Although Bingo is one of the most popular gambling games played in the world today, after experiencing a similar boom in post-World War II Britain, it underwent a period of decline. The internet breathed new life into the game, but do you know it’s fascinating history?
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
It’s believed that Bingo began in Italy in 1530, having been linked to a lottery there called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia, or The Lottery Game of Italy. It got to the United Kingdom via France, and by the 18th century was being enjoyed in many towns and cities there before it moved into the USA.
The game didn’t earn the name we know it by until Mr Edwin Lowe, a Long Island toy manufacturer, popularised it. Having enjoyed what was known as Beano at a 1929 Georgia carnival, he took the game back home. One of his pals was so elated by winning that she shouted Bingo instead of Beano and a whole new pastime was born.
Lowe started printing cards, increased the possible combinations, and launched his version of the age-old pastime as Bingo. The success he enjoyed allowed him to additionally launch a very iconic game called Yahtzee which is also still enjoyed today.
The Internet Leaves Its Mark
Up until quite recently, if you’d been asked about Bingo, images of smoky old halls peopled by purple-haired old aged pensioners might have sprung to mind. That’s far from the truth nowadays though since it’s become a game that everyone plays thanks to the internet! Along with social media platforms, getting the best NRL Premiership odds, and finding the love of your life via high-tech dating applications, Bingo enjoys huge popularity online nowadays.
In fact, it’s grown to be so popular that even Facebook applications like Wonder Bingo enjoyed so much popularity and such huge amounts of traffic that it launched its own website. That’s right! From its humble beginnings it has gone on to become one of the many sites available online, catering to discerning players since 2011.
In 2013, 15 Network enjoyed an official launch, allowing the game to move into the mobile market. This has undergone a huge boom in the past few years, with monthly revenue increasing steadily.
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
It’s been a long road since Bingo was first enjoyed by Italians as a fun pastime that brought in some extra money in the early parts of the 16th century. It’s undergone several changes to get where it is today, available on desktop, smartphones, and tablets with a simple flick of the finger or a click of the mouse.
Its basic concept remains the same, however, and connects us to our ancestors of so many hundreds of years ago. It’s a truly global game, too, with many different countries adding their own special flavour.
Originating in Italy, it underwent changes when it moved to France, and then evolved again when it reached the British Isles. Then it underwent a commercial revolution in the USA, and there’s something poetic about how many influences it’s undergone.