When you think of long-standing games, among the oldest in the world – Bingo should be a priority. Bingo has grown from a game played with beans and tables of raw numbers to a worldwide online phenomenon.
So what did this online titan look like in the beginning – and how has it thrived since its inception?
History of Bingo
Bingo has been around for over 500 years and is one of the oldest and most popular games in the world. What’s interesting about bingo is that even in its new digital form, it remains close to the original game.
Here are a few things that gave us the bingo game we know and love today:
- Bingo was originally called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia in 1530
- In France it was called Le Lotto and in 1778 it was incredibly popular
- BEANO was the 1929 form of bingo, using beans as a marker for numbers
- 1963 a whopping 14 million bingo club memberships were in action in the UK alone
Beano’s rebranding in Bingo may seem like a reach, but actually legend has it that one person was so excited about his bingo win; instead of shouting BEANO, they shouted BINGO, and history was written. Beano traveled the world, played by the Royal Navy, British Army and American troops.
From humble beginnings to money-making titan. Here are some fast facts about bingo:
- Between 2019 and 2020, Bingo generated 910 million in the UK.
- Online bingo and other casino stocks generated GGY* of £5.7 billion.
- 1996 saw the launch of the very first online bingo site, which is a far cry from the way you can play bingo online today with sites like JackpotJoy.
*GGY is the casino’s gross return, which is the money the casino company keeps after the winnings have been paid out.
Online bingo explosion
Initially, people were reluctant to play bingo online – after all, it has always been a social game. Most of the women had a bingo night with friends once a week, chatting, playing and having fun. Over time, the developers have integrated the most important features of land bingo into the online environment.
Calls for bingo halls that are popular with players, things like all 8s, 88s, etc., were missing. Creating bingo games that people wanted to play meant taking into consideration everything that is enjoyed. The colors, the number of calls and the social element.
With all of this implemented, the shift from land-based bingo to online bingo began to happen. Friends could meet online or all play a game together in one house. It opened up the possibilities.
But there was more to come.
What are the factors that have made online bingo flourish?
The bingo world was taken by storm when these factors came into play. It was already enjoyed by many players at this point, but online bingo companies recognized that to stay competitive they needed to offer more to their players.
You name a type of bingo and you can find it online. From speed bingo to 90 ball and everything in between, there are bingo games for all types of players, including those who have only ever played online. Here are some of the online options that entice people to sign up and play regularly:
- 1-2c or pence lines
- High roller games for those who like to spend their bingo time
- Themed games like Rainbow Riches
- National games and global games with progressive jackpots
- Private VIP Games
You’ll be hard pressed to find a game that’s not available via mobile these days. Bingo is one of the games that has moved from land-based mode to online mode via PC to mobile compatibility.
Mobile compatibility means no matter where you are, you can play, making commuting and waiting less annoying. All your favorite bingo games are available online in seconds.
Who doesn’t love something that’s free? Every day there are websites that offer free bingo sessions, and some of them also have always free rooms. Sometimes free rooms are only open for short periods of the day. Some are not directly free. Instead, there will be perks and bonuses that mean the Game is free or at a significantly reduced price.
Here are some of the perks and bonuses that make online bingo even more appealing:
- Bonus codes and promotional games
- Cheaper or free VIP bingo games for regular players
- Free spins on slots and scratch cards while playing
- Refund Options
- Birthday & Party Gifts
- Promos that require a small outlay but offer free cards
- Loyalty programs where players can accumulate their game points and buy bingo tickets
With these factors alone in play, people’s access to high-speed internet bingo has grown naturally from those early church hall games to dedicated cell phone bingo halls. You can find it online no matter what type of bingo you like to play.
Bingo is now more popular than it has ever been; with its audience growing every day, it’s unlikely that 500 years of history will go anywhere. It is likely that as technology advances and the implementation of VR becomes more integrated into the gaming experience, bingo will experience new levels of popularity in the coming years.