Bingo History

Bingo started in 1530 in Italy and is still played there every Saturday. The game was called 'Lo Giuoco del Lotto D'Italia. The Wealthy French found out about this Game and introduced it to their social circle and called it 'Le Lotto'. The Germans, being scientific and mathematical thinkers and not wanting to be left behind, changed the profile of the game and introduced it as a childrens game in the 1800's to assist students in their mathematics and spelling.

In England the game of bingo was also known as 'Tombola', Lotto o r'Housey housey', and was played during the reign of Elizabeth 1 (1558-1603) by the wealthy. The poor played a similar game in the pubs, (known as 'Ale Houses'), called 'Shove groat 'costing between a farthing (quarter of a penny) and a penny. In 1716 woman in Britain organised a Random numbers game closely resembling bingo which was run mainly by barrow woman and aimed at woman who were more the gamblers than the men.

In 1838 a traveller in Mexico found a game of bingo in which participants had a paper with numbers on that the people covered with grains of corn. Each person was given a stick with their numbered pape , and when a row of numbers was covered by their corn they would smack the stick on the table to be heard over the noise and then stand. The caller of the numbers would then check that the numbers were correct, and if so hand over the purse to the player.

The game only reached the United States in 1929, played at carnivals, and was known as 'Beano'. It was changed when a player accidentally shouted 'Bingo' instead of beano at a game. Bingo gathered momemtum in the US, when the churches started playing Bingo in order to raise funds and by the mid 1930's an estimated 10000 games were being played weekly.

In 1906 the 'Street Betting Act' in England made it illegal to place bets with cash, but did not stop the wealthy from betting as they had bank accounts and so could bet on credit. Bingo was so popular that during the first world war the game was even played in the trenches. It was the only game permitted to be played in the armed forces, as a certain portion was kept one side and used for various charity funding. In 1960 the 'Street Betting act' was repealed by the 'Betting and Gaming Act' which gave birth to commercial Bingo.