Bingo Site Scams – Scaremongering or Serious Threat?
As the number of people playing online bingo heads ever further skywards, so does the number of people, though much much smaller, that have some kind of complaint about the game or a particular site. So how much truth are there in these reports of online bingo scams and how can you tell if a bingo site is 100% legit?
The different kinds of Internet bingo scams can be roughly divided into four types of customer review / report, almost always because people feel like they are being ripped off:
The “I never won anything on this site” bingo scam, often accompanied by reports that, “the only player that ever wins is MotherOf3”
Not Paying Winnings: the “This site won’t let me withdraw my money” bingo scam
Not Fair: the “I never won the jackpot on slot game Penguin Magic” scam
The “Don’t play online bingo anywhere, the whole thing’s a scam” comment
IMHO these bingo customer complaints often look like they were written in the heat of the moment and in the worst cases sound extremely unreliable. At the same time, when reading them you do get the feeling that some people really genuinely feel cheated, which is obviously not a good thing. Unfortunately, advice out there for how to spot a bingo scam rarely offers much more than, “don’t trust anyone and do your homework”. Also, it is crucial on your end to play responsibly in every bingo site you go to.
Let’s have a look at each of the four kinds of online bingo scam in turn to see whether I can offer anything better…
1. Unfair Bingo Games
If it is important for you that the place you play bingo is fair (because you want to have the same chance of winning as everyone else) then you are not alone. A lot of people are happy playing and chatting but for many others this is not enough. It is very difficult to work out for yourself if a bingo site is fair – unfortunately bingo sites are not obliged to publish information (see 4.) about the number of players in a game or how many cards they have bought in total.
The result is that there is not way for us to know what our chances of winning are, or how they compare from one site to the next :(. So what can you do?
You can put your trust in the random number generator certificates you see displayed on bingo sites. And you can try to keep track of how much you and your mates win.
2. Unpaid Bingo Winnings
I’m guessing this is probably the single most common complaint by customers of UK bingo sites. To come so close to a big win only to find you’re still a long way from actually getting your bingo fingers on the money is sure fire way to get someone fired up. There are two main reasons it can happen:
a) The bingo site has complex terms and conditions relating to the bonuses it gives away and bingo withdrawal conditions that are not always well understood by players.
b) The player has some genuine or perceived irregularities with his or her account details that mean the site management decide to ask for special identity checks before releasing money.
It seems a shame to me that (a) is an issue. If Ts & Cs were better written and players took the time to read them then probably many people would be less disappointed. Meanwhile, with (b) is often a case of your word against mine. Who do you believe? Unfortunately, it does seem possible that some players are treated badly by bingo sites that are too concerned about preventing fraud.
3. Unfair Slot Games
This problem is very similar to (1) with the crucial difference that you can take positive action if you choose to: some bingo sites regulated by the Alderney gaming commission are obliged to publish statistics showing how likely players are to win on different slot games. So if you think life might be a little fairer if you know what your chances of winning are then look for the AGCC logo on bingo sites’ login pages.
4. Is Online Bingo Legit?
This question sounds sort of ridiculous, but it’s not – as parents and teachers are keen to remind us: there’s no such thing as a silly question. But the answer is sort of simple really, and is the same as the answer to this question: are you having fun? If the answer is (and you’re not spending your way through your life savings doing so then where’s the problem?
If the answer is no and your annoyed because you haven’t won much money then hun you shouldn’t be playing online bingo. However, you should always remember to stay healthy when playing bingo, because that what it is for – fun and enjoyment ;).