Bingo has been around since Victorian times and has spread across the globe. Nowadays, bingo halls flourish in every corner of the world. But even though it seems to be a common game, there are some myths surrounding it. Originally played by women at the turn of the 19th century, today, Bingo is a social event enjoyed by men and women alike. Its popularity isn’t limited to certain countries, regions or demographics, nor is its origin. It was imported from Scotland. Below is the history of Bingo that every player should know.
The first bingo hall opened in 1887 in Glasgow, Scotland
Bingo was known as called “The British Association for Promoting the Game of Basket Ball”. It attracted people with similar interests like music and sport. Players were encouraged to pay money to play. They would get prizes after winning games. They had to buy chips from the hostess and bet them on the numbers they wanted. Some players won big prize packages that included things such as cash, trips, tickets, and musical instruments. Today, the hall has evolved into a multi-purpose venue for concerts, sports events, and weddings.
A man named William Pratt invented bingo
He came up with the idea of using numbered cards when he entered an amateur contest in 1895. However, his invention wasn’t patented until 1903. His creation became popular because it allowed multiple winners to share prizes. At the time, many other inventors tried making bingo but weren’t able to gain much attention. Many thought that Pratt’s invention was just another way to waste your time. However, this didn’t stop him from selling over 50 million bingo cards.
Bingo is illegal in England
This is probably why so many other types of gambling have taken off in this country. While Bingo is legal in most parts of the United States, it is still considered illegal in England. You can find Bingo houses all over London but they don’t provide any real gaming action. Most of these places offer token games where you earn points if you match two cards correctly. As you can imagine, they don’t take too many bookings and now offer their services mostly as a tourist attraction.
Bingo changed in America
Bingo was brought to the U.S. via New Orleans in 1905. At this point, it was known as “Lucky Dip.” In 1916, a group of businessmen decided that instead of giving away prizes, they would charge a fee to participate. These entrepreneurs set up shop in Chicago. They started calling themselves “The Big Six” and later renamed their establishment “Lucky Industries”. More than 100 years later, the company is called IGT and operates out of Las Vegas, Nevada. So basically, the guy who created Bingo originally got rich by exploiting people.
Bingo started being played outside of Europe
In 1917, American soldiers stationed in Aberdeen used to spend their free time playing Lucky Dip. When they returned home, they took the game back with them and introduced it to their pals. Before long, Bingo was being played in pubs and clubs throughout Great Britain. Other countries quickly picked up on the trend. Today, bingo is legal in more than 30 nations worldwide.
There’s no truth behind the story about the Irish origins of bingo
You might think that Bingo originated in Dublin, Ireland. This, however, could not be further from the truth. The first printed record of Bingo in the UK was issued in Manchester. Oh, sure, there are lots of urban legends surrounding how or why Bingo spread then literally everywhere else. Why did it become so popular? Well, we’re living in the era of social media networks and smartphones. Everyone wants something that will make us laugh or smile without having to leave our living rooms. Bingo fits perfectly into that category. Checkers also fits into that category but we won’t go into comparing those with one another.
JackpotMania is an Australian company
It’s been around since 1972 which means that for 40 years someone has been trying to get rich through playing cards (or bingo). But it’s only recently that the name Jackpot Mania caught everyone’s eye. Because they were able to grab the public imagination, they were able to win a few awards and even receive funding through private companies. Like any other entrepreneur, they were stung with debt and had to sell to a larger corporation. Now, both Australia and Asia are served by GVC Holdings.
Card Games are older than Bingo
Before people played Bingo, there were others ways to occupy yourself at card parties. People often played Four Square which involved drawing numbers out of a hat. If a player matched four of her/his number, s/he won $1. In fact, in 1862, Charles Llewellyn invented the idea of winning money just for getting points.
In conclusion, if you ask me, now that there are more than 80 years of history, Bingo is way older than people give it credit for. It all began when some guys realized that if they gave away prizes for nothing, people would come!