From Italian Lottery to Online Bingo

A diversity of bingo games including online bingo is currently enjoyed worldwide. However, not so many people are aware of the origin of this interesting game. The original game itself is several centuries old but there are different variations that pop up each and every day. The real ancestor of bingo is the Italian lottery. Bingo is traced back Italy where it was played as a gamble game and was used to finance the country’s coffers. It is from there that it spread to Europe and beyond the continent, arriving in varying guises.

While online bingo exhibit features of the Italian lottery game, it is in the United States where the name Bingo originated. The game was used in fundraisers and originally players used beans to gamble leading to it being named Beano, which was later changed to “Bean-Go” whose abridged version is “BINGO”.

In Germany, in the late 19th century Bingo became famous tool in educating Mathematics, especially multiplication. This is a feature that bingo still exhibit today as it used in enhancing understanding of English language among foreign students.

In the UK, bingo was never considered as a gambling game but a thrilling social pastime enjoyed by all. Therefore, the laws gave a leeway for investors to take advantage and Eric Morley’s company did this in style, after Mecca had introduced the bingo obsession. It was only then that the profitability of bingo became bare attracting the government’s attention. Ever since bingo has become a bomb and until today Britain still hold an annual Caller of the Year competition.

Bingo became famous and by early 80’s bingo halls had began to be modernized introducing the ambience of true casinos. The old boring and mourning-like feel was completely gone. The first bingo hall is recorded to have been built in Canton, Cardiff. Bingo became a lifestyle and many venues begun arranging night events attended by people of different walks of life including celebrities such Mariah Carey and other musicians. People gathered early, had meals and drunk before the game crowned the occasion.

Back in 2004, bingo went viral and bingo halls were highly attended to than the famous UK football matches. This is attributed to the fact that the game also attracted fancied celebrities. And even as you read this piece, Bingo still happens to dictate fashion and social trends.

Online bingo which begun in the US is now considered a multimillion dollar business and UK leads in terms of market strength and benefits. Even though most old people still enjoy going to bingo halls, online bingo has swept the foot of younger players. Statistics shows that only 10% of online bingo players are above 50 years.

Online bingo is loved by the game enthusiast mainly because it can be played at any time without having to travel at all. Rather than go and take a seat in the bingo halls, most players take pleasure playing the game in the ease of their residence where they are safe and protected.

Even in its online niche, bingo remains a very social game, courtesy of the social network tools and the chat options. With the grip that Bingo has on the internet and the innovative world we live in today, it is only realistic that we accept the death of custom bingo halls.

Gamble Aware ( 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.

Gary Beal

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