The huge revenue garnered by the Bingo industry has prompted many online bingo sites to sap the huge American bingo market by making augmentations in the sites in order to be more attractive to the general American player. These sites are not necessarily based in the US or owned by Americans or have licenses issued by the American government.
The qualitative differences between US and non-US online bingo sites are not much. The rules governing these sites are neither uniform nor are they of the same quality.
Some of the characteristics of non-US sites but catering to American market are outlined below:
1) They basically target the American bingo market. As they cater to US citizens, they expect mostly American players to participate in their online bingo games. Hence the possibility of playing against and chatting to fellow Americans is more.
2) The currency used in the online bingo game is American dollars. Thus the value of the prices of the cards, the prizes, the bonuses and other transactions are given in American Dollars and Cents instead of British Pounds and Shillings or Euros.
3) All transactions with the bank are usually done in American dollars. Purchases have to be made in dollars and payouts also will be in dollars. The default currency is US Dollars though the option of UK Pounds and Euros may be there.
4) Payments by Visa and MasterCard are acceptable by these online bingo sites.
5) The sites may recruit Americans living in America to act as hosts in the chat rooms. This creates an atmosphere which is comfortable to American players in the chat rooms.
6) Although these online bingo sites are not located in America, they use pictures of the Empire State Building, the casinos at Las Vegas or Atlanta City in their sites to give a feeling of familiarity to the American players.
7) Both the UK type 90-ball game and the US type 75-ball games are offered by the majority of these online bingo sites. The 75-ball game using cards with 5×5 square matrices is mostly played in these sites as in the US. The 90-ball game using cards having 3×9 square matrices is usually played in Europe and elsewhere. The type of game offered by these online bingo sites depends on the software which runs on their server computer.
8) Help from the customer support service of these online bingo sites may be available for the fortunate few. But on most occasions as these sites are not located in America, only e-mail addresses are available for communication with them.
9) The owner of some of these online bingo sites may be American companies. They do not get involved in the daily activities of these sites. The employees or “Operators” running these sites may be located outside the American mainland.
10) These online bingo sites do not have licenses issued by the US government or by any other country where US laws have jurisdiction as the bingo game has been declared to be illegal by the US government. These online bingo sites have licenses issued by governments of countries which do not follow the laws of the American government.
The first two characteristics may be true for all these sites which market themselves as US online bingo sites and use American Dollars as the currency for all transactions to attract American players. All the other features are very dicey and need to be investigated by any American player who is interested in the facts of an online bingo site.
Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.