The Credentials Of Trusted Bingo Sites
When we talk about the credentials of a trusted bingo site, we are talking about the main factors that give them a good name in the industry. This includes things like their customer service, their licences and, how they look after your data. Let’s take dive in and take a look.
One of the most important factors to consider is funds protection. Much like when you buy something on the high street, you expect a level of protection if something goes wrong with the item that means you want your money back. Thankfully, if you buy something on a credit card or via your bank account, you are often protected by either the bank, credit company or in some cases the government. However, this is not always the case when it comes to online bingo.
If a bingo site is properly licensed, then under the terms of their licence they will be obliged to hold your funds in a separate account to the one they use to run their business. However, if the bingo site goes out of business, can you trust them to look after your funds and give them back to you? This is where funds protection comes in, and under the UK Gaming Licence, bingo sites need to adhere to certain rules.
Basic Protection (Not Protected)
When a bingo site only offers basic protection, it means that the funds can be used to pay creditors in the event that the business goes bust. This used to be called basic protection but is now simply known as ‘not protected’ because if the business fails, your money will go with the business.
Now, if a bingo site only has basic protection, that doesn’t mean you should not trust them. Some of the biggest brands out there offer no protection, but given their size and scale are very unlikely to go under. If you start to sense that things are not as they should be, pull your money out of these sites, but if things are going well for the brand then you should feel ok about playing with them. Just keep your eye out on the industry and if things start to sound off, consider moving your money out of the bingo site.
Medium protection offers you some great protection because, in the event that the business goes bust, they have insurance that will guarantee you are paid out. Sites like Play OJO, and those operating in the Dragonfish network offer this medium level of protection. On the bingo sites with slots side, Nektan casino sites are also covered by medium protection.
High level of protection is the most trustworthy level of protection. In this instance, all player funds are ring-fenced and looked after by an independent party. That means, if the bingo site fails and goes bust, they have no claim or ownership over your funds. The party who carries out this service for them would repay you your money and you can use it to play with another bingo site. There are some great brands offering high protection like Coral Bingo.
Customer Service is something that really sets apart great bingo sites that you can trust. Less trustworthy operators will offer limited ways for you to contact them, as well as limited operating hours. This leads to a lack of trust as it means there is no one there to help you if something isn’t working as it should. Many of the best bingo sites offer various different ways for you to contact them, alongside 24/7 operating hours.
Live chat gives you the ability to load up a direct messaging chat box with the operator and ask a question. That means you don’t have to waste time giving them a call, and you can stay online while you get your issue resolved. Many of the best bingo sites offer this awesome functionality.
On top of live chat, the best bingo operators will also offer email support. This means of contact allows you to send them an email outlining your concern. This is a great means of contact for more serious issues or when you want to attach supporting documents.
Finally, there is nothing quite like being able to reach out directly on the phone. When you hear a voice at the other end of the line you can get a great sense of what’s going on at the brand and whether they’re a bingo operator you can trust. Getting someone on the phone is also one of the fastest ways to resolve your issue.
The most trustworthy bingo sites tend to offer:
- Free calling options from a UK landline
- 24/7 phone support
- Individual numbers specific to the brand you’re playing with. You will notice that some operators have their phone support provided by a 3rd party. That’s something we’re not that supportive of when it comes to recommending the most trusted bingo sites
Every single bingo site on the GamblingDeals.com platform needs to have a proper international gaming licence. That means that they are licensed by one or more of the big operators. The most common include the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission), MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) and the GGC (Gibraltar Gambling Commission). Holding a licence with one or more of these regulators means that they are kept in-line and play by the rules. If a bingo site asks you to sign up with them without a proper licence, turn and walk the other way. Not only will your money be at risk, but your customer data will also be put into bad hands.
Every single bingo site offered on the GamblingDeals.com platform holds a proper licence to operate as a bingo site online.
When it comes to complaints, we highly recommend that you avoid them by joining only the most trusted bingo sites. If you complain about something, your best bet of getting a favourable outcome is doing so with an operator who cares about their customers. If you find that you are hitting a brick wall with your complaint you dso have a couple of options but they’re not options that we would advise you rely upon.
If you cannot resolve your dispute directly you can go to an ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution provider). These are always specified in the bingo sites terms and give you the option to seek an independent outcome. The most common ADR’s are eCOGRA and IBAS. ADRs give you support when you are disputing an independent transaction like disputed winnings or withdrawal rejections. However, if you have a more general query, you won’t be able to get help.
If you have a complaint about the way in which a bingo site is operating (in that it is breaching the Gambling Commission rules) then you can take the complaint to the GC directly. However, this will often be resolved behind closed doors and you will not be given information on the outcome.
Our recommendation is to always make sure that you play with trusted bingo sites that care about you. The last thing that bingo sites with great brands want is unhappy customers spreading bad works about their brands. This is often your best leverage when it comes to resolving disputes.
When a brand has spent millions (sometimes tens of millions) building their brand, they won’t throw that away by acting in an untrustworthy manner. Brands like Betfred, Play OJO and Unibet are masters at marketing their brands and theycare about their reputation above everything else. One of the easiest ways to know that you can trust a bingo site is to only sign up with those that have very strong brands. It might be that you miss out on joining some exciting new entrants (which are also very trustworthy) but at least you’ll feel safe that you’re playing with a trustworthy operator.
Some things that we like to see when evaluating the fairness of trusted bingo sites are:
- Easy to find information. Important bits of information on slot and bingo games like the return to player rate is really important to see when you are depositing real funds
- Clearly defined wagering requirements, or even better… no wagering requirements at all! You will find that many of the best Dragonfish bingo sites like Cracker Bingo and Bounce Bingo have no wagering requirements
- Regular communications to let you know about the best new promotions for existing players. These often come in the form of emails, texts or sometimes phone calls. If customer service cares, they will always give you the heads up so that you don’t miss out
- Tonnes of information on the best bonuses and jackpots. For example, if you love playing certain slot games, it’s important to know when the jackpots are loaded up and ready to drop. You want to be the one who is spinning the reels when they’re locked and loaded
When it comes to trusted bingo sites, even the bottom of the pile has to look after your data. If they don’t then they are carrying out a breach of GDPR. The bottom line is that you should only sign up with brands that care about your data. But if you want to join the best, then seek out brands that tailor your communication preferences. For example, the best brands will allow you to only sign up to receive certain communications. For example, you might only want to get contacted via email, and not via text, phone or post.
The most trusted bingo sites will ensure that your data is well managed and that you get tailored communications.
The Best Gambling Tools
Some of the biggest bingo brands like Gala Bingo have sites that are designed to tell you everything you need to know about responsible gambling. If you are someone who loves a flutter but wants to ensure you’re told when enough is enough, only sign up with sites that care about you on a deeper level than your deposit value. Here are some great tools to look out for:
- Option to set limits on deposits, wagering, and losses
- Autoplay loss limits – especially when playing slot games
- Take A Break – informal opt-out that means you cannot log onto the bingo site for a few days
- Self Exclusion – means you can block yourself out of the site for a minimum of 6 months
- GAMSTOP – self-exclusion from every single gambling site operating with a UK Gaming Licence
- Reality Checks – reminders that you are playing often. Keeping you aware of how you’re playing
- Payment options – plenty of payment options are a great sign of a trusted bingo site – pay in using services like Paypal to get extra protection on your funds
If you want to play with trusted bingo sites. Keep an eye out for some of these great tools when you sign up to play.