How Does Online Bingo Compare in UK to USA

How Does Online Bingo Compare in UK to USA
The USA and the UK have many differences, and their gambling scenes is one of them. Even though bingo is a massive industry in many countries, the gaming scenes vary from country to country. 
The type of bingo played in the UK is not identical to what the Americans are familiar with. Whereas the Brits play 90 ball bingo, in America, what is popular is 75 ball bingo. As the names suggest, the Americans play with fewer balls, but both games are played on a board of five squares by five squares.

A Little History

The differences in bingo games developed in the 19th century when 90 ball bingo (British bingo) got adopted by the UK’s armed forces. At the time, the Americans were playing a variation known as the beano because they used beans to mark off numbers. 

Beano then evolved into 75 ball bingo in 1929. During a carnival in the early 1900s, Edwin Lowe heard someone accidentally say ‘bingo’ instead of ‘beano.’ He used this opportunity to commercialize the game, selling it as a toy set. The minute he licensed the game, it took off and has been successful in the USA ever since. 

In the UK, on the other hand, the armed forces brought home 90 ball bingo. It was played a lot during the post-war period, and its popularity grew from here. Over time, the UK introduced more relaxed gambling laws that permitted the opening of official bingo halls. Even though the UK has since evolved to online gaming platforms, bingo halls remain popular.

Bingo halls have been empty for a major portion of 2020’s first quarter because of the coronavirus global pandemic. Now states are opening up one by one, but online bingo numbers still are low to non-existent. The larger population is more focused on the upcoming NFL events. 

The Difference in How the UK and the US Play Bingo

Since the types of bingo played in these two countries differ, the way they play is also different. In the US, gamers are quite competitive, and the game is filled with a lot of adrenaline. In the UK, however, the game is less intense, and the gamblers take a more relaxed approach. 

Another major difference is that bingo in the US has more cards as compared to one in the UK. Americans can play with up to 30 cards at a time, and their bingo halls almost always have TV monitors to show when cards are being called. 

The third main difference is the commercialization of bingo. Whereas Americans commercially play bingo in casinos, the Brits play at privately owned casino halls. In other words, in America, bingo halls are a business, while in the UK, they’re viewed as places for social gatherings. Thanks to online bingo, you can play whichever type of bingo you want. A list of all UK bingo sites can be found here. 

The Legality of Online Bingo 

In the United States, statute laws govern gambling, meaning the states you’re in determines if you are allowed to gamble or not. Whereas gambling was banned online since 2006 by the federal law, laws of individual states still take precedence. 

Even so, most Americans stick with free bingo sites because most online operations managed by the USA are illegal underground sites. In fact, American residents playing on offshore sites is illegal as well. This means that you won’t have any claims to make if you’re not offered a fair game.

The fact that the USA has both federal and statute laws makes regulations make the legality of gambling seem like a grey area. In native America, the church doesn’t hold the keys to gambling because the bingo halls and casinos operate on Indian reservations and other tribal lands. Such areas have tribal sovereignty that limits how far federal or statute law can be impacted. Which means, the church cannot forbid gambling here. Gambling halls in native America follow 1988’s Indian Gambling Regulatory Act.

In the UK, online bingo, as well as other online casino games, are legal. Every casino operator in the UK is required to get a license from the UK Gambling Commission. Provided you’re playing on a licensed site in the UK, your rights as a gambler are protected. 

Gamers in the UK should make sure they check the license status of an online gambling platform before they sign up. 


Gambling laws and regulations vary from country to country. Whereas in the UK it is legal, in the USA, the state you’re in determines if you’re allowed to gamble or not. When gambling in the UK, make sure you sign up only with sites that have a license from UK GC. 


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