Bingo fans who find themselves on foreign shores, whether it be on holiday or for business reasons, will quickly realise that their favourite bingo sites are suddenly unavailable and wonder why.
What is this madness? You might ask. Why am I being tortured in this way?
Ok, you might not be that dramatic about it, but when bingo is part of your daily life and what you do for pleasure it’s annoying when it is taken away.
It’s not really something you can do much about unless you are happy to bend the rules a little bit, which we wouldn’t recommend.
We’ll fill you in properly later in this article, but first let’s have a look at why your bingo site is giving you the cold shoulder all of a sudden.
Why Bingo Sites Don’t Work in Other Countries
Have you ever heard of an IP Address? Don’t run away, we’re not going to start talking in technical mumbo jumbo.
An IP Address is a bit like a phone number and it’s what websites use to figure out what country you are in. In the same way we would recognise an 020 number is from London, an 0161 number is from Manchester, and an 01472 number is from…. Grimsby (had to look that one up).
Anyway, this is important because all bingo sites have to be licensed and regulated in each country they operate in. That means that a site with a UK gambling license will work for computers and devices in the UK, because their IP Address’s tell the site that’s where they are, but it won’t in other countries.
So basically, your IP Address and the sites’ gambling license need to be from the same place. If they aren’t, you will see a message that says something along the lines of: “Sorry, access is denied from your location” – and they might point you towards a sister site if one exists.
It might be annoying, but its’ designed to keep you, your money and your identity safe.
Bingo Sites With Licenses in Different Countries
If you are already thinking of finding sites that operate in different countries then you are one step ahead of us.
However, if you are a regular jet setter and your plan is to join bingo sites that are also available in all your regular travel destinations, you should make absolutely sure you understand the T’s and C’s before you dive in.
Just because a site is available in another country, it doesn’t mean they will be happy for you to play there using your UK account.
The problem is that license conditions vary in different countries. So the terms agreed to when you signed up in the UK won’t be the same in Germany, or Belgium, or wherever. Even though you might be using the same bingo brand.
You can always sign up and register a new account from the country you are in, but to get through verification you will need to have a residence in that country. So anyone with a holiday home they visit regularly might be able to make it work, but if you’re just on a one off two week trip to Malaga you probably can’t.
There’s plenty of other stuff to do in Malaga though, certainly plenty to look at…
How to Play Online Bingo on Holiday
We said there were ways around this, and it’s true, but it’s a bit of a grey area, and if all the chat about IP Addresses made your head hurt then you might want to sit down for this.
You could use a VPN.
A what now?
A VPN. It stands for Virtual Private Network, and you can get them easily and cheaply with a quick internet search.
In simple terms, it tells websites that you are in a different location to the one you are actually in. So if you set up a VPN and chose Spain as your destination, the internet would think that you were in Spain.
Of course, if you want to access a UK site from another country, you can set up your VPN to tell the internet you are in the UK, and then you should be able to access your bingo account from wherever you are.
However, this almost certainly breaks the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed up with your bingo site. It’s unlikely that anyone would ever find out, but it is a risk.
Especially if you end up with a big win.
If you land a jackpot it might require extra checks to make the withdrawal. This could flag up the fact you were playing using a VPN, and if it did it might mean the bingo site could withhold your money since you broke the terms. Wouldn’t that be just your luck?
If this all sounds like too much trouble then you can always just search for free bingo to play to tide you over. Most countries will have ‘just for fun’ sites if you use a search engine. If there is a specific game you don’t want to miss then you can pre-buy the tickets and check the results when you get back – it’s not ideal but at least this way you are still in with a chance.