While the game of Bingo is actually Italian in origin, for many, Britain is its true home. The game has come a long way—from humble beginnings to its modern popularity online. There are nowon average 3.5 million regular bingo players in the UK today.These players tend to play on websites like 888ladies online bingo due to the convenience and easy access online bingo brings.


The history of Bingo dates back to the 1500s in Italy, where it was known as Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. The game made its way to Britain via the French aristocracy some 300 years later.


The name Bingo is most likely British, but its exact roots are unclear. It is thought the term somehow migrated from custom officer slang, where “Bingo!” would be cried upon a successful search.


The trajectory of the game’s modern popularity began in the 1920s at carnivals and fairs, and by the 1960s large cash prizes had been legalised. Large bingo halls opened across the country and were especially popular in cities and at seaside resorts where Britons would holiday.


Who Plays Bingo Now?


Couples would dress up and frequently go to bingo venues as a weekly night out. It was also a more socially acceptable form of gambling for women of the era to partake in who were otherwise a vast minority inside Britain’s casinos.


The golden age of bingo endured until 1968 when the introduction in law of the Gaming Act by the Labour government began more tightly regulating a previously unbridled industry. It was necessary for Bingo to modernise to survive, and it did—going on to gain in popularity through the 1970s and 1980s until numbers eventually began tailing off.


The dawn of the digital age would bring with it a major hurdle for the game in the 1990s, especially brick and mortar bingo halls. With the rate at which venues across the country were closing it would seem the game’s days were numbered.


A large part of the problem was that Bingo was struggling to attract younger players. Television and movies, video games and the internet were seen as more modern and attractive—Bingo enthusiasts were an aging demographic.


But it was the internet, at one time resembling the final nail in the coffin for bingo, that would turn out to be its salvation. The popularity of the online casino was rising and developers were continually looking to expand their portfolio with new games.

The internet is said to be one of the leading factors for the decline of land-based bingo halls.



It was quickly apparent that Bingo was a perfect fit—and most attractively to betting providers, it was drawing a female audience to a male dominated marketplace. Businesses love expanding their target market wherever possible and soon the number of online Bingo providers had boomed. Today, as many as 78% of bingo players playing regularly are female.

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Technology and Innovation in Bingo


The smartphone has also played its part in the resurgence of Bingo, putting access to online games in the hands of an increasing number of the population. Playing online is attractive to a population with limited free time.


Players can log on to an app or website and enjoy a round or two of bingo within seconds, without having to travel to a specific location—it is a convenience which has a high value in the modern world. For people living in more remote areas of the country, partaking online is the difference between being able to play at all and not.


Bingo in its digital form makes playing with several scorecards possible. Autofill features, common on bingo sites, tick off called numbers automatically so players don’t need to give the game their full attention; a concept that is appealing to the more casual players.


The social element is also not lost online. Most providers include chat rooms as part of their software suites and players are able to communicate with one another; even forge friendships over the game like in decades past.


Online bingo has drawn huge numbers of new fans to the pastime, and most importantly for the longevity of the game, these are younger players. Interestingly, online popularity has translated to higher patronage of real-world bingo venues also.


Bingo players in their twenties and thirties have begun visiting bingo halls with groups of friends. It’s an increasingly popular destination for celebrations or simply a night out.


Online bingo providers have designed chat rooms for players to communicate when playing bingo online.


The Future of Bingo

The future of Bingo looks strong. Online numbers continue to go from strength to strength and the closure of Bingo halls is slowing—in some parts of the country new venues are even opening. The year 2014 saw the government lower the tax rates specific to the industry, a financial incentive that has only stimulated growth.


Providers are consistently looking for ways to modernise and update the game with new promotions and variations and it’s an exciting time to see what might be next. A good example of this is the recent emergence of alternative Bingo events. A cross between a club night and a theatre show, they push the limits of what Bingo is and can be.


Surely, Bingo has already faced and overcome its biggest test and as long as the industry continues to embrace change, it will go on being profitable.