In some parts of the world, including a few US states, online bingo and even gambling as a whole is illegal. In other places, online bingo and gambling are allowed but players that win money have to pay taxes on their winnings.
Luckily, here in the UK online bingo is completely legal, plus you don’t have to pay the taxman a penny if you win.
However, not every online bingo site is reputable, so you’ll want to check that the operator or owner of the site is abiding by the law.
All online gambling operators who wish to offer games such as bingo, slots and casino games, as well as sports betting, must apply to the UK Gambling Commission for a licence. You can either check for the licencing number by looking at the very bottom of the online bingo site that you’re thinking about joining or you can search for the brand by name on the UKGC website.
The UK Gambling Commission monitors all of its licence holders to be sure that they uphold its strict codes of practice. There have been several instances recently of the Commission suspending or permanently revoking licences where they feel that the operator has breached the terms of its licence, so you know that there are constant checks going on.
Are your funds safe?
Other areas which operators must agree to as part of their gambling licence help to protect the funds that you spend at gambling sites. For example, operators must be transparent as to where they hold their customers’ funds (N.B., they are usually segregated in a separate account) and how players’ monies will be handled in the event that the operator becomes insolvent.
Taxes and withdrawing winnings
We mentioned earlier that UK law doesn’t require you to pay any tax on your gambling winnings, regardless of whether you win £1 or £1,000,000. However, some operators state in their terms and conditions that if you win a significant amount, they may pay you a fixed amount every month or year rather than one lump sum. While not an ideal scenario for the lucky winner, this is allowed.