The game Bingo has been a popular game of chance since the early 1500’s. In 1530 a lottery type game called Lo Giuoco Code Loto was often played in Spain. It was similar to Bingo in that numbers were called out and the person holding those numbers won. The game was eventually evolved by the French who took many of the then common games and created parlour type versions of them that we now find in most casinos and gaming venues. The French created the familiar tablets of numbers and methods of marking called numbers that modern day Bingo players would find familiar. They used beans as a cheap way to place a marker on the square containing numbers and called the game Beano.
It wasn’t until the game found its way to the American shores however that the now famous cry of “Bingo” was heard. Legend has it that in 1929 Edwin Lowe saw the game being played at a travelling carnival using cardboard tablets with numbered squares, beans, and a rubber stamping device. When he saw how much the people loved the game he took it to New York with him and introduced it to a number of his friends who immediately fell in love with the game. In the excitement of a play one of those friends yelled out ‘Bingo’ by mistake and the name took root.
As time went on Bingo found its way from carnivals to churches where its popularity spread to the masses as a method of ‘legitimate’ gambling. While laws governing gambling varied from area to area many churches were exempt from gambling laws and Bingo was largely seen as an ‘innocent’ form of gambling.
Commercial forms of Bingo gambling in such places as casinos had quite a few ups and downs until it found its way into the gambling capital of the world – Las Vegas. It had stiff competition as a form of profitable gambling however and wasn’t as widely played by the serious gamblers as other forms of casino games were.
That didn’t stop Bingo from hitting it big when games of chance hit the internet. With the inception of gaming online came the biggest increase in gambling participation in history. Now it was possible to play worldwide without ever leaving your home. No travel expenses, no time off work, just the opportunity to play for fun, or profit at the click of a mouse.
Global Betting and Gaming Consultants estimate that 0.5 billion dollars USD per year are wagered on games of Bingo online and they expect that to increase to up to 1 billion USD by the year 2010. Online Bingo has many of the same attractions that Bingo parlour games have: the chance to win prizes that vary from small to large but most of all the chance to develop friendships. Online chatting with other players while playing the game is as much a part of the Bingo experience as the chance to yell out the famous call upon winning.
Worldwide it is figured that women spend 50% more time playing online Bingo and it is played most often between midnight and 5 am. The average amount spent at online Bingo by the average player is about $220.80 USD or £120 per month. The game with the worldwide history has made its mark in modern times as a fun and enjoyable way of socializing as much as a way to win money and shows no sign of losing its following any time soon.