Attitudes towards gambling vary widely between the UK and the US, especially when it comes to online bets.
First of all, you should know that gambling websites are banned altogether in most US states, with New Jersey being the first of just a small handful which permit them. Furthermore, the US does not enjoy bingo like the Brits do, or at least, it’s not anywhere near as popular as it is in England.
We folks here at WDW Bingo are pretty disappointed by this. In the US, bingo is still seen as a game for little old ladies to occupy their time while knitting away in a care centre. The poor dears have no idea what they’re missing out on!
Now you may be thinking: “No gambling? But what about Vegas?!?” The US surely has its iconic Vegas city, the capital of debauchery. It is true, that commercial casinos are very profitable in the US economy, with the industry worth around $34.41 billion. Just compare this to legal bookmaking, which only reaches around $160 million. However, what you need to keep in mind is the size of the US – the culture of one city certainly can’t be applied to an enormous population of 316 million. Heck, the state of Hawaii doesn’t allow any form of gambling at all, online or otherwise.
Just as US attitudes vary by state, England faces a similar split in opinion between the North and South. Cities in which a higher percentage of the population gamble tend to be located in the Midlands or North, such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. However these cities also have a much smaller population than down South, so gambling companies still make most of their money from London, despite the ratio of gambling enthusiasts there being smaller.
Not just laws, but the rules of gambling games can change between countries as well. For instance, the UK traditionally draws 90 balls in a single game of bingo, whereas the US prefers to use a 75 ball version. Even the name of gambling games can get lost in translation (e.g. “Spanish 21” in America vs. “Pontoon” in England).
Also, there is perhaps more emphasis on the idea of ‘the show’ in American casinos, Vegas in particular. Larger amounts of money are spent on music, magicians, actors, etc, keeping you distracted from all that cash you’re losing on slots! Yes, these distractions include alcohol. Here in England, we much prefer a tranquil gaming environment.
The UK in general does take a much more relaxed approach to gambling, and has far more realistic expectations. Dress code is important, but nowhere near the glitz and glamour of Vegas. Plus, you don’t have to be rich or a celebrity just to step foot into a UK casino; lots people happily walk in with only a tenner in their pocket. In contrast, entry to an American casino can be very difficult with the bouncer on high alert – so dress to impress!