Bingo Games

Bingo History

As popular as the online bingo game is, its history is still relatively new. After all, internet bingo games only came about with the emergence of the internet and the widespread use of computers in offices and homes. Bingo history in general islong and rich history however, one which dates back as far as the 16th century. So the online bingo game you’re playing today has actually been enjoyed in different forms for five centuries.

Bingo originates from the Italian lottery, Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia. From Italy, the game spread to France and was known as Le Lotto, played primarily among the French aristocracy. Variations of bingo as we know it today were used in 19th century Germany as an educational tool to teach children multiplication tables, spelling and even history. So next time you’re playing an online bingo game you can feel smug in the knowledge that you’re probably exercising your grey matter too!

Lotto soon became popular throughout Europe and was regularly played at county fairs and carnivals. Lotto developed into Beano; a game in which a caller would pick numbered discs from a box and players would use beans to cover their numbers when called. If a player managed to cover a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line on their card they would shout“ Beano!” and claim their prize. A bit like traditional bingo games of today – in which players call “House!” when a full line of their numbers is called. And of course there’s nothing to stop you shouting out House when you’re playing an online bingo game either!

In the 1930’s an American travelling-salesman called Ed Lowe stumbled across the game of Beano at a carnival in Germany and, upon discovering the game’s huge popularity, decided to bring the idea back to America. Lowe introduced the game to his friends and popular belief states that the name bingo was born when one of Lowe’s female guests called out “Bingo!” instead of “Beano!” in her excitement at winning.

Lowe's earliest bingo games came in two varieties: a 12 card set that cost a dollar and a 24 card set that cost two dollars.News of the game spread and a priest based in Pennsylvania came up with the idea of using bingo to raise funds for his struggling church. He bought several sets of the bingo game, but came across problems when each game produced more than one winner. Lowe enlisted the help of a mathematician at Columbia University named Carl Leffler to try and overcome this problem and Leffler painstakingly created 6,000 bingo card numerical variations. This meant that there was now just one bingo winner per game. The increased number of bingo cards made the game a staple fund raiser at churches across the country and this new improvement saw bingo’s popularity spread rapidly.

The high demand led to the publishing of bingo’s first instructional manual and, later, a monthly newsletter called The Blotter.
Following Lowe’s introduction of bingo, there were many imitators. Although Lowe could try and protect the name Bingo, he could not claim rights to the Origin of the game. Instead he asked that his competitors pay him just one dollar a year each in return for being allowed to use the name bingo. As a result, Bingo became the generic name for all variations that we know today, including internet bingo and online bingo.

During the 1930s, a variant of bingo was played in motion picture theaters. One night a week customers would receive free bingo cards with their admission tickets and could win cash and prizes worth hundreds of pounds. Bingo’s popularity continued to grow and was formalised in this country in 1968 with the UK Gaming Act. In 1986 the National Bingo Game was legalised, allowing the same game of bingo to be played simultaneously at bingo halls across the country.

One of the biggest changes to affect bingo since the game began back in the 16th century was of course the emergence of the internet bingo game.
2003 saw the very first online bingo UK sites which are now so popular that it’s hard to believe their history is so very new.

More than three million people play online bingo games and traditional offline bingo, so isn’t it time you got in on the action?
Although bingo is the only gambling activity more poplar with women than with men (roughly 70% of bingo players are women) the game continues to evolve and is increasingly popular with younger people of both sexes.


This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola