Italy invented Bingo. The game’s roots trace back to the 16th-century Italian lottery game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia.”
Italy: The Birthplace of Bingo
Italy lays claim as the birthplace of Bingo, tracing its roots back to a game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” played in the 16th century.
The Italian Lottery: “Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia”
The game of Bingo has its origins in the early Italian lottery, Lo Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia, which began in the 1530s. People played this game in a format similar to a modern Bingo card, marking off numbers on their cards as a caller drew small wooden disks from a bag and read the numbers aloud. The game was highly popular and was a weekly event in many Italian towns and cities.
Influence of Italian Bingo on Other Countries
The game did not remain confined to Italy. It spread rapidly to other countries, most notably France and Britain. In France, it evolved into a game called ‘Le Lotto’ played by the wealthy and eventually made its way to Germany, where educators used it as a tool for teaching children multiplication tables. It was only in the 1920s when the game reached American shores and gained the name “Bingo” as we know it today, thanks to a toy salesman named Edwin S. Lowe. Despite its changes and developments, the core essence of the game, which originated from Italy, remained intact.
Bingo Across the World
Bingo, since its inception, has seen its influence extend across different nations. Each country adopted the game and added its unique touch to it.
Expansion to France
The Italian game of Lotto found its way to France in the late 18th century, where it underwent a few changes to appeal to the French audience. The French game ‘Le Lotto’ used playing cards with three rows and nine columns, with each row containing five random numbers. This new format of the game became popular in French high society, with frequent games held at social gatherings.
Development in the United Kingdom
The game of Bingo crossed the English Channel in the 19th century and became popular as a game played at carnivals. In the UK, the game underwent another transformation and took on a new name: “Housey Housey.” The rules remained largely similar, but it was typically the domain of the armed forces before it became popular with the general population.
The Spread to the United States
Bingo reached the United States in the early 20th century, initially under the name “Beano.” The game, similar to its previous incarnations, featured a card with rows and columns of numbers. A dealer would select numbered discs from a cigar box and the players would mark their cards with beans, shouting “Beano” if they completed a line. The game’s name eventually morphed into “Bingo” after Edwin S. Lowe, a toy salesman from New York, overheard someone accidentally yell “Bingo” instead of “Beano.”
Other Countries and Their Relation to Bingo
The popularity of Bingo has now spread globally, with many countries having their unique versions of the game. In Japan, a variant of the game called “Bingo 5” has become a popular addition to lottery games. Australia also holds a high regard for the game, where it goes by the name “Housie.” Despite the varying names and minor differences in rules, the essence of the game remains true to its Italian origins.
Modernization of Bingo
Like many traditional games, Bingo too has been transformed with the advent of digital technology, broadening its reach and altering how it gets played.
Transition from Traditional to Online Bingo
Bingo made its online debut in the late 20th century. This transition meant that players no longer needed to be physically present in a Bingo hall or social club. Instead, they could log in from their homes and play the game at their convenience. This shift broadened the game’s reach, and suddenly people from all over the world could participate in a round of Bingo. The social aspect of the game continued in chat rooms where players could interact while enjoying the game. Many online platforms such as Jackpotjoy and Gala Bingo have become hugely popular.
Influence of Technology on Bingo
Technology has not only moved Bingo online but also enhanced the gaming experience. Random Number Generator (RNG) technology ensures the fairness of the game, offering every player an equal chance to win. Moreover, advancements in mobile technology have led to the development of Bingo apps, making the game even more accessible to players. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are also promising new ways to transform the traditional game, offering immersive and interactive experiences. Thus, technology continues to shape the future of Bingo, with exciting possibilities on the horizon.