Those who have been playing online bingo for any length of time may have noticed that bingo sites tend to come and go very quickly. There are several reasons for this, but often, it is simply a matter of a new site not being able to compete with its better-established rivals.
Whether it is old or new, if a bingo site that you are a member of closes, then you are sure to have questions, such as what happened to the site and what will happen to your money? Here, we will answer these questions and more.
Online bingo sites close more frequently than online casinos and one of the reasons for this is the way that the online bingo industry is structured.
As you are no doubt aware, all bingo sites are part of a bingo network. This network operates games and players from all sites on the network can join in. Players from all the sites on the network are playing against each other and competing for the same prizes.
The prizes in bingo are partially determined by how many people have bought tickets for the game; therefore, size and liquidity are crucial to a bingo network’s success. Therefore, the network operators carefully monitor each site to ensure that they are delivering enough players. If a site isn’t attracting enough players, it may be removed from the network.
As a result, only the sites that prove to be popular survive. Those that aren’t popular are closed and the network replaces them with new sites that will hopefully prove to be more popular.
In order for a bingo network or site to receive a license from the UKGC, it must place players’ money in a separate account to its operating funds in order to protect it. However, there are still three different levels of protection:
If you look at a bingo site’s terms and conditions, you will find details of what level of protection they offer. Of course, the higher the level of protection, the better, but it is not the only factor at play.
The reason a bingo site closes will also play a part in what happens to players’ money. If the site is part of one of the big networks, then regardless of the reason for closure, players are likely to receive their money back. The network is likely just closing one brand in order to open another and will want to attract players to its new site. The network will keep players informed and make sure they know how to withdraw their funds.
However, if it is a white-label site that is not operated by the network or a smaller site, then the protection level discussed above is likely to be the determining factor.
This would be a major event in the world of online bingo, akin to an entire chain of shops closing rather than just the local branch.
If the network is rescued and bought by another company, then players’ money should be okay. Otherwise, if the network only has basic protection, then it is likely that any money left in an account would be lost. That is why it is never a good idea to store money in an account and to make regular withdrawals.
Though rare, some online bingo sites close due to illegal activities. In such instances, players will probably face an uphill battle to claim their money back. If a company has had its license suspended, then they are unlikely to be concerned with returning players’ money.
Don’t let any of the above put you off enjoying online bingo. There are many excellent sites that offer at least a medium level of protection. Simply check a site’s terms and conditions, and don’t keep too much money in your account, and you can have hours of playing fun.