Is It Legal to Play Internet Bingo in the US ?

If you are a player in the United States that wants to play internet bingo or gamble online there are a few things you need to know to avoid any trouble. A lot of bingo and gaming sites do not accept players from the United States. Operators fear prosecutions and heavy fines in the US. There are three laws players need to know if they want to avoid difficulties.

The first is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that was passed in 2006 and signed by then president George Bush. Online gambling is generally broken down into three categories: sportsbetting, poker and online casinos. (Including internet bingo) The act applies to all three categories. This law has caused many online casinos and internet bingo networks to shut down. UIGEA prohibits businesses from processing any wagers originating in the United States. When the bill was passed most members of congress were unaware of its existence since it was tucked into a safe port act; a must pass piece of legislation. Thanks to this law American players were forced to take their business to offshore casinos and use some pretty exotic methods of funding their accounts.

The wire act dates back to the Kennedy administration and targeted organized crime. The wire act made it illegal to use any form of wire communication to place or accept wagers. In 2011 the US Justice Department reversed its previous position and said that only sports betting is prohibited on the internet. Because of this ruling many states plan to offer intrastate gambling to residents.

Here are some interesting facts about internet gambling in the United States

So far not one person has been prosecuted for gambling online.

Over 2 million Americans gamble online annually.

More money is bet on sports on the internet than in Las Vegas.

Americans are accepted at many online bingo sites, poker rooms and casinos.

Even though online gambling is a legal grey area in the US there are many reputable bingo sites and casinos that accept American players. Most sites licensed in the European Union are safe and reputable. Licensed gaming sites offer players some level of consumer protections and the EU gaming sites must abide by strict rules and regulations. Many gaming experts are hoping that US president Obama will take some action on internet gambling during his second term. Since the president cannot run for another term he can take actions that would have been politically impossible during his second term.