History of Bingo
Bingo games can be traced back to 1530s where a lottery game in Italy called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia” was played on Saturdays.
From Italy, the bingo game entered France in the 1770s under the name “Le Lotto”. A German Lotto game of the 1850s was designed to teach children their multiplication tables.
However, it wasn’t until it reached the shores of USA that bingo made its huge leap. In 1929, a game called “beano” was played with “beans” at a carnival in Atlanta Georgia.
The game was first commercially exploited by a New York toy store owner, Edwin Lowe, who overheard a woman bingo player mistakenly call “bingo” instead of “beano”. He played the game at home with friends and sold the game for $2 in his toy store.
Edwin Lowe was approached by a Catholic priest who wanted to use bingo games as a means of raising funds for the church. However, it quickly occurred to them that the bingo game produced to many winners. The bingo game as we know it today was developed and improved with the help of a math professor from Columbia University, Carl Leffler. He created 6,000 bingo cards with non-repeating number groups, which made each card increasingly difficult to win.
The professor is said to have gone insane after that but his efforts made the bingo game reach the masses. By 1934, about 10,000 bingo games were played weekly in the USA.
Bingo in the UK
In the UK, bingo wasn’t well known until the 1960s. In 1968, the Gaming Act was passed in the Parliament which allowed bingo games to be played on licensed premises. Bingo was revolutionised in June 1986 with the launch of the National Bingo Game passed by Parliamentary legislation and a new Bingo Act. Britain is the only country where Bingo Calls are associated with rhyming vocabulary. You can find the full list of British bingo calls and the cockney slangs on Online Bingo Friends.
Bingo leaped into the internet world in 2005 with the new Gambling Act and reached its massive growth rate following the National Smoking Ban in 2007. This allowed hundreds of online bingo sites to be launched in a matter of 2-3 years reaching millions of online bingo players in the UK alone.
Bingo – Is it Gambling or not?
Strangely, bingo was never frowned upon like other forms of gambling. This is mostly due to the fact that bingo is usually played for fund-raising events for churches, schools and other non-profit organisations. It has always been seen as an enjoyable, sociable hobby for everyone, despite the fact that it IS a game of chance, a game of luck, purely dependent on random occurrences of a selected set of numbers. Today, “random number generators” are used especially on bingo websites to create the bingo numbers and ensure fairness of the games.
According to the statistics, there are more people visiting bingo halls every year than football matches in the UK. There are big celebrity names who openly admit their keen interest in bingo games, including Sharon Osbourne, Katie Price, Elisabeth Hurley, Kerry Katona, Robbie Wiliams, Elle MacPherson, Mariah Carey, Dennis Van Outen, Catherine Zeta Jones, Paris Hilton, Barack Obama’s stepmother and even our Queen. Join the red carpet of bingo; even the A-list celebrities love playing bingo.