Origins of Bingo: A multi-faceted story

Bingo must be just about the most famous games on the planet. It’s very simple to play and a lot of fun, since the prices can be pretty impressive too, there’s really not a lot to dislike at all. 

It’s not likely bingo will ever fall out of favour, though it might transform sometimes to keep it fresh and interesting. This is what happened when the best bingo online first appeared; it was a brand new idea and something that made bingo appeal to an entirely new range of people.  But how about the beginnings of bingo? Let’s look closer into just how it all started. 

Where Did Bingo Begin?

To be able to identify the place that the beginnings of bingo hail from, we’ve got to look right back to Italy in about 1530. At this point, it wouldn’t exactly have been bingo as we know it; it was more like a lottery, and it was created by the Italian government. It was called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia, and pretty much every town and village would come together to play on long tables, with people coming and going as the mood struck. It was a good way to keep people happy, make money, and provide a little excitement. For many, this was the highlight of their week. These days, that aspect of things hasn’t really changed. 

This fun concept ultimately spread across Europe, and from the 18th century the game was played in numerous various places around the world. By 1778, it was considered to be the most widely played gambling game of all time. It was at this stage that the game started using ninety balls, just like we would recognise today. 

Where Does The Name Bingo Come From?

Once the lottery aspect of the game disappeared and the rules changed slightly, the game itself was initially called ‘beano’. It was called that by Edwin S. Lowe, a toy company executive,  who mass produced the game to be played at home. This name didn’t quite sit right for him, and he wanted to choose something else. 

When trying to come up with a good name, something that would be remembered, he overheard a group of men and women playing the game. As the excitement built, he became more and more interested until the winner shouted out ‘bingo!’ in her excitement. And so,  Lowe experienced a feeling of elation at that point, and realised that this was really what the game ought to have been known as all along. The packaging was changed, as was the marketing that went along with it, and that was that – bingo was born. 

Internet Bingo

Skip ahead a couple of years – nearly a hundred years, actually – and we’re now in a position to play bingo online, and even on mobile devices. Despite the point that we are able to make use of technology to allow us to play whenever and wherever we would like, the game itself hasn’t changed. Even if we decide to play video versions with fewer balls, or that ask us to find patterns on our cards instead of lines, the essence of bingo is still the same.