History Of Bingo

Bingo is a much loved game of luck and chance and is played by many across the globe. Bingo is a popular game played by millions of people and with such a wide variety of bingo games as well as the wonderful world of online bingo to explore, it appears the bingo craze has only just begun.

Bingo and its Origins

Did you know that the game of bingo was first established back in the early 16th Century...1530 to be exact! The earliest type of bingo game played was in Italy, the lottery game "Lo Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia" was played every week and the tradition still stands today. The concept of Bingo then moved to Atlanta, America in the early 20th century, where players would play "Beano", bingo but with dried beans...don't ask, I donít understand either!

A dude called Edwin Lowe saw that the game was well received by players and felt this could be promoted across America. The game was then taken to New York where the name "Beano" was changed in to Bingo after one lucky winner was so thrilled he had won, shouted "Bingo" rather than "Beano"! The early games of Bingo were played with 12 and 24 cards and by 1940 the game was set on its path to become the phenomenon it is today!

The origin of Bingo in the UK can be traced back to Lottery games that first took place in 1558. Gambling games increased immensely in popularity during the reign of Charles II and proved to be a very lucrative business. It was during this time that Bingo become recognised as leisure past time especially with Women although many poorer people could not afford to play. A national state lottery was then created to boost government income. However private illegal lotteries were often set up and this allowed people with poorer incomes, who would often risk arrest, a chance to play as these illegal games were on offer for low prices.

In 1906, the Government banned all cash betting, this was to irradiate poorer people from gambling. Bingo or 'tombola' as it was then known as, was used as a fundraising tool although some charities did not run these games as many considered these to have too many similarities as the illegal bingo gambling games.

During the periods of 1900 to 1960, illegal gambling took off in a big way with some surveys highlighting that women in particular were gambling illegally on a regular basis. As illegal gambling was so popular, profits from these games would often fund criminal activities.

The commercial game of bingo as we know and love it was legalised in 1960, with the "betting and gambling act" 1960. This would now mean that governments could monitor and tax all existing gambling games and this would also see a reduction in the number of criminals running illegal games and promote commercial enterprises.

From then on in, bingo clubs continued to spring up and the masses started to enjoy regular games of bingo.

As criminal activity was still present in the commercial game, new tighter controls were introduced in 1968 with the "Gaming Bill".

In 1996 the game of bingo moved global with the introduction of games online. Players could now play in the comfort of there own home and play with others across the world. Tens of millions people now play Bingo every day and the game has moved on significantly from when it was first introduced.

So there you go, the history of bingo in a nutshell!