Gambling in the USA vs the UK – What You Need to Know

Taking your chips across the pond? Here's everything you need to know about the differences in gambling between the USA and the UK.

Fancy Taking a Spin across the Pond? Here’s What You Need to Know

Here at Bally Casino, we're all about bringing the iconic American gaming experience to the shores of the United Kingdom. See, we're known as Bally's in the USA, and we've built quite the name for ourselves in the entertainment business; 14 epic casinos in more than ten states! And now we've crossed the pond to bring that Vegas feeling to you. 

It goes without saying that we know a thing or two about gambling in both the USA and the UK. Interested in learning the differences between the two scenes? We've got you covered. Sit back and get ready to find out more. 

Lights, cameras, atmosphere! Comparing the land-based casino experience  

Casino venues  

We don't like to pick sides, but the bright lights of Las Vegas are hard to beat. Epic entertainment shows, glamorous live dealers, and bustling crowds are all ingredients of that awesome gaming experience. And with several hot spots, such as Vegas and Atlantic City, the USA is a popular choice for players looking to jump into the fun at a physical casino.

And like so many things stateside, the USA serves supersized portions of casino fun. Don't believe us? At the time of writing, the biggest casino in the UK is roughly 93,000 square feet in size, while Bally's Chicago Casino Resort covers a whopping 168,000 square feet. With floor plans this big, y'all can bet there are plenty of slot machines, table games and card games to get stuck into. 

What we're trying to say is, casinos in the United States are in the business of all-round entertainment! Think big celebrity concerts, restaurants and even gift stores appearing in many resorts. When you combine all this with the famous 5-star American service, it's easy to see why Vegas is a popular bucket list destination.  

Over here, many land-based casinos still promise players an entertaining experience, just on a smaller scale.  

Dress code 

While we love seeing our buds looking their very best, there's no need to brush off a suit for a trip to the casino over here. In the UK, many establishments operate a 'smart casual' dress code. Hard no-no's? Hats, sunglasses and tracksuits. Don't wear these items unless you want to risk being turned away at the door. 

In the USA, though, many casinos don't have a dress code at all. You can rock a tuxedo if you want – in fact, some high rollers like to do just that – but it's up to you. Feel like staying in your casual attire? No problem. Playing online? Wear whatever you like - wherever you are. Not having to leave the house is one of the perks of online casinos, after all. You can just sign up, kick back, and get spinning from the comfort of your own home. 

Opening hours 

Las Vegas has earned the title of 'The Entertainment Capital of the World', while Atlantic City is often referred to as 'The World’s Playground.' With nicknames like that, you know the action doesn't stop. Ready to spin the roulette wheel? It doesn't matter what time it is in the USA, just head to your favourite casino and dive into the action. Unlike the UK, most casinos in the USA operate around the clock, so you can play whenever – just like online casinos. 

The legal side: How gambling laws differ in the UK and USA 

Rules and regulations 

The USA and the UK may have a lot in common but they're very different places. Take the size of each country for one. The USA is a whopping 40x the size of the UK in square miles and is made up of different states that can have big differences in landscapes, climate, and culture. Sheer scale in mind, it makes sense that laws differ, and the rules are adjusted from place to place. That's right, the laws that regulate gambling (both in person and online) vary from state to state. 

Meanwhile back in Great Britain, gambling laws are consistent across each country – England, Scotland and Wales. Say hello to the Gambling Commission, folks! Established in 2007, the Gambling Commission is a government body set up to regulate all commercial gambling in Great Britain.  

If you're looking to place a bet on Great Britain shores, then check if the casino has a licence from these guys. From issuing licences to commercial casinos to imposing fines on gambling operators, the Gambling Commission is a big name to look out for when making sure you're gambling at a safe and secure casino. 

On the other side of the pond, there isn't one federal law overseeing gambling across the whole of the USA. Some states mirror how we do things over here, with land-based casinos, online casinos and sports gambling available to gamers, while other states don't permit any form of gambling.  

For example, it's legal to gamble online and in person in Rhode Island, however only land-based casinos are legal in South Dakota. So, if you're looking to take your chips over to the USA, it's worth checking out the rules in your destination state before you fly.  

Your age matters 

Possibly the most well-known difference between gambling in the USA and the UK? The minimum age a player needs to be to roll the dice. Here in the UK, 18 years old is also the golden number for when you can legally gamble.  

Meanwhile, folks in the USA need to wait a little longer to into the action, with the legal gambling age for many states set as 21.   

If we're getting technical (which is what we're here to do!) in some states such as California, it's legal to gamble at 18. But as most land-based casinos serve alcohol, and the legal drinking age across the board in the USA is 21, anyone under that age may not be permitted to enter.  

Tax laws 

Here at Bally Casino, we have a passion for games and believe in playing for the fun of it. But don't get us wrong, prizes are still a big part of the action! With Daily Free Games*, bonus rounds and promotions all available to experience at our online casino, there are plenty of chances to win a prize. Whatever you win will be yours to keep – no hidden fees and no taxes. 

But over in the USA, the tax person takes a cut of any winnings made from gambling. So, what a player wins and what they take home may be a little different. Don't stress if you're currently planning that bucket list trip to Vegas, though. UK citizens don't need to pay taxes on their winnings. Thanks to the US Tax Treaty, you can claim the tax back. 

The heart of it all: Are casino games the same around the world? 

The most important part? The games! Here at Bally Casino, we have a passion for playing the fun of it. From casino-floor classics to exciting innovations, we love to find the very best casino games. 

Travelling around the world is an awesome chance to experience new things, including your favourite casino games. There are plenty of classics that have had small tweaks here and there, according to the country you're playing in.  

Take roulette, for example. We like to think it's instantly recognisable, having featured in tons of iconic movies (looking at you, Bond) and entertaining players worldwide. Step inside an American casino and you'll soon spot a difference to what you're used to here. Unlike European roulette, the American version features two '0' pockets, which can change the layout and the house edge.  

Intrigued? You can find both types of roulette at Bally Casino, so you can 'hop across the pond' as much as you like! 

And remember our mission? By combining an incredible collection of games with the famous American service, we'll have you feeling like smack-dab in the heart of Vegas, wherever you are. All the best parts of gambling in the UK and the USA, at your fingertips. So, whether you're sitting on your sofa or strutting the city streets, we've got you covered. Just sign up to get started.

Looking for more insights into the world of casinos? We've got you covered, folks! Check out our blog, where you can find plenty of tips, information and exciting updates.