The USA has the most stringent gambling laws in the world. If you are using any US-based online casino site, you must know that gambling is not legal all through the United States. Currently, three US States – Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, are the only locations where you can play gambling games online for real money, including sports betting games.
Compared to the UK, the US has a tiny proportion of residents interested in playing bingo. Moreover, except for New Jersey, no other US state provides an online bingo hall. So, if you are interested in playing an online bingo game, you need to do it at an offshore platform.
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Is online bingo considered gambling in the US, and when it’s legalized?
To answer it, let’s look at how the USA regulates online gambling, and, specifically, online bingo.
The legislation and state makeup of the United States is quite complicated as both federal and State governments have the law-making authority. Even if the federal-state law system permits each State to formulate its laws and regulations, federal laws tend to take premise over it. When it comes to bingo as a game, States consider it a form of gambling in a social setting.
It’s an old act formulated way before online bingo’s birth to stop gambling activities at organized events. It is still considered applicable due to the inclusion of the words – ‘wire communication.’
So, technically, when you apply those exact words to online gambling, it translates to ‘the internet’ and restricts online bingo games.
In 2011, the US Department of Justice declared application of the act restricted only to sports contests or events and then decriminalized certain types of gambling, including online bingo.
Now, you can access interactive bingo games on different US-based casinos. But still, many gamblers face confusion whether their State criminalizes it or not.
It prohibits the transfer of betting information via the internet, post, or other forms of interstate transportation in the United States. However, under this act, playing bingo is not considered gambling.
It targets the ‘big-fish’ organisations, like companies that supply online gambling games, internet gambling providers, and companies that facilitate gambling payments to prevent fraud and money laundering activities.
It considers bingo as a gambling activity, but if you use prepaid digital cards or e-wallets to fund your online bingo account, it is not illegal.
So, the US legalizing online bingo depends on the State how it interprets the gambling laws. Therefore, when you come across a gambling site offering online bingo games, check whether it’s licensed by the US recognised State licensing commissions –
New Jersey Casino Control Commission
Nevada Gaming Commission
Avoid playing online bingo games on sites recognised by other organisations like the Government of Curacao and Antigua Directorate of Offshore Gambling. If you play, you will have no protection legally in the US when something goes wrong.
However, it’s best to stick to offshore platforms like UK regulated bingo sites and use prepaid digital cards or e-wallets to fund your bingo account to enjoy online bingo games in the US.