These two images show the interest in online bingo by region since 2004.
Given bingo’s long history in Britian it’s no surprise that we’re the benchmark for the rest of the world. It seems that British soldiers picked up the game on their travels, with the word bingo coming a lot later. From the military class it eventually spread to the public and became a nationwide sensation during the ’60s when bingo halls opened up all over the country.
Since then it has been adopted by other countries around the world. The results of this wordlwide bingo popularity map, if we can call it that, was a bit unexpected. We couldn’t have predicted that Cyprus would be the second on the list, although a little bit of history helps explain it. Cyprus was a British colony and it would makes sense that this British pasttime might have made a cultural migration. According to the site gamingzion.com: “Bingo plays a special role in Cyprus. While adults gamble at the tracks, on football matches, with the state lottery, or at one of the country’s many fine casinos, teens and young adults enjoy bingo. Instead of the quiet, social atmosphere of bingo halls in US and UK, Cypriot bingo halls are noisy places, with music, lights, huge flat-screen TVs, and digital number displays.”
Romania is a different story. We’re not really certain why the game is so popular there but a little bit of googling reveals this vital information from frixo.com: “Wagering Euros is the norm for Romanian bettors online, but there are four web sites now offering betting in the local currency—the Romanian Leu. Two are specialised in sports betting—Unibet and—while the other two are focused on bingo—Maria Bingo and Bingo. All of them have local language support services, too.” No wonder they’ve been keen to go after this market: it’s the seventh largest EU member state by population, which is over 22 million!
Other forms of “money” gaming are more popular on the continent. We know that the lottery is very popular in Spain and Eastern Europe, for example. Spain’s El Gordo La Primitiva is one of the most widely-played lotteries in the world. But this tendency to gamble means that bingo is also very popular too. The Spanish gambling laws are also fairly relaxed. Brazilians seem to like bingo, from what we can see, but the gambling laws are much stricter than their Spanish counterparts.
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