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A brief history of bingo

Lisa Parker
March 10, 2020

The separate histories of each popular gambling game that we play in the 21st Century are all incredibly interesting, mainly because they often exhibit the age-old synthesis between technology and gambling, where the latter cannot evolve with the former. It was the case with Roulette and Blaise Pascal’s perpetual motion machine, as well as Charles D. Fey and his Liberty Bell slot and even Ancient card games. 

The same can also be said of bingo free games because it takes a fair amount of mechanical and mathematical innovation to create the scorecards and the ball spinner. Whilst bingo with its present name is a relatively new practice, it has been around in various rudimentary forms for hundreds and hundreds of years. Keep reading for a brief history of bingo. 

Italy: Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia 

We weren’t kidding when we said rudimentary forms of bingo have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years because the roots of the game can be traced all the way back to the 1500s in Italy. It was played every Saturday in Italy at the time, and still is today, testimony to its wide-reaching popularity. 

Now, we’re not saying that Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia was exactly the same as bingo today, however, it did certainly lay the foundations for what was to come, and you cannot say for certain that the game would have existed today without it. 

Germany: Educational value 

From Italy, the Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia gradually began to spread across Western Europe, with wealthy gentlemen playing in the game Le Lotto in France before it reached the lands of Germany. Here it was immensely popular during the 1800s, however, as opposed to in Italy and France, the Germans used it more as an educational tool. 

A very early form of bingo was used across German schools to help teach kids things like mathematics first and foremost, but also subjects such as spelling, history or science. It is not often you see a gambling game co-opted in such a way for education, and it speaks volumes about bingo’s marvellous potential. 

USA: Edwin S. Lowe 

As the 1800s wore on different forms of bingo would end up spreading across the world, with a particularly popular kind being played at US travelling fetes. In the early 20th Century a man named Edwin S. Lowe had the entrepreneurial idea to turn the game that was at first called “beano” into the commercial juggernaut we know as bingo today. 

First, he commissioned a mathematician to help him devise the bingo scorecards, and then he toured the country promoting his new game, with monumental success. Edwin S. Lowe is the father figure of modern bingo, and without him, it would look vastly different. 

21th Century 

Bingo halls popped up at an ever-increasing frequency during the remainder of the 20th Century, eventually giving way to the 21st Century craze of online bingo, something that hundreds of thousands of people play every single day.

About the Author

Lisa Parker

Lisa Parker, a techy geek having keen interest in all flashing trends in the market whether it’s related to gadgets, technologies or anything.

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