Bingo - The Classic Rejuvenated for an Online Audience
Regardless of the generation you belong to, you are probably familiar with Bingo.
01:10 28 October 2023
Regardless of the generation you belong to, you are probably familiar with Bingo. The game has marked the entire 20th century. Although it's faced some challenges in the last couple of decades, thanks to today’s online gaming platforms, it's making a comeback.
A Brief History of Bingo
The beginnings of bingo, not under that name at the time, date back to the 16th century, originating in Italy. However, it was not long until bingo gained fans in other parts of Europe as well. It was called Le Lotto in France and was especially popular among aristocrats. Across the channel, the UK welcomed bingo in the 18th century. Interestingly, in Germany, a similar game was used for educational purposes to teach children spelling and multiplication tables.
Bingo went by many names in its history. In the United Kingdom, it was first known as Housey Housey, while in the US, the name was Beano - based on the fact participants used beans to cover the numbers on the cards.
As for the development and modernization of the game in the 20th century, two men are considered the most responsible. First, Hugh J. Ward promoted the game in the early 20s at carnivals. He set the standards of the modern version and, a decade later, published an accompanying rule book.
Another significant name in bingo's history is Edwin Lowe. While visiting a carnival near Atlanta, he witnessed the excitement participants expressed while playing Ward's version of the game. He spent enough time learning it and then brought it to New York in 1929. In decades to come, bingo ended up being played throughout the entire USA.
It's still unclear who coined the name - bingo. One of the most popular speculations is that a friend of Lowe's, instead of shouting ''Beano,'' said ''Bingo,'' and the rest is history.
How to Play Bingo
Bingo has gained enormous popularity among different demographics due to its simplicity. It is a game of probability; you don't have to acquire any particular skills to engage in it. So it's safe to say you should only rely on luck and be in a good mood.
First, you'll get a card comprising a randomly created combination of numbers arranged in five rows and columns (a five-by-five grid). Once the game starts, the host calls out the number of each ball pulled from a spinning cage. Your job is to mark off each called number, and if you mark off every number on your card or complete a preset combination, shout ''Bingo'' - you are the winner!
UK Bingo vs. US Bingo
Don't worry; the differences are minor, so if you are commuting from the UK to the US or vice versa and want to play bingo, you'll find it easy to understand the rules. The basics are the same. The only difference is the range of numbers on the cards.
UK bingo is called 90-ball bingo. It means the combinations on the cards are between 1 and 90. On the other hand, US bingo is known as 75-ball bingo. The logic is the same, so when playing bingo in the US, the number on the cards ranges from 1 to 75.
However, there's one interesting difference between UK and US bingo, and that's how players approach the game. The experience has shown that US bingo enthusiasts are slightly more competitive and perceive bingo as any other casino game. It's a form of gambling - an opportunity to win a prize.
On the other hand, UK bingo lovers appreciate the social aspect of the game. They see it as an opportunity to have fun, spend time with friends, or meet new people. The prize is a nice bonus, but not the (primary) goal.
Bingo's (Un)predictable Future
It seems like the world is changing so quickly, and no industry is ''safe.'' Companies must adapt to remain relevant. The bingo industry is no different. Operators must be in step with technological changes and adhere to laws like the 2007 indoor smoke ban, which severely affected the business.
In recent times, we had COVID-19 that put locks on every entertainment venue for months on end. Fast forward to today, and most countries (and their residents) are struggling with inflation. People have to make smarter financial decisions, which can mean cutting down on entertainment activities like bingo.
These circumstances, interestingly, put bingo in front of the younger generation. For many, bingo turned out to be a fun, enjoyable, and, above all, affordable night-out alternative.
Online Bingo - Light at the End of the Tunnel
The online gambling scene is on the rise for a reason - it's flexible and diverse. And the continuing development of technology is making games more immersive than ever before. These days we have live versions of classic table games like poker or roulette, making the whole experience closer to what people have become accustomed to in traditional land-based venues.
However, the online sphere offers many more opportunities to scale up the offer, and thanks to enterprising operators like SkyCity Casino, the game of bingo is getting a second lease on life. Besides the numerous slot titles, along with poker, roulette, baccarat and blackjack, today, SkyCity introduces bingo to a whole new generation of players. Being one of the premiere gambling platforms in New Zealand, the return of bingo online is proof that while historically the game might have had its biggest fans in the UK and US, those playing on the other side of the world are equally keen to give this perennial favourite a go.
It is yet to be seen what the future holds for bingo games and its popularity online. However, if recent news of this generational game being appreciated by younger folks is anything to go by, then, we’re fairly confident, this classic will continue thriving, both offline and online.