Legal Eagle—You’re not a criminal: The truth about the legality of online bingo

Playing online bingo is legal in the United States. There’s your answer. End of story. You can now go back to playing online bingo, watching TV, or maybe both.

Or can you?

Scour the net and you’ll find all kinds of complicated and convoluted answers on the legality of online bingo. So we’re going to do our best to set the record straight.

Is online bingo legal? Can you be prosecuted for playing a game you love that so many bingo fans all over the world play?

Well, we’re not entirely sure where you live, so we’re not going to say, “Yes, it’s perfectly legal,” only to feel bad when you end up in jail for doing something your oppressive government frowns upon.

But assuming you live in a first world country, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that when it comes to the legality of online bingo, it’s as legal as making a right-hand turn on a red light (unless that happens to be illegal in your state).

Confused? Don’t be. Here’s the thing. If you want to play online bingo in the US, you won’t be prosecuted for playing a game that’s enjoyed in Church basements and bingo halls all over the country. That would just be ridiculous, and ordinarily the government wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

But about five years ago, the US government wanted to crack down on online poker. So they enacted a law that made it legal to process a credit card transaction if it’s related to gambling.

Poker sites argued that theirs is a game of skill. Bingo, on the other hand, is all about luck. That said, bingo sites churn out winners in every game, much like poker tournaments or cash games do. In bingo, you’re racing against other players, not playing against the house.

The 2006 credit card law is still on the table, but bingo sites in the US offer all sorts of ways to fund your account—legally, safely, and effortlessly.

So go ahead and play bingo for real money online—even if you’re in the United States. It is, after all, the land of the free.