The UK has long been in front of the US for online and offline bingo. Usually, the US leads the way online in the gaming sectors, and cards games, dice, lottery and bingo, the US market is the one in front as its population eclipses the UK’s 5 to 1. The big questions are, will the US ever adopt online bingo and overtake the UK and what is the current situation with US land-based bingo?
Online Bingo in the USA
One reason bingo in the US is not really a thing is because it is a game of chance. Yes, there are free play and prize bingo websites (prize bingo giving away a ‘prize’ like a luxury cruise) but buying a bingo ticket online in exchange for a larger cash reward is only legal in a few states, and many of those states have only just come online.
Online bingo is considered as iGaming, which is only legal in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia, which have a combined population of around 35 million. Even in the great gambling state of Nevada, where live bingo halls are extremely popular, online bingo sites are not allowed to operate because there is no legal framework in place.
That said, more states such as North Dakota, Connecticut, New York, and Indiana are close to bringing iGaming online. If this happens, that’s another 30 million citizens with access to iGaming matching the UK’s population. Even then, the iGaming sites that eventually operate in these states will need to offer online bingo by signing deals with brands like Playtech and Pragmatic Play.
US Bingo online stands a high chance of creating higher revenues once a few more key states create licensing frameworks for iGaming, and bingo sites earn the loyalty of citizens within those states looking to play bingo titles!
Land-Based Bingo in the US
Bingo is actually very popular in the US, but only states where it is legal. The lion’s share of US bingo halls are in Las Vegas and Atlantic City—of course! The two leading gambling destinations in the US will by-and-large always be the pioneers of bingo!
That said, there are some major bingo halls spread across the country. The southern bingo route is actually quite famous if you live in this part of the world. It starts in Texas and stretches through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and to the northern regions of Florida all the way down to the southern peninsula in Miami. Each state has more than a dozen bingo halls.
If you wanted to take it further, you could travel up the East coast and come across dozens more. If you then head West from the East coast, you will come across one of the larges bingo halls in the world at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut—it has 3,600+ seats!
As such, it is fair to say that the land-based bingo theatre in the USA is perhaps much larger than the UK but just more widespread because of the sheer size of the country. Even then, almost every major US city has multiple bingo halls.
Although a little more serious than UK bingo, the US land-based bingo scene is already huge. Although official revenue stats are difficult to find, so at a guess, just because of the US population.
However, there is one interesting point to make. Despite everything being so big in the US, only its Foxwoods Connecticut (No.1) bingo hall and Bingo at Hillsboro Texas (No.10) are in the world’s top 10 largest bingo halls, while the UK has 6 venues in the top 10. Palace Bingo London (No.3), Meccas Bingo Gateshead (No.4), Gala Bingo Leeds (No.6), Gala Bingo Surrey Quays (No.7), Mecca Bingo Hull (No.8), and Gala Bingo Doncaster (No.9).