Compared with the rest of the world, the USA is often seen as being a bit behind the times when it comes to online gambling. Many states do not allow gambling in most forms, whether it be lottery, casinos or sports betting, never mind online bingo.
However in recent years, as online bingo gaming has proven popular across Europe and other countries across the world, the attitudes have begun to change in the states. Now, it seems as though online bingo in the USA is a growing industry with the potential to expand even further.
The Growth of Online Bingo in the USA
Over the past couple of decades, gambling has been legalised in more and more states, which meant that the number of land based casino and bingo outlets flourished for a while before the age of technology took over. As people got used to gambling in land based environments, they already had an appetite for the games by the time the industry started to move online. Of course this only started in some states, with different jurisdictions having their own requirements and rules for online gambling – such as New Jersey online gambling sites having to partner with a land based casino or gambling facility in order to legally operate online in the state.
Of course to start off with, the major casino resort owners such as Caesars Entertainment, MGM resorts and Las Vegas Sands dominated the online bingo and casino industry. Regardless of who owns the brands we play online, the industry has seen a trend of growth in revenue of over a billion in the last 7 years. This isn’t solely down to online bingo of course, but it has played its part in boosting revenue in the industry.
Back in 1999 there were over 250 websites which accepted money bets on various activities from bingo to card games, lottery tickets and sports. At this time only 2 of the 50 states in the USA actively prohibited online gambling. However as the internet ant its widespread use was still in infancy, online gambling was still very much a grey area with lots of states fighting to pass laws to make the activity illegal.
Where can we play online bingo in the USA
In 2006, a blanket law was passed by Congress called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), making it a federal offence for anyone to manage an online-based gambling business which accepted funds that may support unlawful transactions. However the law itself did not strictly make gambling operations illegal. While the law did not appear to affect players directly with its actions, the reaction in the US market was tremendous. Every publicly owned online gambling provider made an exit from the US market as soon as the law was passed. This meant that only smaller and potentially less reputable operators remained. Just under 10 years ago, it was almost impossible to play online bingo anywhere in the USA.
Following what’s known as the gambling world’s ‘Black Friday’ event in April 2011, the government issued a memorandum clarifying the laws on gambling online, meaning that it could actually be legal from state to state. As a result of this change of position, a number of states then adopted online gambling, such as Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. The former two have legalised a full spectrum of online gambling activities meaning you can freely play online bingo games here.
What does this mean for online bingo?
Legalisation of online gambling appears to be the way forward, with more major states looking to pass legislation, such as California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. With thousands of jobs to be created plus billions of revenue generated per year from online bingo gaming across the states, it seems that many governments are seeing the legalisation of this as a necessary step to keep the country and economy plodding along. Either way it can only be good news for online bingo fans in the USA.