Originating in Italy, bingo has long been popular in Europe and the rest of the world too. Traditionally played in bingo halls and clubs, bingo is a probability game in which players mark off number cards as the caller randomly draws them. Yet, the popularity of in-person bingo has dramatically fallen over the past few years with many bingo halls closing down.
Thankfully the game shifted and adapted though, first finding success online in the early nineties with the free bingo game ‘Bingo Zone.’ The game and the ways we play have continued to evolve since then too and players are met with more theme options and better graphics each year. But, how did it all begin and where is it headed?
The Origins of Bingo
Born in Italy in the 16th Century, bingo was originally named ‘Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia’, roughly translating to ‘The Italian Lotto Game’. A slightly different game to the one most people now know it didn’t take its modern form until the 18th Century when it spread to Britain alongside the rest of Europe.
The Popularity of Bingo
Quickly, bingo became a massive success and remained as such. It reached the United States by 1929 when a travelling salesman called Lowe learned about the game and began manufacturing boards. Then it became especially popular in the UK with purpose-built bingo halls seeing a massive increase between 1960 and 2005 with more opening each year. Likewise, for many other European countries, the game continued to rise in popularity up until the 21st Century.
Of course, the internet changed everything. People still wanted to play bingo but suddenly there was a whole new way to do so and bingo became available online in the USA in 1996. Unlike balls in regular bingo halls, online bingo pioneered a random number generator and quickly became incredibly popular. Though the first versions of the online game were quite rudimentary and basic in style, they started the trend of online bingo and by the year 2000, there were already twenty online bingo sites to choose from in America, a figure that would only grow and expand to different countries.
The Modern Day
Nowadays there are so many versions of bingo to play online including many themed editions. More engaging than ever, games can revolve around subjects including TV shows, books, locations and hobbies, adding more dimension to a once fairly simple game. Additionally, though the physical business of bingo had a rough few years, it’s been suggested that the popularity of traditional bingo is steadily increasing again.
The Future of Bingo
But, what does the future of bingo look like? Well, if the success of online bingo and the comeback of traditional bingo are indicators then the future looks bright. Online bingo continues to evolve as technology does, meaning that we’re likely to get even more immersive games and impressive graphics on our computers and phones. It also seems that the type of player is expanding, solidifying bingo as a game that is for every kind of adult. Plus, we can expect to see the inclusion of completely new elements, such as virtual and augmented reality technology. For example, AR may be able to bring the atmosphere of a bingo hall to your home. All in all, the future of bingo is incredibly promising and something to watch out for!