If you are a keen online bingo enthusiast, you will know just how fun and rewarding bingo can be. Considered to be one of the most popular lottery-style gambling games on the planet, bingo is played in bingo halls, at home, online and on mobile platforms. Today, playing bingo online is the easiest way to access and play a multitude of real money bingo games from anywhere in the world. But have you ever wondered where it all started, and where it is heading? We take a look at the past, present and future of bingo and online games.
Where it All Started
The origins of bingo date back all the way to 1530. The type of bingo game as we know it today was based on the Italian National Lottery or Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia. When Italy was united in 1530, the national lottery was formed and has subsequently become indispensable to the government’s national budget. Since it’s inception in the 1500’s, the Italian National lottery has been held every week without pause now contributing around 75 million dollars a year to the national budget.
In the 1700’s another predecessor to bingo was being played in France. Called Le Lotto, this classic lottery-style game consisted of a lotto card that was divided into nine vertical and three horizontal rows. The rows were numbered from 1 to 10 then 11 to 20 all the way up to 90. Each horizontal row has a total of five numbered squares and four blank squares in a random arrangement. No two cards were the same which made it all the more exciting. In this game, numbered chips were pulled out of a bag and read out allowed. The players would then cover the number on their card. The first player to cover an entire row won the game.
From Beano to Bingo
The modern version of bingo was created by a New York salesman named Edwin S. Lowe. When visiting a country carnival, Lowe came across a game called Beano. This was a lotto type game played with coloured beans and small wooden disks. As with classic bingo, players in Beano would win by filling up their card either horizontally or vertically and shout Beano. Fascinated by the game, Lowe took the concept back home with him and played the game with his friends. It was during one of the late night games that a woman was on the verge of winning and in her excitement cried Bingo instead of Beano. Low knew from that moment where the game would lead.
Land Based Bingo Halls
The game of Bingo became so popular in the United States that large bingo halls began to form. Players would flock into the hall and purchase a bingo card or multiple cards for the evening. Even today, bingo halls can be found at leading land-based casinos around the world. As well as offering an opportunity to win some decent cash, bingo became a social event where players would meet up with friends and catch up on the latest gossip.
Online and Mobile Bingo
In the 1990’s the internet and online casino gaming started making its way into the household of every computer owner. The idea that people could gamble online soon took hold and the internet gambling revolution begun. It didn’t take long for online bingo to follow suit. Today online bingo websites provide players with unlimited bingo action 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bingo sites then introduced the social aspect of the game in the form of the chat window. Players could then chat to other players on the site whether they were playing for free or for real money.
A few years after the internet revolution took place, mobile technology started to emerge. The first part of the 21st century saw a massive explosion in mobile development in both hardware and software. Suddenly everyone had a mobile phone that could connect to the internet. This lead to the development of smartphones and tablets. Within a few years, just about everyone owned a smartphone or tablet. Mobile technology gave people the ability to access online content instantly from anywhere in the world.
The Future of Online Bingo
Today mobile bingo apps and games are incredibly popular with hundreds of apps available for download on all leading smartphones tablets and mobile devices. Mobile bingo apps offer players the ability to play real money bingo games at home or on the go. So what is next for online bingo? While we are already seeing a spike in wearable technology, in a few years, smartwatches and similar devices will be commonplace with mobile bingo apps linked to your device.
Virtual reality is another area that is rapidly growing momentum. The concept of a virtual reality casino is already in development. It won’t be long before we can use virtual reality devices to log into a virtual bingo hall, purchase cards and play games as if we were right there. VR bingo halls also offer the possibility of avatar formation and online chat groups where players can physically view and interact with other players on the floor.