The Future of Online Bingo in the US

It would appear that the US Department of Justice has reversed course when it comes to online gambling. A memo released in December said that only sports betting on the internet is prohibited by the 1961 Wire Act. Earlier in the year the DOJ seized the domains and assets of several major poker sites and one popular online bingo site. Last August players that logged onto Funtime Bingo were greeted with a DOJ logo and text that informed that the domain had been seized. The seizure was responsible for the voluntary closure of the World Bingo Network. Many other online bingo sites announced that they would no longer accept players from the United States.

The recent interpretation of the wire act opens the door to legal online bingo in the US. For years American online bingo players have been plagued by limited deposit and withdrawal options. Currently banks and credit card companies are prohibited from processing transactions related to gambling but the recent change in policy could change all that. Cooler heads at the Justice Department have prevailed and most experts say it is only a matter of time before American players will have access to major online bingo sites and casinos.

Bingo is considered to be a ‘soft’ form of gambling that carries little social stigma. The technology is already in place to address the concerns of regulators thanks to the huge online bingo community in the United Kingdom. UK policies and regulations could easily serve as a template for US regulators and the UK has had a highly successful online gaming market for years with very little trouble. Britain enjoys a thriving online bingo market and there is no reason that the success cannot be duplicated in the United States. There are several UK bingo sites that are poised to enter the US market as soon as policies regarding online bingo and gambling are clarified.

Some experts remain concerned because the DOJ is subject to changing politics as administrations change. The Attorney General of the United States is appointed by the sitting president and any administration change could bring different policies and interpretations of the online gambling laws and regulations. This could lead to another cycle of site seizures and criminal prosecutions. In the meantime American players can take comfort in the fact that there are many online bingo sites perfectly willing to provide American players with their favorite online bingo game.

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