Bingo – A History Changing Game

Most people would not think of bingo as a history changing game but bingo has had an influence on many aspects of life. The forerunner of bingo appeared sometime around 1530 in Italy and was a lottery type game known as “Il Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia.” The game matured in the eighteenth century in France and playing cards, tokens and the calling of numbers were added to the game. In the nineteenth century Germans adapted the game for educational purposes and bingo was used to teach a variety of school subjects. The modern version appeared in the 1920’s in the US and was called ‘Beano’ because of the beans used to mark the numbered spaces on the card.

Today there are over 60 million regular bingo players around the world and no other game enjoys such a widespread following. Bingo has had a profound effect on several aspects of life. As has been mentioned bingo was used to teach various subjects in Germany over a hundred years ago. This tradition continues to this day. Bingo can be found in most classrooms and it is a rare student who has not been exposed to bingo games of some sort.

Bingo has also had an effect on lotteries. The first bingo games were a sort of lottery. Most lotteries are direct descendants of early bingo games. Most state lotteries sell bingo themed scratch off lotto games and these are very popular. The way lottery numbers are chosen is almost exactly the same as the way bingo numbers are chosen. Colored balls are drawn at random in both lottery and bingo games.

Although bingo is usually not played in casinos bingo has had an influence on casino gambling. Keno which is a first cousin to bingo is probably the most popular casino game at casinos in the United States. Bingo has had a huge influence on internet gambling. Internet bingo is the largest online gaming sector in the UK and Europe. Only a decade ago there were only a few internet bingo sites and now there are over 400 serving the UK alone and hundreds more competing for a global audience. Internet bingo has been almost ‘recession proof’ and added hundreds of new jobs during the recent global recession. Internet bingo games are available in several languages and countries. Bingo has come a long way since the early days of the Italian lottery.