Modern bingo has been a popular choice since its early days when an American toy salesman named Edwin S Lowe came up with a way to mass-produce bingo cards. He saw the game being played at a carnival in Georgia and wanted to make cards to sell, so he approached a maths professor from Columbia University to help.
Between them, they devised a way of numbering the sets of cards that minimised the chances of two players getting bingo at the same time. The professor came up with six thousand different cards which Lowe then marketed to huge success and bingo became a household name.
Once people could play their own games of bingo, they wanted more and more and bingo was soon included in casinos in the United States. In the UK, the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 changed the legal position on that kind of game and made it legal to offer cash prizes for winners.
Eric Morley, a businessman that already owned a number of venues including several dance halls, is credited with creating the demand for commercial bingo that flourished in the 1960s. Video bingo was hugely popular when it was introduced and players could see the appeal of digitising their favourite game.
The rise of online bingo
As with so many casino games, the increasing popularity of online gaming has yielded many modern versions that fans can play from wherever they are. Fans of the game that enjoyed the thrill of playing bingo live can enjoy all the same kinds of fun playing online, so it continues to be a popular entertainment choice today.
There are several things that make bingo such an enduringly popular game, such as:
The gameplay – part of the enduring popularity of bingo can be attributed to the fact that anyone can pick it up within seconds. However, long-term players will know that it is possible to improve your gameplay as you gain experience, making it a game that can be mastered over a lifetime.
The social side – one of the reasons that bingo halls were so popular was the chance to spend time with friends while enjoying the chance to win big. Online bingo makes it easier than ever to socialise while playing as fans can join games from wherever they are and play whenever it’s convenient to them.
The increasing popularity of smartphones means that friends and family members can play bingo online together on their individual devices, recreating the appeal of the early bingo halls and providing an opportunity to play at a time and place that is most convenient to them.
Prize appeal – anyone that wants to be in with a chance of winning a great prize can have a great time playing bingo in an attempt to win big. The prizes on offer in online games vary but can run to millions, and with typically low stakes this can be a fun and entertaining way to be in with the chance to win a life-changing amount of money.
All bingo games are required to give details of the jackpots available, so players that are primarily in it to win it can make sure they are maximising their chances of winning. With so many different games, players can find the ones that give them the most favourable odds and have fun while they chase the top prizes.
The online community – bingo fans all over the world are continuing the long tradition of making friends with thriving online communities that attract thousands of like-minded members. Many bingo sites host their own official chat pages and engage with players on social media, and there are also unofficial groups set up by fans to discuss the game, share tips with one another, and recommend different games to one another.
Easy and convenient – playing bingo has never been easier as you can play from apps on your phone wherever you happen to be. From squeezing in a game on your commute to whiling away the time waiting to board the plane as you go on holiday, it’s never been easier to play whenever you have a little downtime.
The perfect combination
While some enjoy games of pure chance, such as roulette, others want to have as much control as possible and stick to games of skill. Bingo is the perfect combination of the two allowing players to develop their pattern-spotting skills, hand-eye coordination, and all kinds of other mental and physical skills that can increase your speed and improve your observational skills.
Bingo has had an undeniable impact on the entertainment industry in the UK and worldwide, so it’s no surprise that online bingo is even more popular than its analogue counterpart. The fun involved translates no matter the medium and fans will play whenever, wherever, and however they can.