Is Bingo Considered Gambling?

Bingo is an incredibly popular game, played by a lot of people all over the world, but a lot of people don’t actually think of it as gambling. Perhaps this is because it is not the same as choosing which horse you think is going to win or betting on the outcome of a casino game. Instead, people are much more likely to play bingo as more of a social game than anything else, and may not think of it as gambling in the same way.

In truth, bingo is definitely considered gambling in most legal definitions and in terms of legislation around the world.

Why Is Bingo Considered Gambling?

When you think about it, bingo is no different from taking part in a sweepstake, where you all buy a card or ticket, and the person whose numbers get called out first wins. It’s definitely a form of gambling. So why don’t people always think of it like this?

Well, it has more of a “lottery” feel to it, which means that the results are random, and you can choose whether you want to buy a ticket or not. 

Bingo is actually quite similar to playing games of chance in the casino, as there is really no level of skill involved (as long as you can mark your card quickly, but some online bingo sites even do this for you). 

When you are exploring the very best of online gaming and trying to find places to gamble then you might be surprised to see some bingo sites on the list, but it is a form of gambling after all.

The Law In the US

Bingo is not against federal law in the US. The laws were changed in 2011, and ultimately this means that it is down to every unique location whether they choose to allow it or not. This is similar to other forms of gambling in the US, where each state makes their own rules and decides what is allowed, before regulating the gambling industry. 

The states that currently restrict this form of gambling are Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Michigan, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Before gambling on the bingo, either online or in person, be sure to check the laws in the state where you are playing to check that you comply.

Elsewhere in the world, the laws can vary slightly, but there are very few places where bingo is not seen as some form of gambling. In the United Kingdom, the same gambling regulatory authorities are in charge of checking bingo companies and making sure support is available, as well as checking the security of companies offering bingo games.

The Social Side of Bingo

The social side of the game, and the fact that a lot of people who play it would have very little interest in other forms of gambling, means we often do not associate the game with gambling. When someone says “gambling” to you, you will probably think of things like horse racing or sportsbook gambling, but whether it is your definition or not, bingo is definitely considered a form of gambling.

For many, bingo is about the social aspect, and online there are often chat rooms to accompany the bingo games. In person, bingo halls have always been a place for people to socialize and spend their time as well as a place to play the game.

In the eyes of the law, though, bingo is gambling, and while it may seem excessive to some, it is crucial that bingo games are treated with the same regulations.