It’s no secret that bingo is synonymous with the UK and that it’s been a traditional pastime for generations. In fact, a good bingo game is to many Brits the same as catnip to our beloved moggies! Although bingo might be well-known and played all over the UK, people around the world are drawn to this classic game, too. Let’s take an in-depth look at this fun game and discover what bingo offers players.
The history of bingo
Bingo, in some form or another, is estimated to be around 490 years old and experienced a huge boost in popularity in Great Britain following the Second World War. Its roots are said to be in Italy, where it started out as a lottery game called “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia” in 1530. The game made its way to France, where it was referred to as “Le Lotto”; there, it evolved into something more reflective of a game of chance. By the 18th century, it found its home in Great Britain, where it was widely played in industrial towns and cities before it migrated to other countries beyond Europe such as the US.
How did the name ‘bingo’ come about?
The honour of naming the game is given to the US, where a toy manufacturer named Edwin S Lowe takes the credit. The game was known as “beano” in the state of Georgia, thanks to beans being used to mark off numbers. Lowe enjoyed playing the game with friends, one of whom was so thrilled to win that she shouted “bingo”. Lowe liked the slip of the tongue: he had the idea to print cards, increase the number of possible winning combinations, and packaged it as a game known as “bingo”. The game became popular with US troops, the British army, and navy personnel during the First and Second World Wars.
The birth of online bingo
The popularity of bingo slowly dipped in the 1990s, but thanks to the online gaming industry, the game is back and more popular than ever. The arrival of online bingo sowed the seeds of interest among an entirely new generation of players. In 2003, it began to make its mark, as many dedicated online bingo sites began to pop up.
Another year that saw the game go to newer heights was during 2013 when 15 Network – an online bingo players’ network – launched and enabled the game to be played in the lucrative mobile gaming market too.
Today, many people enjoy playing bingo online and the myriad variations that are available. Players can enjoy this social game from the comfort of their homes and gain access to the different promotions such as bingo bonuses available at online casinos.
Celebrities who love playing bingo
Bingo is loved far and wide. There are even a few famous people who cannot get enough of this classic game. Here are some celebrities who enjoy getting the purrfect bingo winning combinations:
A well-known lover of bingo, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones played the game throughout her childhood during her upbringing in Wales. She is known for regularly throwing bingo parties in her home.
Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo instantly loved bingo, as it was a fun way for him to learn English! When he arrived at Manchester United, Alex Ferguson gave him a bingo DVD as a Christmas gift. He once described the game as “very exciting” to a Portuguese newspaper.
Robbie Williams is known to have taken part in a few bingo events across the Pond in Hollywood and in the UK, which he usually does to raise money for charity. It’s amazing how he has used his love for the game to help much-needed charities.
Did you know that Russell Crowe was a bingo caller? Yes, that’s right. He of Gladiator fame was a bingo caller in his hometown in New Zealand. Crowe was inevitably fired for making up too many rude names!
Bingo continues to grow in popularity
The latest boom in this classic game of chance has no plans of slowing down. Thanks to the advantages of playing bingo online, such as not having to leave your home and the fun, social aspect it offers, this awesome game will continue to evolve and impress the next generation. And with the help of streaming platforms and live chat features, players get the best of both worlds at online bingo sites.
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Lisa Stolmings / 04 June 2021