A history of Bingo


Although there have been many casino games which have stood the test of time, Bingo is arguably the most impressive of them all, having undergone a recent struggle to bring people into Bingo halls. Fortunately, with the invention of the internet and the development of online casinos, Bingo has been able to thrive again, with a whole new generation being able to play anywhere and anytime.

The game has come a long way, but where did it all begin? Here we take you through the history and origins of one of the most loved games – Bingo.

The origins

You can trace the origins of Bingo back to the 1500s, when an Italian state-run lottery was set up. Although this might seem a world away from what we now know as Bingo, it is this lottery, called “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia”, that is seen as the birthplace of Bingo.

It wasn’t until the 1770s that it reached France, where they called it “Le Lotto”. In France, it was traditionally played by the rich French aristocrats. During its time moving around Europe, the rules of the game changed, although it was in France that a more similar design to the game we know today was developed.

In the 1800s a variation of the game in Germany was used as an educational tool which helped children to learn, whether it was their times tables or spelling.

Trip to America

It was in the 1920s that the game crossed the Atlantic and reached North America. The name changed to “Beano” and this was shouted by players when they had all the numbers in a row. You might be wondering why it was called “Beano”. It is generally believed that the name came from toymaker Edwin Lowe, who, when visiting a carnival in Georgia, watched a game where people would cover the numbers on their cards that had been called out with a bean.

Impressed by the popularity of the game, upon his return to New York City, Lowe decided to create his own version. After gathering some friends together to try out the game, they played and all loved it. Thanks to the enthusiasm shown by his friends, he went ahead and continued to develop the game. It was also thanks to his friends that the game became known as “Bingo”. It is believed one of his friends was so excited that he had won, he accidentally shouted “Bingo” instead of “Beano”.

It was this one small moment in the history of the game that gave it such a memorable name. Lowe’s development of the game helped it to rise in popularity, and by the 1940s, people across America were enjoying it.

Final destination – United Kingdom

With its new name and developed rules, the game reached the United Kingdom in the 1960s, where its popularity reached new heights. Although around three-and-a-half million still play Bingo in Bingo halls, it is the online versions of the game which has helped it maintain its popularity in the country.

Although commonly thought of as a game for the older generation, its move to the online world has helped it develop a younger audience.


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