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Age restrictions in bingo premises

Although the law does not prevent under 18s from entering bingo clubs, the industry generally chooses to apply a no under 18s policy.

Under 18s are allowed in licensed commercial bingo clubs but they must not take part in playing bingo or any other forms of gambling whilst on the premises.

If your bingo club has category B or C gaming machines these must be separated from areas where under 18s are allowed.

Employment of children and young people in bingo premises

If you employ children (those aged under 16) or young people (16 or 17) you should be aware that it is an offence for them to provide facilities for playing bingo or to perform any function in connection with a gaming machine, including servicing or cleaning them.

It is an offence to employ children to perform any function on the premises when you are running a bingo game. You can, however, employ young people to perform any function not related to gambling when bingo games are taking place.

You should have policies and procedures designed to ensure that:

  • children and young people are never asked to perform the tasks previously mentioned
  • all your staff, including those who are children or young people themselves, are instructed about the laws relating to access to gambling by children and young people.

You should consider adopting the policy that children are not employed to work on bingo licensed premises when the premises are open for business and that children or young people are not asked to work in areas where there are gaming machines.

See ordinary code 3.6.2 in our Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.

Relatives of key members of staff at bingo premises

We suggest that close relatives of members of staff in certain roles, for example callers, managers and cashiers, should not be allowed to play bingo in those clubs.

Bingo at private members’ clubs and institutes

For private members clubs and institutes, under 18s can participate in private or non-commercial bingo provided they are members of the club or institute in which the bingo is offered. This also applies to guests of members.

However, club membership rules often impose an age limit of 18 before a person may join, this could also apply to guests. If this is the case under 18s could not participate in any bingo offered.

Examples include:

  • working men’s clubs
  • branches of the Royal British Legion
  • clubs with political affiliations.
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