To understand the history of Mecca Bingo, it is crucial to be familiar with bingo’s roots as a pastime. The game is much older than you might imagine. Its origins can be traced all the way back to the 16th century.

It was during the 16th century that the Italian government invented a game called Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia to raise money for the state.

Although this game was technically a lottery, it was very similar to today’s bingo — For the first time, a numerical game was utilized in this wagering system, marking an important milestone in gambling history.

Modern Bingo

This early European lotto game eventually made its way to the United States in the 1920s, where it was given the new name – ‘Beano’ by New York businessman Edwin Lowe.

Edwin began to promote his patented version of the numbers game, which he named ‘Beano’ by showcasing it at carnivals, and it soon became a hit.

During one game, an enthusiastic player won and proudly exclaimed ‘Bingo!’ instead of the traditional call of ‘Beano’.; the crowd and Mr. Lowe laughed at the mistake. However, he loved the sound of it and decided to use ‘Bingo’ as the name for his game, and the rest is history!

Bingo In Britain

Bingo, as we know it today, eventually crossed the pond to Britain. The man behind the popularity of the game in the United Kingdom was Eric Morley. In the late 1950s, Eric became the Manager of Dancing at the famous chain of Dance Halls called Mecca.

Ballroom Dancing as a pastime was in decline by the 1950s, and Eric needed to find something to replace it as a revenue generator for the dance halls. After seeing a bingo game in America during his travels, he decided to bring the game back to blighty and introduce it at Mecca’s Dance Halls.

These big halls were the perfect place to host bingo nights, and within a few years, the game had become one of the most popular pastimes in Britain.

Why is Mecca Bingo called Mecca?

As mentioned earlier, the bingo brand took its name from the original Mecca Dance Halls. It was no surprise that the company decided to keep the ‘Mecca’ moniker for this new venture, as the dance halls had already become beacons of entertainment in multiple cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom.

The brand name has recently caused controversy, as some deem it to be offensive given its religious connotations. However, it’s worth pointing out that when the Mecca company (Mecca Agency Limited) was founded in 1933, the name would have been far less problematic than today.

Mecca Dance Halls - How Mecca Bingo got its name

At the time, to describe something as a ‘Mecca’ was simply to mean a place one would desire to visit. In the same way, people used the phrase ‘All roads lead to Rome’.

Although the company name has no religious intent, Mecca Bingo has worked with local communities where the name has caused offence. In 1998 the company renamed its Luton outlet following meetings with local Muslim leaders.

Online Bingo Boom

The 1980s saw a new era for bingo. With purpose-built bingo halls springing up around the country, the game’s popularity just kept growing. In 2006 more people in the UK went to bingo halls than to football games. More than a decade on, and bingo is just as popular, though today, it is mainly played online.

Online bingo is the most recent version of the game. The UK has one of the biggest online bingo markets in the world, with tens of thousands of us playing every day. Mecca Bingo is a remarkable bingo website and was one of the first to go online at the dawn of the internet.

The brand constantly evolves and updates to meet players’ needs. There are many games on offer across more than 20 bingo rooms. There are nine 90-ball rooms, four 75-ball rooms, and one 80-ball room. And that doesn’t even include the numerous Special Bingo rooms on offer. Fancy Emoji Bingo, BOB, or Britains Got talent Bingo? You’ll find them all at Mecca online.

And not content to have one of the most extensive ranges of online bingo games, Mecca is also home to over 160 different slot games. 34 of them even have daily jackpots!

Mecca online is pretty much all you could ask for, including a welcoming online community and moderators to help you with anything you might need! Plus, they have developed the Mecca Bingo App, which is a must-have on your mobile device. Never miss your favourite games, the big jackpots, or offers again. It’s available for both Apple and Android.

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