The History of Bingo

30 March 2010

Bingo has been around for longer than you might first think, over the years it has evolved and gained more features and players. When the game first started it was only men who were permitted to play, this is no longer the case as during modern times the game is mainly played by woman. As mentioned earlier the game is now popular with a large variety of people, which means there are more people to meet, talk to and get advice from. Here is an brief time line of how bingo has changed:

1530 Italy The earliest known bingo-style game called Lo Giucco del Lotto D'Italia, is played every Saturday. The lottery is still played every Saturday in Italy, this shows the direct link from bingo to lottery balls.

1778 France The game arrives in France, known as Le Lotto, and is played by wealthy Frenchmen, woman were not allowed to play with the men at this time.

1880 Germany The Germans put a version of the game to good use by making it as a child's teaching aid for maths, spelling and history. There are many games available today for the same purpose from places such as

1929 America There's a carnival game played in the South, known as 'beano'. If the caller shouts out a number present on the player's card he or she places a dried bean on the said number. When the player has placed a line of beans in any direction they have won, the winner marks their win by shouting ‘Beano!’ Edwin S. Lowe, a New York toy salesman, sees it being played and takes it to a new level.

1930 America Mr Lowe hires Columbia University maths professor Carl Leffler to increase the number of combinations in bingo cards to 6000. This project allegedly drives the professor mad! The new name stems from a player shouting BINGO instead of beano! and the new name replaces the old one.

1934 America A Catholic priest from Pennsylvania approaches Lowe about using Bingo as a way of raising church funds. The charitable roots of bingo are born. An estimated 10,000 games are played weekly in 1934. This Gradually increased with a snowballing effect.

1968 The playing of Bingo is formalised in the UK under the Gaming Act of 1968, new bingo halls start to emerge throughout the UK.

1986 The National Bingo game is launched in the UK, the bingo hall is at it's highest point to date.

2003 The first UK online bingo sites launch in the UK.

2005 More than 3 million people regularly play bingo online and offline. Unlike in 18th century France, most players are women. This figure is growing every day, meaning an even larger community of friendly people to meet.


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