Bingo Halls in the United States are subject to different regulations and they vary from one state to the next. Considering that there are 50+ states it makes it difficult to detail each and every one of them. In this article we aim to try to explain several of the most common laws surrounding bingo.
Note that there are eleven states that have made online gambling illegal. The states are Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, New York, Washington and Wisconsin. So if you were planning to build a bingo business in one of these states you need to focus your energy elsewhere. Opening a hall anywhere else in the country is perfectly legal.
All laws in the States go through Congress and Senate and they don’t always pass laws that are good for people. As is the case with the Safe Port Act – the title indicates that this bill has to do with water port safety but as it turned out politicians added an amendment to it which makes it illegal to perform money transactions with financial institutions on any gambling site. That is the main reason why a lot of halls in the UK and other EU countries won’t allow US based people to participate. Note an important distinction – depositing money to a bingo company’s site for playing isn’t illegal.
You can find states that have quite flexible laws around bingo. Florida, for an example, allows playing the game if the prizes are for fund raising. Note here that the events must be organized by non-profits or charities and even if it is charitable bingo – it isn’t allowed everywhere in the country.
As you can see there are plenty of laws surrounding bingo in the states. If you want to play somewhere or open your own business you need to know what the local laws are.
Gamble Aware (www.responsiblegambling.org) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.