cards could make it easier for underage gamblers. Underage gamblers would simply turn to online payment processors with loose identification requirements.

Currently internet bingo sites are doing everything possible to prevent underage gambling. Most require extensive documentation from new players and will only accept certain forms of identification. While there may be an occasional mistake most bingo sites have a stellar reputation for preventing underage gambling.