Bingo is a social game that is played across the globe and it is still very prevalent with the UK public even today. What makes it popular is that it has now developed as part of a night out. This especially appeals to a younger audience who can enjoy music, alcohol and food with their best online bingo entertainment. Bingo venues are more vibrant than ever and this has also helped attract a fresher crowd.
Many bingo lovers are probably not aware of how this game came into existence, most probably do not care either. However, the origins of bingo and many forms of gambling are part of a fascinating journey through history and bingo is no exception.
Lottery As Bingo and Bingo As Lottery
Italy is the birthplace of the origins of bingo and the game has its roots firmly planted within lottery games. The invention of bingo can be traced back to a form of a national lottery that was played in Italy in 1530. It was called Lo Giuoco Lotto Italia and was a very popular game with the Italian population. This form of lotto laid down the foundations of 90-ball bingo that we play today and both games have similarities.
Even back then, players had cards with rows and numbers on them. A caller would pull out numbers from a sack and any individual that matched the corresponding numbers would win a prize. The popularity of this game meant that by the late 1770s the lotto game began to cross borders and was especially popular in France, where it was named ‘Le Lotto.
Modern Bingo Takes Shape
The French took the game of Lo Giuoco Lotto Italia and modified the cards to resemble those used in modern 90-ball bingo today. The game of bingo didn’t land in the UK until the 1800s. It was a huge hit amongst the gambling loving UK public but the UK didn’t alter the game like the French did, instead it became the home of Bingo Lingo and many of the terms used now were invented here.
Bingo hit the US later and in 1929 it was still known as beano. It was especially popular in Atlanta Georgia. An important event occurred in the US at this time that changed the name from beano to bingo and this is how the game is now known worldwide. A toy salesman named Edwin Lowe overheard a player shout ‘bingo’ instead of beano.
Lowe thought that bingo was a more memorable word and would be more successful in the marketing of the game than beano would. This is how bingo got its name, completely by accident and Lowe mass- produced and marketed the game as bingo in America.
The origins of bingo are still in evidence in the modern game that moved online during the digital revolution of the 1990s. Despite more types of bingo on offer now, the little known lotto game played in Italy many years ago, still influences bingo, even today.