Online Bingo Games USA
Bingo has been a popular and social game in live settings for decades. For the first time, legal online bingo is becoming available online. You can already play real money bingo at online casinos in New Jersey. With gambling regulation rapidly covering more states, this could become available to you soon.
Online bingo takes advantage of web design and technology to bring you entertaining themes and bonus games. You will also find a social element to these games. Add leaderboard contests, bonuses and free bingo games for real money – and you’ll see why this is a popular option.
This page has you covered for online bingo in the US. You’ll find information on how these games work, the bonuses you can claim and where you can find the best games below. The history of this entertaining game is covered at the end of the page.
Play Free and Real Money Bingo Games Online
Free and real money online bingo
Bingo is an entertaining game to play for free – although it is a lot more fun when real money is at stake. There are 3 main forms of bingo. Within these there are many variations and themes. The formats are 75 ball, 80 ball and 90 ball bingo.
All the games are based on cards with random numbers on them. The basic format is that they are printed in 3 rows. Balls are randomly drawn, some of them match those printed on your card. You bet a prize for a line, or a full house (completed card).
These days online casinos are able to offer multiple cards, entertaining themes and different variations of the layout – but the core of real money bingo is the same. Balls continue to be drawn until the prizes are won. Unlike other gambling games, there is always a winner.
Jackpots are awarded in some games. To win a bigger jackpot, you’ll need to fill your card within a certain number of balls. If nobody achieves this, then the jackpots are rolled over – becoming bigger and bigger until they are won.
You can find free to play bingo games at some casinos. These will give you a shot at winning real money. Examples include Virgin Casino and Tropicana in New Jersey.
Bingo and Keno
Keno is closely related to bingo, although not the same game. The similarity is the balls being drawn. In keno you pick a series of numbers (or are assigned them randomly). A set number of balls, for example 22, are then drawn. You get paid based on how many numbers you match.
Like bingo, keno has some rich and varied themes. This can be enjoyed at real money online lottery sites in selected states.
Accessing online bingo games: Apps and websites
There are two main ways of enjoying online bingo. If you have a desktop or laptop computer, you’ll be able to access casinos offering bingo through your regular web browser. Having a bigger screen does have an advantage – you’ll be able to see multiple bingo cards at once as the balls are drawn.
Depending on the casino, you’ll be able to download phone apps. There are different apps for Android devices and apps for iPhones. The best way to start the download is to visit the casino via your phone’s browser. You will then be prompted to download the correct app for your device.
You won’t need the desktop site to enjoy bingo, slots and table games. Casinos can handle everything from registration, bonuses and deposits directly through apps these days.
Note that the Google Play store won’t allow any form of US gambling apps. Android apps are downloaded direct from the bingo sites/casinos. On some phones, you’ll get messages warning you that you are downloading from an unknown source.
New Jersey casinos offering online bingo
New Jersey were among the first states to offer online gambling. Many of the biggest and best national casino brands have opened sites in the Garden state. You’ll have the best choice of online bingo games here.
Choosing the best NJ bingo site comes down to a mix of factors:
- The bingo and keno games available
- Their sign-up bonuses, promotions and free-play deals
- The overall experience and other entertaining games on offer
Here are the top 3 places to enjoy online bingo games in New Jersey:
- Virgin Casino: You’ll find a dedicated section of this casino offering 90 ball bingo. This is a fast-paced bingo game, where you can buy multiple strips of 5 tickets for just $1 and up. Balls are then drawn, with prizes awarded for one and two lines. To win the game jackpots (which depend on the number of entries) you need to full the entire card – a full house. Virgin offer new players a $30 in free play for their long list of slots. Offers include community jackpots, regular free bingo games where you can win real money, plus a long list of one-off promotions.
- Pala Casino: This casino is one of several brands under the Borgata license. Instead of simply including their bingo games into their regular casino. Pala spun off bingo to a dedicated site. This currently runs 90-ball bingo games where you can buy a lot of tickets to boost your chances of winning. These games are run by experienced international operator, Gaming Realms. Pala offer new players a $25 no-deposit bonus and plenty of exciting promotions.
- Tropicana Casino: If you have enjoyed the bingo games at the Virgin Casino, you’ll find the game at Tropicana familiar. These brands use the same GameSys software to power their casinos. You can enjoy 90 ball bingo, plus some instant play Keno games with this casino. New players get $25 in free play (no deposit), plus loss rebates covering your first 7 days of real money play.
Online bingo promos
All NJ casinos offer bonuses, promotions and loyalty rewards for their real money bingo players. By taking advantage of them, you can keep your bankroll topped up, giving yourself extra ways to win.
The bonuses will change over time. Short term offers of free play or extra points are worth keeping an eye out for. Some of the promotions are less specific. While they are not aimed only at online bingo players, you can still take advantage of them. Examples include free spins on slots. If you win with this free play – you can use the extra money to enjoy a session on your favorite 90-ball bingo or instant keno game.
