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The Origins of Bingo – Closer Look at the Bingo History


If we are talking about bingo history, the first thing that we must observe is the origins of bingo. Not only the more-hundred-year-old game which was the ancestor of our beloved activity. But we must also understand when and how bingo became one of the most popular past-time programs in the US and the most popular form of gambling in the UK.

By following the latest gambling news, you could read about how bingo is dominating in 2020 and how it became the only appreciated form of gambling in Europe. As many government, for example, Netherlands eased on its gambling regulations to let people play bingo. We would think for the first time that this interactive game is the invention of the new age. However, in fact, bingo history is way-was older…

Bingo is originated from middle-aged Italy

In the 1600s, or we can say around 1530, there was a famous lottery game that is still played nowadays. It’s called “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia”.

After that, the bingo history continues in France, where he got the name “Le Lotto”. It’s appeared in 1778, and in a very short period of time, it’s conquered the whole continent, and later the US as well. We must mention, that the cards, tokens, and the announcement of the victory were only added to the game in the 18th century.

By the way, the origins of bingo cards that we can meet at the bingo halls were only designed around 1920 by Hugh J. Ward who was an important figure in theatres both as an actor or director, both in America and in Australia. Originally the Bingo was called “beano” because it was played with dry beans instead of the Bingo tokens.

bingo history of the origins of bingo

Bingo had many different forms over the years

The origins of Bingo as we know is the invention of a notorious toymaker

Still, the nowadays’ bingo card design was only made in 1942 by a very interesting character, Edwin S. Lowe. He wasn’t simply a salesman, a game entrepreneur, but also a toymaker. He isn’t just famous for the invention of modern Bingo but also, he is known for his Las Vegas hotels. These hotels were unique because they were the only ones in Vegas without a casino inside. He thought that all the people who are coming to Nevada for a different reason than gambling, will all book a room in his hotels. However, it was a huge failure… However, as a toymaker, he reached everything with Bingo. Later, he was the one who also released Yahtzee but this is another story.

Play all the Bingo Variations at the Betway Bingo

You can find the origins of today’s known bingo game in the 1960s

So the origins of bingo as we know it in our days were coming from 1940. But then, it wasn’t as popular as now. When this great success came?

origins of bingo, UK bingo history

The 90-ball UK version Bingo card – Image source: AxG via Wikimedia Commons

In the 40s, after its fast spreading in Europe, there were two big regions where Bingo captured all the hearts. In the UK and in the US. As it appeared in the toy stores, quickly people started to gather just to play bingo. Mostly catholic groups enjoyed this activity.

Bingo History is different in the UK and in  the US

We also must mention, that after bingo conquered the UK and the US, different cultures developed two different games. In the UK they play the 90-ball bingo, while in the US the 75-ball bingo is the used form. Thus the bingo cards are also different. The UK version has 9 columns and 3 rows while the US has 5 rows and 5 columns and also includes a “Free Space” field in the middle. The biggest difference in the gameplay is the tempo. While 90-ball bingo is fast-paced, and it can be challenging for the beginners, the 75-ball bingo is slower and super easy to learn.

origins of bingo, US Bingo History

The 75-ball US version Bingo Card

The origins of online bingo

In the age of the Internet, we must also speak a couple of words about online bingo history.

The two first online bingo games appeared in 1996 and 1998, as Bingo Zone and later Bingo Blitz launched. However, the oldest existing bingo site at this moment is Cyber bingo. Even if, online bingo wasn’t a great success when it’s started, in the 2000s, it’s started an unbelievable growth. Now there are more million returning players. So, we can declare that online bingo also became part of the bingo culture.

online origins of bingo are the online bingo history

Online bingo became worldwide porpular

Even more, all the big gambling sites like Betway has its own bingo program. And these options will stay with us for a while as their popularity is continuously growing.

The origins of Bingo isn’t as important as its future

In summary, we took a broad look at the bingo history, while we discovered the origins of bingo and the origins of its success. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg. Despite the stereotype that only grannies play it, it’s considerably popular for all the generations. Even for children with an educational purpose. Thus, we shouldn’t only observe the past of our beloved game, but we must think about the future of bingo as well.

origins of bingo are the bingo history

A crowded bingo hall in 2018 – Image source: Flickr

The unwritten part of the Bingo History is only waiting for you

If you want to kill the time with further interesting things about bingo, check out our collection of bingo fun facts. And we have another good news. If you are in the mood for Bingo, you can start to play within a couple of seconds. All you have to do is to visit one of the mainstream bingo sites and you can start your ventures right after a short registration.

Click here to visit the Betway Bingo

You can discover all the necessary information about this outstanding bingo site in our Betway Bingo Review. Stay tuned with GamblingHerald if you want a dependable companion on your journey through the world of gambling!

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