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A Brief History of Bingo

While you’ve been dabbing away, have you ever wondered who invented the popular game of bingo? You might be surprised to know that our beloved bingo games can be traced back to the 1500s and has Italian origins. 

European origins  

A lot of new players from younger generations have been introduced to bingo via online bingo sites and apps, but the original game of bingo is derived from a game played in Italy which was named “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia” and it was extremely popular and quickly spread to other European countries. The game of bingo took off in France in the 1700s and they named the game “Le Lotto” and it was very popular with French aristocrats and wealthy Frenchmen. By the 1800s German had embraced the game and it was used widely in Germany for education purposes.  

America’s Beano  

The game of bingo was booming in America when it finally made it across the pond to North American in the late 1920s but it had a different name in North America, who dubbed the game “Beano”. It was first played in the state of Georgia at a fair but instead of using the classic dabber we use now for bingo the numbers were marked off using pens. The game was soon renamed Bingo but it was by chance after a player in New York shouted “bingo!”  by mistake instead of beano and the name stuck. In the US they traditionally played bingo on a 5 x 5 grid and to win players would need to mark off either a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line which would make the word BINGO. 

In North America, this traditional style of Bingo continues to be a popular game and it is more for traditionalist and is generally played in local community hubs and church halls as it doesn’t carry the negative stigma other gambling does.  

Brits’ adoption of Bingo 

The bingo industry is booming in the UK but it took a little convincing for people to adopt the game as their own and although it was played during World War II bingo didn’t become popular across the UK until the 1960s when a Gambling Act was passed which allowed bingo halls hold members-only games with jackpot prizes. The rest was history and the game continued to increase in popularity but took some hits along the way.  

Online Bingo  

Where would we be without the internet? No doubt, our lives would be very different as the impact has transformed the way we live our lives and has heavily impacted the way we entertain ourselves. 

Online bingo first became popular in the early 2000s, and twenty years later the industry is booming, encouraging new generations to play. Microgaming was the first company to create online bingo platforms for players to experience and by 2010 the websites became casino-style gambling sites with even more casinos games for players to enjoy. This meant that players could easily switch between different games, from online bingo to slots or table games, giving players even more choice than ever before how to entertain themselves.