Origins of Bingo: A multi-faceted story

We don’t see Bingo ever going out of style! Ever since it began, it has enchanted audiences of all ages. This is one of the great things about the game – it is simple and easy to follow, meaning that grandparents can play it with their grandchildren! While it began in land based casinos, there’s now a really popular online Barbados Bingo market. Playing online means players can play whenever they fancy and from the comfort of their own home! But Bingo is definitely a social occasion for some people, who love going to their weekly Bingo game at their local hall. The origins and history of Bingo is an interesting, multi-faceted story and one that isn’t that well known! The game has been on long travels, beginning in Italy and moving through France, Britain and America. Plus it has gone through plenty of changes and adaptations along the way! Make sure you read on to find out more about Bingo.

Where did the game begin?

The origins of Bingo can actually be traced all the way back to 1530 in Italy. It is linked back to the Italian lottery, or known as Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. In fact, it is still extremely popular in Italy, where a real sense of community is present thanks to the game. The different towns and villages will come together and host huge games at the weekend. They will set up long tables and gather plenty of chairs so that everyone can join in! The game then went on its travels through France and Britain, as it began to rise in popularity. By the 18th Century, Bingo was a widely played game through the cities and towns in Britain, before making its way into the United States. The version of the game that was being played, however, was not the one that we are familiar with today. It was when Bingo entered France that it was adapted into the version that we would recognise today. The French lottery, or Le Lotto, is what the game was based on, and by 1778 it was the most popular gambling game in France. When the game reached France it was adapted, and the Bingo cards had the standard three rows, with nine vertical rows making up the card. You’ll recognise this from the 90 Ball Bingo card that we still use today. This is the version of the game that moved to Britain, as a fun game of chance. Throughout history, and today, Bingo has been used as a teaching tool for both children and adults. The game can help improve your mathematical abilities, as well as your problem solving skills.

Where does the name Bingo come from?

This is a fun fact about the game! Bingo existed and was played before it was actually called the name it is now. In 1929, a toy manufacturer called Edwin S Lowe was playing the game at a carnival in America, but the game was known as Beano. The story goes that he overheard someone shout out ‘Bingo’ instead of ‘Beano’ because they were so excited by their win. Lowe said “I cannot describe the strange sense of elation which that girl’s cry brought to me,” and “All I could think of was that I was going to come out with this game, and it was going to be called Bingo!”  So he decided that he liked the name Bingo, and it was popular with his friends, so he printed playing cards out and decided to sell the game. He found it difficult to get the maths right at first, as there were always too many winners! So Lowe employed a Professor called Carl Leffler to help him, and eventually they solved it! By 1934, Americans were playing about 10,000 games of Lowe’s Bingo per week! Today, in North America alone $90 million is spent per week on the game! Lowe’s success continued and he went on to sell the successful game Yahtzee.

The revolution of online gambling games

When you think of Bingo do you think of dingy old halls, packed full of elderly people? This is a typical stereotype of the game and it couldn’t be further from the truth! Now more than ever, the game is popular with young people and can actually be considered a trend. Of course, the online and mobile gaming revolution has had a huge impact on this. In 1996 Cyberbingo.com was established and earnt its place as the first online Bingo website. But it would take a few more years for the online gaming world to truly establish itself, with 2003 marking this time. Facebook even created Bingo apps like Wonder Bingo to cash in on the popularity of the game – people couldn’t get enough of it! Wonder Bingo even ended up launching its own website in 2011, so its players had somewhere specific to visit when they wanted their next fix of the game. The mobile gaming market attracted even more players, as people could play the game on the go. 15 Network launched in 2013, and the mobile gaming world has not looked back since.

Final thoughts on the origins of Bingo

The story and history of Bingo is a multi-faceted and fascinating story. We have covered it from its very beginning with its inception in 1530s Italy, and followed it all the way up to the craze of online gaming. In fact, over 10,000 games of online Bingo are played per day! We love that it’s become a universal and global game, and that anyone can join in the fun because of its simple and easy to follow rules. We love that it has the power to bring together people in social gatherings, who usually wouldn’t meet! Overall, our beloved game has certainly come a long way and it shows no sign of slowing down in popularity – the game is worth a huge £1.3 billion in the UK today! If you haven’t played a game of Bingo yet, then we definitely recommend you do!

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