Here are some examples of casino promotions which you can enjoy while playing online bingo:
- Community Jackpots: At Virgin casino, you can win $10,000 instantly on any game – including their 90-Ball Bingo. The community jackpot works by showing a key while you play. You click on it to have a chance of a prize. When someone wins the jackpot, everyone who played on a game in the last 24 hours gets some cash too.
- Daily Free Games: Both Virgin and Tropicana casinos give you the chance to spin on free slot games every day. You can win real money, which can then be used to enjoy bingo or slot games.
- No-Deposit Bonuses: Welcome bonuses which don’t require a deposit are the perfect way to enjoy a bingo session. These come with play-though requirements that vary between the online casinos. Typically. these offers are small (between $10 and $30). If you win big, you might never need to make a deposit.
- Matched Welcome Bonus Offers: If you enjoy a casino with the free play and want to make a deposit then look out for matched welcome offers. These vary in size with most between $100 and $500. The casinos match your deposit with bonus funds, which means twice the amount of bingo play for your money. Clearing these bonuses will involve playing through the money a set number of times.
Online casinos have loyalty reward schemes. These give you extra bonuses and incentives based on your volume of play. Some are tiered (giving extra benefits as you move up), while others are flat-rate.
Can I play online bingo in Pennsylvania?
There are no online casinos currently offering online bingo in Pennsylvania (or other regulated states). With this game already proving popular in New Jersey, there is no legal reason why they should not appear in Pennsylvania soon.
Your only option at the moment are keno style instant games at the Pennsylvania online lottery site. Many online casinos also list games based on keno among their slots. PA has a competitive market for casinos. This not only means a lot of bonus offers for new players, it means there should be plenty of competition to be the first PA site to offer online bingo games.
Michigan and West Virginia also have legalized online casinos. It is hoped that bingo will reach those states in 2020.
How 90 ball bingo works
Before you start a game of 90 ball bingo you need to decide how many cards to buy. While you can play for a single card with 3 rows of numbers, most players opt for more. With the online bingo games at NJ and PA casinos, you can buy cards in groups of 5 – up to 10 of them per game.
Each card has a mix of numbers and spaces in 3 rows. When you play online, the software will keep track of which numbers you match. This makes playing multiple cards (and giving yourself more chances to win) very easy.
Once your cards are purchased, you’ll see the balls appearing on the left of your screen. These are ‘drawn’ via a ‘Random Number Generator’ (RNG). Each time you match one, an animated pen will mark your card.
In 90 Ball Bingo, there are 3 winners of each game.
- The first person to complete 1 line
- The first person to complete 2 lines
- The first person to complete an entire card (a full house)
When a card is completed, the game is over. The same person can win all 3 prizes, or these can be won by different people. In some 90 Ball games with jackpots, progressives are paid for getting a full house under a specific number of drawn balls.
How to read your bingo card
When you play live bingo games with paper cards, you have to daub (check off) the numbers yourself. This does mean that missing or mis-hearing a number could be a problem.
Playing online bingo is much easier – you won’t miss any numbers, as the computer software handles all that for you.
Online bingo has evolved to have many quirky and entertaining themes. Reading a standard 90 Ball Bingo card is the clearest way to show you how the game works. Once you have mastered the basics, working out the different variations and fun bingo-style side bets will be easier.
Each 90-ball bingo card has 3 rows of 5 numbers. These are spread out over 9 squares, with 4 of them always blank. Each number is unique, between 1 and 90.
As the balls are called (or appear online), they become colored. In a physical bingo hall, these would be daubed with a special colored pen which does not cover the number below. The game is now a race between the players to complete a line, then two lines, then a full house.
Bingo and US gambling laws
Since the clarification of the Wire Act in 2011, gambling laws have been under the jurisdiction of the states. This leaves a patchwork of approaches to bingo. They range from an outright ban to charity gambling only, there are tribal casinos with bingo and keno in some places – right through to the legal online bingo options in New Jersey.
Bingo is considered gambling on the original statutes of almost every state. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, many states introduced lottery and charity gambling laws. Approaches varied widely. In some states, single-use licenses were required for annual charity raffles and casino nights. In others (for example New Hampshire), charity casino games and bingo are more widespread.
Bingo in the rest of the US
The 50 states in the union have also weighed in on the legality of Bingo in one way or another. Here’s a look at what each state says on the matter:
- Alabama – Charity Bingo is legal, although a decision on the use of electronic bingo equipment has yet to be made
- Alaska – Charitable Bingo halls run by qualified charitable organizations or Indian tribes are OK
- Arizona – You can play Charity Bingo, but only for up to 12 hours a day and five times a week
- Arkansas – Nonprofit tax-exempt organizations can run Charity Bingo, as long they’ve had nonprofit status for five years
- California – Select nonprofit organizations can offer Charity Bingo with a maximum prize of $500 per game
- Colorado – Licensed nonprofits can run Bingo games, as long as they’ve been a nonprofit for five or more years
- Connecticut – Approved nonprofits can run Charity Bingo under three classes of permits prescribing the number of days games can run
- Delaware – Charitable organizations can offer bingo with a license as long as they don’t own the venue where games are held
- Florida – Charitable organizations and homeowner’s associations can offer nonprofit bingo games with jackpots of $250 or less two days a week
- Georgia – Charitable Bingo with prizes of no more than $1,500 per session and $3,000 per week is legal
- Hawaii – No legal Bingo
- Idaho – Charity Bingo is OK, casino nights and poker runs are not
- Illinois – Charitable Bingo is legal, paying people to work the games is not.
