US Bingo Players Get Some Good News

The ongoing recession has governments scrambling to find new revenue sources. In the US proposed legislation by Congressman Barney Frank would legalize online gambling including internet bingo and would bring in billions every year in additional tax revenue. At the present time many American players of internet bingo games find themselves shut out of several licensed European bingo sites leaving them at the mercy of unregulated offshore sites and less than scrupulous payment providers. 2006 was a dark year for online bingo; it was the year that a small group of anti gambling extremists tacked anti gambling legislation on to a must pass port security bill. Many in congress were totally unaware of the provision and the bill was presented in a late night session of congress with no time for debate.

Since then American players have had to come up with some pretty creative funding solutions since the law forbids banks and credit card providers from processing ‘gambling’ related transactions.  Probably the most creative solution was the use of pre paid phone cards to fund bingo accounts. Players could purchase a pre paid phone card with a pin number. Many online casinos would then accept the pre paid credits to fund player accounts.

The bill proposed by Frank would regulate and tax bingo sites operating in the US. At present the bill has attracted many supporters and the House Finance Committee has approved the bill for further consideration. Not surprisingly the bill has attracted the attention of anti gambling groups with the usual claims of gambling ‘addiction’ and other such nonsense.  Enforcement of current laws has been spotty at best due to extremely vague regulations and the reluctance of the financial services industry to assume law enforcement responsibilities.

Under Franks’ bill American bingo players would be protected and American players would be assured that sites would be licensed by the government. Supporters estimate that in the next ten years online gaming will bring in $42 billion and this is a conservative estimate. The online bingo industry is already prepared for the influx of new US players. Hopefully by the end of the year American online bingo players will be able to play their favorite game without fear of government intervention.