UK Bingo Operators Eye US Market

There seems to be two schools of thought regarding the internet bingo industry. On one hand many in the industry see further growth in 2011 and on the other hand some feel that the bingo boom has reached its end. In the UK which at present is the world’s largest internet bingo market new bingo sites have been launched weekly for the past year and many feel the pool of available players is dwindling. Bingo is now the driving force behind the UK internet gaming industry and equals poker in popularity and number of regular players. Online bingo sites have launched a massive marketing campaign and have spent millions on television and media advertising.

Despite federal prohibitions on internet bingo and gambling the US gaming market generates about $5 billion dollars a year and bingo operators would love to have legal access to the US gaming market. Last December some lawmakers tried to pass legislation that would undo the damage done by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which was passed in 2006. The passage of anti gambling legislation sent shock waves through the gaming industry. Unfortunately the attempt in December failed but some political analysts believe that lawmakers were “testing the water” with future legislation in mind. The bill’s proponents said that the attempt failed because it was pushed through the Senate at the end of the legislative session.

While many major bingo sites in Europe and the UK abide by the US law there are many operators more than willing to accept American players. The state of New Jersey has plans to open an online casino for residents and a few other states are exploring the possibility of online casinos to raise money. Most industry observers believe that it is only a matter of time before online gambling is legal in the United States. Recent news reports indicate that American gaming giant Harrah’s is planning on launching an online bingo site in the UK. The launch is planned for sometime in 2011. The site will be called Caesars Bingo and although the UK bingo market is already crowded the company is confident the bingo site will do well because of brand recognition. Caesars Casino is one of the largest in Las Vegas and Harrah’s owns casinos globally.

Most major UK online  bingo sites are not nervous about the competition from Harrah’s and say that business is steady. Online bingo site operators are looking forward to the day when US law is changed and Americans can play bingo online legally.

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