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April, 2009
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  Blog Category - General
The History of Bingo

Bingo is an immensely popular game that is played in many parts of the world.  It is a relatively inexpensive form of socializing and entertainment for millions of people who can spend their evening playing bingo and talking with friends.  Most people have their favorite online bingo hall that they frequent one or more evenings a week.

Bingo is not a new game.  It first appeared in Italy in 1530 where it was a national lottery. It was held on Saturdays and was called Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia. Only men were allowed to play the game. It was not considered proper for women to gamble at that time.  The game was very popular with the population but not with the Catholic Church that considered it a form of evil.  The game spread around the continent. It arrived in France in 1178 and was knows as Le Lotto.  France experienced the same situation as Italy.  Women were not allowed to play and the game aroused the ire of the Catholic Church.  Church or not, the bingo game popularity increased and it spread further. In Germany they made a version of the game into a teaching aide and used the game to teach children reading, arithmetic and spelling.

The game arrived in America in the 1920s where it was called ‘Beano”.  It was a popular carnival game in the American South where players would cover the numbers on the card with a dried bean.  An American toy salesman named Edwin Lowe was watching how the game was played one day in Georgia and came up with a brilliant idea. He hired a mathematician to develop cards with different letter-number combinations. They managed to develop six thousand cards instead of the twenty four the game was being played with.  This resulted in fewer winners.  Lowe produces a game that he calls Bingo.

In 1934 the bingo free online casino game becomes a popular form of fundraising for the Catholic Church.  This apparently was the idea of a Catholic priest from Pennsylvania. By the middle of the Great Depression there were more than ten thousand bingo games a week taking place in parishes who were trying to raise money to cover their own debts.  The game has continued to grow in popularity.

In England, bingo was legalized in 1968. This led to the establishment of bingo halls throughout the United Kingdom, where the game is very popular. The game became a national game in 1986 when they began linking gambling halls together to play the National Bingo Game.  Today there are two or more national games every day for cash prizes ranging from ₤20,000 to ₤200,000. There is also the National Game once a week with a payout of approximately ₤2 million. This is the second largest game in England.

Today, bingo is big business accounting for about $90 million per year in revenues. This figure includes both online and offline bingo establishment. In American bingo is still a big fundraiser.  Most churches offer a weekly bingo.

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