Join us for a look at the backstory of Bingo

Bingo has been a favourite in many communities over the years, cementing itself as an easy-to-play pastime for a lot of people. It’s been estimated that the game has been around for a whopping 490 years, progressively becoming more intricate and animated as the years have gone on. In modern times, Bingo had begun to be perceived as a game for the older ages, somewhat losing touch with the younger generation, but, with the help of the internet, Bingo is now back towards the top in terms of hobbies and games alike.

Now, let’s go back to the day that Bingo was born, all those many years ago, and see how far it’s come!

Day one

The general consensus is that Bingo in its basic form originated in Italy back in the 1530s, taking place as more of a lottery-based game, being referred to as “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia”. The evolution of Bingo, into the more recognisable form that we know today, took place in the 1770s when it arrived in France, becoming more of a game of chance. Finally, as we moved into the 18th century, Bingo found its place in Britain, quickly distributed across industrial towns and cities, being picked up by both working and middle-class groups.

Playing the name game

Bingo has gone by many names, the other most notable being “Beano”. In 1920s Pittsburgh, the numbered boxes in the game were marked off using beans, as that’s often all people had to hand! Because of this, it began to be known as “Beano” – which we’re sure you can make sense of. In fact, the name change only came about when someone accidentally shouted “Bingo!”, whilst playing with Long Island-born Edwin S. Lowe, a toy manufacturer. Lowe loved this name so much that he went on to coin the title, packaging up the game, ready to sell, with the word “Bingo” emblazoned across it.

For the troops

Prior to modern times, Bingo’s golden age came when it became a firm favourite amongst the US troops and British army during both World Wars. The game was first used as a distraction, or form of entertainment, for the men during wartime, as well as the post-war years. Post-war, the game was used to raise money for the community and charity projects alike, in an effort to rebuild a world that had been so heavily destroyed by conflict.

The online revolution

Like most things, Bingo gradually found its way online, reviving its reputation in the modern world. Online Bingo has gone on to have a dramatic effect on the game, contributing to its estimated £1.3 billion worth in the UK alone! The first ever online Bingo site is believed to be, which was established back in 1996, when online gaming had become all the rage. By 2013, the online rendition of the classic has changed and developed by leaps and bounds, finally making its way over to the mobile gaming market as well. Since then, the game has only soared, claiming a top spot as one of the most played games in the UK, and the world!

So, with Bingo rising through the gaming ranks, you better get in quick if you want to grab your piece of the action!