One of the most common calls of the disgruntled player is that the game is rigged. Frustrated at their losing streak, their only conclusion is that someone, somewhere is cheating. But is it actually possible to rig a game of bingo? That’s what we’re going to look at on this page…
If you head to the majority of bingo halls in the UK, especially those run by the larger companies, you can be sure that they’re conducting the game fairly. This article is about whether bingo could be rigged though, not whether it is, and the answer when it comes to land-based bingo is yes, it would be fairly easy to rig a game.
Just think, all the caller has to do is get details of someone’s card, then they can shout out any number they like – they don’t have to use the ones on the drawn balls. After all, who is going to check that they’re calling out the correct numbers? It’s simple, but it has undoubtedly been done somewhere in the world before. As previously stated though, it’s highly unlikely that it’s happening in your local bingo hall, due to the technology in place. At a small game of bingo in your local village hall though? It’s certainly possible.
Most players now prefer to enjoy bingo online though, so is it possible for bingo sites to cheat their players? Luckily, the online world is an incredibly safe place to play, as you’ll see next…
Now let’s look at cheating in online bingo – or, more specifically, why it is pretty much impossible for it to happen. Firstly, the whole process is automated – there’s no physical caller shouting out the numbers, so this removes any chances of the caller being a cheat.
Next, you have to remember that all online bingo runs using something called a random number generator (RNG). This algorithm randomly selects which ball is called next, with each ball having an equal chance of being selected. Now, you might be thinking that someone could manipulate these RNGs, and you’d be right. This is where the Gambling Commission and other external organisations come into play though…
Any reputable bingo site – including all those recommended by us – are licenced and regulated by the Gambling Commission. If they aren’t, they’re breaking the law by accepting UK players. The Gambling Commission is a highly respected organisation and will not give licences out easily. Instead, the bingo site in question must meet certain criteria, including being fully transparent about their RNG and allowing it to be tested to verify it’s fair.
If an online bingo site was caught cheating by the Gambling Commission, that would be the end of their licence. This, in turn, would mean that they were unable to offer services in the UK, which would cost them huge sums of money. Their reputation would also be heavily tarnished, meaning that they’d have problems recruiting new players in other countries as well.
If you are still concerned about rigged bingo, you should remember that every online bingo site we recommend is a fair one. This is because we only recommend sites that have been licenced by the Gambling Commission, meaning that they certainly aren’t rigging their games. This means that you should feel completely safe playing at any of our recommended sites.
So, why not head to our reviews section and take a look through the sites we recommend? You’ll then easily be able to pick a fair bingo site to play at.
Beth Taylor is head of content at BingoSites and has been writing about online bingo for the past 5 years. She is considered an industry expert and is a regular attendee at industry events and conferences. Having studied journalisim at King's College London, she combines this with her passion for bingo to produce the independent content for this website.