Formed in 1998, The Bingo Association represents the the whole of the bingo industry from town centre bingo halls to bingo rooms in holiday parks.
The Bingo Association places itself at the forefront in informing the operational and development side of the bingo hall gambling sector. The Bingo Association currently appear to provide more of a focus on bingo hall premises rather that online providers. There are currently 62 members of The Bingo Association.
What Does The Bingo Association Do?
Made up of a board of executive council members, The Bingo Association has an active involvement in consultations on the bingo sector including regulatory issues; there will certainly be a representation from the Bingo Association when the government do sit down imminently to review the Gambling Act 2005.
They will shape and drive changes to the sector agenda and constantly look to the positive future of the very well loved, universal game, which is certainly placed at the most gentle end of the whole of the gambling industry.
The Bingo Association provides a forum for industry professionals and will represent the sector within the media. They have the hearts of bingo players in mind and of course want to ensure the retail aspect of bingo continues to be lucrative and firmly positioned in our communities.
Ensuring Continued Social Responsibility
The Bingo Association will continually strive to ensure a night out at the bingo hall or a night in with online bingo is a controlled and harmless occasion. They make it clear that playing bingo must not be promoted as an opportunity to change your life.
Therefore in order for bingo operators to become members of The Bingo Association, they must sign a confirmation that they will abide by The Bingo Association Code Of Conduct For Responsible Gambling entitled “Getting It Right” .
The Bingo Association expects of its member to provide support for players that wish to self exclude from bingo halls. This is a process whereby a player can complete a form and provide a photograph which will place their details on a national database shared with all members.
The Bingo Association strive to ensure there is a ‘zero occurrence’ of gambling harms in bingo halls.
How Bingo Can Maintain Social Responsibility
The Code Of Conduct entitled Getting It Right has a really succinct list of 12 pieces of guidance that Bingo Operators should follow:
- To monitor and review the effectiveness of the Code of Conduct through the Standing Compliance Committee of The Bingo Association.
- To adopt industry best practice initiatives through the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG).
- To ensure staff understand and are aware of Social Responsibility commitments through staff training programmes.
- To participate in The Bingo Association’s Industry Self-Exclusion Scheme.
- To establish clear anti-money laundering protocols.
- To manage clear messaging relating to the protection of player funds.
- To participate in The Bingo Association’s annual licensed premises Age Verification Scheme.
- To make the appropriate annual cash contribution to a gambling charity, preferably to GambleAware®.
- To support a responsible marketing strategy that gives clear information to assist customers in making informed choices.
- To use IBAS as the Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) entity for complaints and disputes.
- To comply with the Gambling Advertising Code.
- To support The Bingo Association’s National Charity.
Industry Magazine: Bingo Connect
The Bingo Association Operate a useful industry magazine entitled Bingo Connect. This magazine can be accessed online for all currently and members will also receive paper copies from 2021.
Bingo Connect provides a platform for all things bingo hall, including companies that print bingo tickets or have any involvement in the operations side of the industry, support and advice for bingo hall owners and managers and advice for employees.
Who Are The Council Members?
There are two people directly employed by the Bingo Association, however the rest of the council is made up of members whom are associated or employed by bingo retailers in the UK. Chris Matthews who is the CEO for Buzz Bingo is The Bingo Associations Chairman.
There are numerous other members including representatives from Mecca, Castle Leisure and Carlton Leisure, being major players in the bingo hall industry.