The game of bingo can be traced back to 1530 where it was an Italian lottery called ‘”Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia,” which is still played every Saturday in Italy. From Italy it spread across France in the late 1770s and Germany in the 1800s. By the time it reached North America in 1929 it became known as ‘Beano.’ New York toy salesman Edwin S Lowe renamed it Bingo after he heard someone accidently yell ‘Bingo instead of ‘beano.’ A New York entrepreneur ‘Morley’ saw the profitable possibilities of the game and employed a mathematician to plan more combination of cards. Morley’s company Mecca soon took up the bingo game and brought it further afield including to the UK.
A catholic priest approached the New York saleman in the 1920’s about using Bingo as a means to raise church funds. This soon became the norm and by 1934 an estimated 10,000 bingo games were being played every week, a trend which is still being played out today. Despite the online revolution, more than $90 million are spent on bingo each week in North America alone.
The popularity of bingo meant that the game continued to evolve, which led to the introduction of bingo cards and complicated arbitrary number generating machines. The unique language for example ‘two fat ladies’ soon followed and became a universal language among regular bingo goers. This language still lives on today especially in the UK where there is an annual bingo calling competition and whilst regular bingo halls do not always adopt this tradition, it does still live on in holiday resorts and social clubs.
By the 1980s bingo halls had been rationalised and the venues appeared to lend them themselves entirely to the game rather than being just a facility. Its popularity continued to grow and increasingly people viewed bingo as a bonefide source of entertainment. Women would visit in groups and people would enjoy meals and drinks and call it a proper night out. This was further fuelled by big named celebrity endorsements including Elle Macpherson and Maria Carey. In fact by 2004 more people went to bingo halls than football matches thanks to such clever marketing ploys.
The introduction of online bingo no deposit bonuses in 1996 has meant that bingo now reaches a wider population
Thanks to the increasing popularity of iphones, ipdad and smart phones etc, bingo is now accessible to anyone with a computer or phone with the technology, 24hours a day 7 days a week. In fact 90% of online gamblers are under the age of 50. Such is the popularity of bingo, some people not only play online, but visit the bingo halls as well. This highlights the fact that no matter how far the bingo market has grown, there is still plenty of longevity left in this industry and for now there is room for bingo halls as well as online bingo no deposit bonuses.
Gamble Aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk) is managed by the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, an independent charity which funds treatment, research and education about responsible gambling. The website has been developed by a Task Force made up of representatives from the Gambling Commission, DCMS, academia and industry.