A brief history of bingo

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 29, 2020 16:02

People have always loved a game of chance with a little excitement thrown in. And since that is bingo in a nutshell, that’s why it’s such a well loved game – click to play best bingo online. But although we know what it’s like today with its online versions and with traditional bingo halls, do we know what it was like in the past? Here is a brief history of bingo to help you. 

16th Century

Bingo appears to have first come about in the 16th century, and it was actually created by the Italian government in 1530. Originally, it was a lottery, created to make money for the government. But then it started to be played in other places, and its popularity grew


By the 1700s, bingo – or tombola as it was then known – had made its way to France. By this time, it was much more like its current incarnation, and a caller would pull wooden chips out of a bag. These chips, as you might expect, had numbers of them. The first person to cover one row was the winner. 


It took even longer for the game to come across to Britain, first appearing in around the 1800s. It would see as though this came about via the navy who were able to travel and pickup a lot more information and customs than most other people. Also, those on board ship were always looking for new and interesting ways to pass the time when they were sailing; bingo was ideal as tournaments could be set up and competition was rife. 

American Influence

If it from America that we think the name ‘bingo’ comes. Before that in Britain the game was called ‘housey-housey’ which is entertaining, but perhaps bingo was a more serious idea! 

Even bingo is a new name, though. Initially in the USA the game was called beano. So it has gone through many different names and ideas over the years. 

The 1960s

Bingo really took off in the 1960s in the UK. This is when people had a little more disposable money after the war, and when there was more time to have fun since there were so many new pieces of technology that would help with daily chores. In order to have something to do, people would go with their friends, family, and neighbours to play bingo. It would become a hugely social event and one that people would look forward to each week. 


Today bingo is very different from its humble beginnings. You can now play online and on mobile apps, and people from all walks of life are finding the game for the first time and enjoying it immensely.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 29, 2020 16:02
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