Let’s face it, the endless fun we get from bingo games is infectious. The game’s popularity all around the world proves it. And when you play online bingo, you’re connected with people all over the country.
But even before online bingo cards, the game has been universally enjoyed. Did you know bingo is played in places as far away as Nigeria, Russia and Japan? Join us as we take a bingo world tour to some of the countries that have grown to love the game.
Italy is the most appropriate location to start our journey as it’s believed to have invented the earliest form of bingo. This national lottery version was created in the 16th century and was named ‘Gioco del Lotto.’ Italian bingo was played with a rectangular card with 27 squares. The game became increasingly popular in the country and eventually spread to France. The rest of Europe followed.
Today, bingo is just as popular as it was in the 16th century. Italy has more than 300 official bingo halls across its country, and 90-ball bingo is the most-played variant. Italian bingo halls have managed to attract younger citizens, but the game became even more widespread when online bingo was legalized in 2007.
Japan turns our expectations on its head by being the only entry in our tour that only adopted bingo after it moved online. When people learned how to play bingo online, it became a national sensation. This delay might be due to Japan’s previous extremely strict gambling laws.
Most gambling was forbidden in Japan. The only exceptions were pachinko, sports betting and lotteries. You might be wondering, then why on earth is Japan on this list? Well, today Japan has grown to become the world’s second-biggest market for online bingo games.
Japan has since eased some of the gambling restrictions and now welcomes casino resorts and bingo halls. However, with strict rules in place for these venues, they aren’t very popular. The added freedom and convenience of being able to play bingo at home online is what really made the game extremely popular in Japan. The country even hosted the biggest game of bingo in history, with almost half a million players in a single game.
Germany’s love of bingo stretches all the way back to the early 1800s. This love of the game inspired the country to create its own version of bingo called ‘der Lottospiel.’ But to the Germans, bingo is more than a game to test your luck.
Bingo has become an effective teaching method in schools nationwide. And don’t be fooled by the numbers on the cards, bingo is not just a math teaching tool. Teachers use bingo to teach spelling and many other subjects.
Bringing bingo to the old, the young and the really young has helped make it a unifying national game in Germany.
Even though bingo wasn’t invented in the US, it does feel like a part of America’s gambling history. America could even be the birthplace of modern bingo.
Bingo was introduced to the US in the 1920s. It later cemented its place in American society through games at Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh carnivals. Ironically, the Catholic Church and charities were what further spurred the game’s popularity when they used it as a fundraising vehicle.
In the US, 75-ball bingo, or American bingo, is the most popular. It’s estimated that there are more than 60 million bingo players in the US alone.
Bingo entered the United Kingdom in the 1960s. In the UK, it’s the traditional bingo hall that propelled bingo to fame. The UK is known as the country that’s the most passionate about bingo. The Brits have successfully ended the stereotype that the game is meant for senior citizens. In fact, in the UK, young bingo enthusiasts play the game both online and offline. The most prevalent variant in the UK is 90-ball bingo.
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