Americans Not Happy With Online Bingo Ban

Gambling has a long history in the United States. Horseracing and poker have been popular for well over a century. Several presidents have held poker games in the White House and the Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest sporting events every year. The Seminoles were the first Native American tribe to offer legal gambling and opened the door for other tribes to build and operate casinos on tribal lands. In the 90’s gambling went online and the rest is history. In 1996 the first online bingo sites appeared and since those early days the online bingo industry has grown into a two billion dollar a year industry.

In the United States there are four types of legal gambling; casinos, pari-mutuel betting, lotteries and charitable gambling. Bingo is the most popular form of charitable gaming and has had a long relationship with Catholic churches throughout the country. Most forms of gambling are available but in the United States their legal status is unclear. After the events of ‘black Friday’ in April many Americans are even more confused about the status of online bingo and other forms of online gambling. So far the US government has seized four poker sites, one online bingo site and forced the closure of the World Bingo network.

Online bingo is perfectly legal in the United States as long as no money changes hands. Current US laws forbid banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions from processing any gambling related transactions. The US government has seized billions from several online payment processors making it extremely difficult for American players to deposit and withdraw funds from their accounts at online bingo and gambling sites.  The government’s policies forbidding citizens to play cash bingo online is becoming increasingly unpopular.

There have been several attempts in congress to overturn the current online gambling laws but so far none have been successful. US residents are being denied the opportunity to participate in online bingo games and the social activities connected with the games. Many online bingo sites withdrew from the US market after the seizure of Funtime Bingo. Fortunately most American players were able to recover the funds in their online bingo accounts. Many online poker players were not as lucky and their accounts have been frozen for months. The online bingo industry hopes that US policies will change in the near future. Many gaming experts believe that the move by several states to offer residents legal online gambling will force the federal government to take action and liberalize its online gambling laws.

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