April 28

How Bingo Got Its Name

Bingo has its roots far back in history, back to the mid-sixteenth century. At this time, there was a very popular lottery in Italy, much like the national lotteries seen in several countries today. Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia sold cards with numbered squares to players the and winning numbers were drawn from a bag. The game migrated to France in the late 1770s where it was known as Le Lotto. In France, the game was amended to have the numbers one to 90 in random arrangements printed across three rows and nine columns on a card. Different forms of Le Lotto spread throughout Europe, including Germany and the United Kingdom (UK).

Online bingo

Today, Bingo is most often played online. Thanks to the widespread use of smartphones, Bingo is accessible to a younger generation of players, with live Bingo tournaments and chatrooms alongside games where players are joining together to form online communities.

The most trustworthy online Bingo sites are those that are licensed and regulated by gaming authorities. One such site is CostaBingo which is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. New players are offered a Bingo Bonus plus free spins on slots and there are new promotions every week, with seasonal promotions too.

Bingo in the UK

In the sixteenth century, Britain also had a national lottery, like that in Italy.  By the 18th century, the British were also playing a game that would later become Bingo. The popularity of these games has waxed and waned over the decades, but it has entertained many including soldiers at war. During the first World War (1914-1918), troops played ‘Housey Housey’ in the trenches to help them pass many bleak times.

When the soldiers returned home from war, they bought the game with them. In the 1950s, Britain witnessed Bingo halls opening up and down the country to meet the demand for a fun night of entertainment. Unlike the French game, which was usually played among the wealthy elite, bingo in the UK was very much a game for those in the working class. It is around this time that the modem day bingo calls came into being.

The UK Gaming Act 1968 formally recognized the game of bingo which was popular among the Working Men’s Clubs.  Yet it was 1986 when the National Bingo Game was legalized and became hugely popular until a dip in the early 1990s when smoking indoors was banned.

In the UK, bingo does not have a specific statutory definition. However, the UK Gambling Commission provides some clarity as to the boundaries between bingo and other forms of gambling to help bingo operators avoid creating and offering products that would be considered to be casino games, lotteries or fixed odds betting.

Beano in the US

By the start of the twentieth century, a game similar to that in France, but with fewer numbers was very popular at carnivals in the US. Numbers were drawn from a hat and players would cover their squares with beans.  Once a straight line had been covered with beans the cardholder would shout “Beano!” in order to win the game.

The launch of bingo in the US may have come from the UK, but there is a story that says the game begun in 1929. Legend has it that New York toy salesman Edwin S. Lowe was traveling on business to Jacksonville, Georgia on business where he passed by a carnival in town and came across a group enjoying a game at a Beano stall. Back home in New York, he invited his friends to play his version of the game, whilst he took on the role of caller. They were instantly hooked but one shouted “Bingo” instead of “Beano!”, and so the game was born.

How the game spread in the US

Lowe hired a professor of mathematics at Columbia University to help him design the first Bingo cards. This led to more than 6,000 unique playing cards being developed. It is thanks to the church that the popularity of Bingo spread so fast in the country. Bingo had been banned in some states as a form of gambling, but some states did start to allow bingo to be played for fundraising purposes for the Church and so people of all ages were able to enjoy the game in a social setting.

How to play online bingo

Online bingo games have a mix of 90-ball and 75-ball bingo games. You can find a variety of rooms to choose from so that you will never get bored. Chat moderators will make even the shyest person enjoy the community spirit and there is always the opportunity to win prizes, including daily jackpots.

Online bingo can also be played on mobile devices via apps that are easy to install. Whether waiting for an appointment, on your work commute, or simply relaxing at home, playing bingo on your mobile means you can have fun with the cards at any time. Most online bingo sites also create exclusive offers just for mobile customers.

Licensed bingo sites will keep your personal information private and your money safe.  You want to be sure that the games you play are fair so look out for the eCOGRA logo on the site’s homepage. eCOGRA is a leading independent and internationally approved agency that specializing in the testing and certifying of online gaming software and systems, offering you an additional level of security.  All you need to do is make sure you understand the wagering and withdrawal requirements if you accept a bonus offer.

Customer service support 24/7 means that if you have a problem with your account or with a game that there is a dedicated live chat, phone line, or email that you can contact.


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