The history of bingo can be traced back to humble beginnings in the great Italian city-states of the 1500s. ‘Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia’ was the first ‘National Lottery’, which was played every week.

From Italy, the game spread to provincial France and was known as ‘Le Lotto’, which proved very popular amongst the rich French merchant classes. It evolved even further when the Germans put an educational spin on the game and used it to teach children basic maths.

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TL;DR History of Bingo:

  • Bingo originated in Italy during the 16th century as a lottery-style game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia.”
  • The game spread throughout Europe and evolved over time. In the 18th century, a version of the game called “Le Lotto” gained popularity in France.
  • In the early 20th century, the game reached the United States and was commonly played at carnivals and fairs.
  • Edwin S. Lowe, a toy salesman, popularized the game further in the 1920s after witnessing it being played at a carnival in Atlanta.
  • Lowe introduced the game as “Beano” and organized a game at a New York toy shop. Legend has it that a player excitedly yelled “Bingo!” instead of “Beano,” giving the game its new name.
  • The game’s popularity skyrocketed, and Lowe teamed up with a mathematician to create more unique bingo cards, ensuring a greater variety of winning combinations.
  • Bingo became a popular fundraising activity during World War II, used by churches and charitable organizations to raise money.
  • In the 1960s, the advent of computer technology led to the development of electronic bingo machines, making the game more accessible and efficient.
  • Bingo continues to be enjoyed worldwide, both in traditional brick-and-mortar bingo halls and online platforms.
  • The game has evolved to include variations such as speed bingo, themed bingo events, and progressive jackpot games.
  • Today, bingo remains a beloved social activity, providing entertainment and the chance to win prizes while bringing people together.

Bingo In The USA

Edwin Lowe discovered the game of bingo at a carnival near Jacksonville, Georgia, in the United States. It was in December 1929 when he witnessed the game being played. The game was originally called “Beano” at the time. Excited by its potential, Lowe decided to introduce it to a wider audience and make it popular.

To accomplish this, Lowe organized a game of Beano at a New York toy shop. During the game, as the story goes, a player got so thrilled upon completing a winning pattern that she exclaimed, “Bingo!” instead of “Beano.” This accidental name slip sparked Lowe’s inspiration, and he decided to rename the game as “Bingo.”

Lowe recognized the game’s immense appeal and began to market it extensively. He developed new game variations, including different card layouts and combinations, to ensure a greater level of excitement and engagement for players. Additionally, he enlisted the help of a mathematician to create a larger number of unique bingo cards, reducing the chance of multiple winners in the same game.

Lowe’s relentless promotion and innovative approach paid off. He organized bingo games across the United States, collaborating with churches, schools, and social organizations to popularize the game further.

The game’s popularity grew rapidly as people enjoyed the simplicity, social aspect, and the thrill of yelling “Bingo!” when they achieved a winning pattern.

Edwin Lowe’s efforts and strategic marketing campaigns propelled Bingo into the mainstream, firmly establishing it as a beloved game enjoyed by millions around the world.

Bingo In The UK

Bingo arrived in the United Kingdom during the early 1960s. The credit for making it popular in the UK goes to a man named Eric Morley. Morley, a British entrepreneur, recognized the potential of bingo as a social and entertainment activity.

In 1961, Morley introduced the concept of commercial bingo halls in the UK. He opened the first modern bingo club, called the “Top Rank Bingo Club,” in the town of Oldham. This new concept of dedicated bingo venues, with professional management and a welcoming atmosphere, attracted a large audience.

Morley’s innovation in the bingo industry led to the establishment of more dedicated bingo halls nationwide. He introduced improvements such as comfortable seating, modern facilities, and entertainment to enhance the players’ experience. This approach transformed bingo from a simple game to a popular form of social gathering.

Furthermore, Morley played a significant role in organizing and hosting high-profile bingo events, including the Miss World pageant. These events attracted media attention and helped to raise the profile of bingo as an enjoyable pastime.

Through his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication, Eric Morley played a pivotal role in popularizing bingo in the United Kingdom, creating a thriving industry that continues to thrive to this day.

Online Bingo

It’s no surprise that Bingo broadly appeals to women, with 85% of all online players being women. To keep players coming back for more, the game now has a lot of variations, particularly online. There are branded games, prizes for 1TG, 2TG and linked games with huge jackpots. Even the card layout can be different depending on where you play.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the welcome packages on offer from the online bingo sites. They want your business, and they are willing to pay for it. So if you’ve never played online bingo before, make sure that you check out as many of the trusted sites as you can to find the one that gives you the best gameplay.

Here we particularly like Jackpotjoy, Betfred Bingo and Tombola. Each has a great range of games with prices to suit every budget. The gameplay is fun, with some great promotions and prizes on offer.

Bingo is a popular game in various countries around the world. Some of the countries where bingo enjoys significant popularity include:

  1. United States: Bingo has a long-standing tradition in the United States and remains a beloved game played in community centres, churches, and dedicated bingo halls.
  2. United Kingdom: Bingo has a strong presence in the UK, with numerous dedicated bingo clubs spread across the country. It has become a popular social activity for people of all ages.
  3. Canada: Bingo is widely enjoyed in Canada, both in traditional halls and online platforms. It is a popular fundraising activity for charities and community organizations.
  4. Australia: Bingo has gained a significant following in Australia, with dedicated bingo venues and online platforms catering to players. It is often played in clubs and community centres.
  5. Spain: In Spain, bingo is called “Lotería” and is a popular game enjoyed by people of all ages. It is commonly played in bingo halls and is often a part of traditional Spanish celebrations.
  6. Sweden: Bingo, known as “Bingolotto,” is a well-liked game in Sweden. It is frequently played on television as a live game show, where participants can win prizes.
  7. Italy: The bingo game originated in Italy as “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia.” Although its popularity has somewhat declined over the years, it remains part of Italian culture and is still enjoyed by many.
  8. Brazil: Bingo, known as the “Bingo Show,” became popular in Brazil in the 1990s. It was widely played in dedicated bingo halls until it was banned in 2004. However, online bingo has continued to thrive in Brazil.

These are just a few examples, as bingo has also found popularity in countries like Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, and many others. Its appeal as a fun, social game with the chance to win prizes has contributed to its global popularity.