Bingo is deemed to be 'equal chance gaming'. This is defined as gaming where:

  • it does not involve playing or staking against a bank 
  • the chances are equally favourable to all players

In order to provide bingo as a commercial venture, a bingo operating licence is required from the Gambling Commission and a premises licence is required from the Council as the Licensing Authority.

Bingo may be played in:

Commercial bingo clubs

Where there should be no statutory limits on:

  • stakes and prizes 
  • frequency of multiple bingo games


Not permitted under previous legislation.

Clubs and pubs

  • no authorisation is needed under the Gambling Act 2005 unless the bingo offered is "high turnover bingo"
  • high turnover bingo is defined as bingo where the total stakes and prizes in any 7 day period exceeds £2000
  • the "high turnover period" expires 12 months after the first day of the 7 day period that triggered the period to begin
  • any subsequent high turnover period does not result in a new 12 month period beginning 

Gaming machines in bingo premises

Where the operator holds a operating licence and a premises licence for the provision of bingo (commercial clubs and casinos) a maximum of 8 gaming machines of category B3 or B4 may be made available for use. An unlimited number of category C and D machines may be made available for use.

Visit the Gambling commission’s website to apply for a gambling licence.

Apply for a gambling licence