- Indiana – Nonprofits can conduct Bingo games under certain conditions with no need to obtain a license
- Iowa – Charitable organizations can apply for licenses and operate Bingo games three days a week or less and just 15 times a month
- Kansas – Charitable Bingo and instant bingo is OK
- Kentucky – Bingo can be used to raise money, but, depending on how much is raised it could be taxed
- Louisiana – Charitable organizations can offer Bingo with high prize amounts
- Maine – Nonprofit organizations can offer Bingo with prizes $400 and under per game and $1,400 and under per session
- Maryland – Charity Bingo games are allowed under county-set rules
- Massachusetts – Charitable organizations can hold Bingo games for fundraising with jackpots up to $3,000
- Michigan – Michigan law is clear when it comes to Bingo. Nonprofits can apply for one of three licenses to offer bingo with different limits on prize amounts and frequency of sessions.
- Minnesota – Open revenue-dependant Bingo licencing for various groups
- Mississippi – Charity Bingo allowed under three classes of licenses with prescribed minimums for hours
- Missouri – Charitable organizations can hold Bingo and pull tab-only events under specific licences
- Montana – Licensed profit and nonprofit Bingo is OK
- Nebraska – Charitable groups can offer licensed Bingo under two annual revenue-dependent classes
- Nevada – State licensed Charity Bingo is OK, even for those under 18 if parents purchase the tickets
- New Hampshire – Charitable groups can offer Bingo
- New Jersey – Live and online Bingo through licensed casinos, but no single prize over $250 and no set of prizes over $1,000 for live Bingo
- New Mexico – Charitable organizations can offer Bingo, but cannot obtain a license until they have two years as a nonprofit
- New York – New York allows its charity groups to offer bingo games. However, anyone under the age of 18 is explicitly banned from playing – even if their parents are supervising.
- North Carolina – Bingo halls can conduct games for nonprofits and Beach Bingo with prizes of $10 or less
- North Dakota – Charitable organizations can offer bingo games to anyone 18+ and pull-tab games to 21+.
- Ohio – Charity Bingo with three levels of licensing restricting hours
- Oklahoma – Casinos with Bingo and Charity Bingo is OK
- Oregon – Charitable organizations can hold Bingo events with handle limits
- Pennsylvania – Licensed Charity Bingo limited to twice per week, three-day consecutive events, and ten-day consecutive events at a fair
- Rhode Island – Charitable organizations can hold Bingo events and hire people to run the games
- South Carolina – Charity groups can run Bingo nights and licenses are granted without the need for renewal
- South Dakota – Nonprofits can offer Bingo with 30-days written notice to the state
- Tennessee – No Bingo
- Texas – Nonprofits can offer Bingo with a prize cap of $750 per game and $2,500 per session
- Utah – No Bingo
- Vermont – Bingo with a prize limit of $400 is OK and exceptions to that limit can be made
- Virginia – Nonprofits can offer Bingo and pay a bingo caller if they acquire a license
- Washington – Charitable bingo is OK and nonprofits can operate without a license for a limited number of events
- West Virginia – Charitable bingo is OK for nonprofits, but no more than twice a week and six hours per session
- Wisconsin – Charitable organizations can offer Bingo with prizes under $1,000
- Wyoming – Charity groups can hold Bingo events but only volunteers can work
USA bingo history
Bingo has roots going back to renaissance Italy. It first appeared in the USA in the 1920’s – originating in the Pittsburgh area. The rules were laid out in a book created by Hugh j. Ward in 1933. It was originally called ‘Beano’ – you will still find some references to the original name in many state’s statutes.
The game then spread to New York. The game was made popular by toy salesman E.S. Lowe. The name ‘Bingo’ became popular when an excited winner of a hand mis-spoke the original name. It is a popular format for charity fundraising events, seniors’ homes and (for higher stakes) at tribal casinos.
Bingo first made it online in 1996. It would be more than 20 years before the legal framework (under the jurisdiction of individual states) was in place for bingo to appear online in this country.
Wrapping up: Legal online bingo in the US
Online bingo is already live in New Jersey and coming to Pennsylvania and other states soon. You’ll find bingo games alongside slots and table games at some of the biggest and best online casino brands. 90-ball bingo gives you access to jackpots (for a full house). You’ll have the chance to buy multiple cards – giving you a better chance at hitting one of those big prizes.
New players can take advantage of a lot of bonuses at casinos including Virgin Casino, Tropicana and Pala Casino. These include free play with no deposit needed – as well as matched bonuses. You’ll be able to get your bingo bankroll off to the best possible start with these.
Check out the online bingo options in your state and enjoy this fast-paced and entertaining new way to gamble!