History of Bingo – A Brief Overview
Online bingo is massive these days, but in real terms compared to the beginnings of bingo, it is still quite new. The game is quite old and within the history of bingo its origin can be outlined from the 16th century. So for all the high tech bingo players of online bingo, they are really enjoying a history filled game that is more than five centuries old.
Looking within the history of bingo, it was being played in the US around 1929, when the game was known as Beano. It was played at various county fairs with the same game rules similar to the game rules of today. The caller would pull out the numbered discs from a cigarette box and then he/she would announce every number to the players. The players of this old fashioned game would use beans to mark their cards, hence the name Beano. When a player was able to fill up all the straight lines, perpendicular and transverse lines of the card, they would yell the word Beano and he/she would be declared as the winner of the game.
It was whilst the first Beano game was played in a carnival in Atlanta, Georgia in the US, that someone shouted bingo by accident. This was heard by Edwin S. Lowe, a toy salesman from NYC. He felt that the word bingo would be more attractive among Americans and so, he decided to rename Beano as bingo.
From then on, he started to make his own bingo games. Lowe was very captivated with the game and selected Carl Leffler, who was a professor in mathematics in the University of Columbia to find out the possible chances of winning. He also gave Leffler the instruction to boost the number of variations in bingo cards. Some reports even said that, it was Leffler, who came up with more than 6,000 varieties of bingo cards in 1930s. After that there was a rumor that Leffler actually became crazy.
The history of bingo tells us that back in the early days, Lowe directed the game to more worthwhile causes. He used bingo to be of help to a catholic church in Pennsylvania and he raised funds for the good causes of the church. Following on from this, bingo became more and more famous and caught on like wildfire in the US, most especially as a prime source of income for churches.
By the year 1934, there were around 10,000 bingo games played weekly in various parts of the US. Now, bingo creates more than $90M per week just in the northern part of America, and that is mostly from the traditional land based bingo halls.
It was in 1968 when Bingo became formal in the UK, through the UK Gaming Act. It was in 1986 when it became legal in the UK and it has gone on to grow into one of the most loved forms of soft gambling in the country. However, following the smoking ban being introduced on the 1st July 2007 in the UK this had a dramatic and negative effect on land based bingo clubs with many closing their doors forever.
However, out of the ashes rose the phoenix called online bingo which has grown into a huge profitable business for many with far more choice of games, online slots and BIG prizes. You can read more about the growth of online bingo in the UK here.
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