Bingo has come a long way from the Italian Lottery in 1530, but most experts agree that the roots of our beloved game started life almost half a century ago. Soon spreading through Europe, and then into the Americas thanks to the immigrants, bingo is a game with a rich history that has made it a popular choice for people when it comes to playing online.
The modern game that we recognize, with the numbered cards, the dabbers, and the giant ball selection machines all came from the Italian Lottery, but it was perhaps Edwin S Lowe who could be credited with inventing the modern game. He devised a boxed version to be played with friends in the 1920s, which he called Beano. Meanwhile, around the same time, people in Britain were playing a similar game called Housey Housey.
Bingo only really took off in the UK when the government passed the Betting and Gaming Act 1960. This new legislation allowed for venues to offer significant cash sums as prizes, and bingo was the perfect way to play. This meant that companies were created to cater to this new and exciting market, with Mecca Bingo and Gala being at the forefront. They created bingo halls, which were either multiple-use sites or venues designed specifically to host bingo. Bingo halls sprang up all over the country, with more and more being built right up to 2005.
So, what happened in 2005 that put such a dampener on the bright future of bingo halls? Some might say it had to do with the changing priorities of the younger generation, or perhaps a reduction in disposable income – but it is clear that one of the biggest reasons that bingo halls began to go out of business was the upsurge in online bingo sites.
What Makes Online Bingo Awesome?
So, why are more people snubbing the bingo hall and turning to online bingo instead? Well, there are many reasons, and not least of them is the technology available.
If you wanted to play bingo in the 1970s, you had to go to a bingo hall. While there were numerous venues across the country, you would probably have had to travel at least some distance, get dressed, buy drinks and food – and while that was a fun social activity, the advent of the internet has meant that you can play from your bedroom if you so desire.
All you need is a laptop or PC with access to the internet and you’re ready to go.
When you are playing a game of chance and probability like bingo, fairness is important. Bingo halls used to use big machines to randomly select balls, but in the online environment this obviously isn’t going to work – so bingo sites rely on algorithms to ensure fairness.
They use Random Number Generation (RNG) technology for this. If you are a gamer, you will have already played using this – it is that bit of code that means when you restart a level in your game, all the enemies are in different places and move differently.
RNG in bingo has two purposes; firstly, to ensure that true random is used when selecting the numbers, and secondly to establish the house edge.
Licensed and regulated online bingo sites must prove fairness to the UKGC to be allowed to offer the games.
While online bingo sites obviously don’t accept cash, as a bingo hall would, they do offer different ways to fund your account. Almost all will allow debit card deposits and bank transfers, but more and more platforms are making use of the wide range of eWallets available (like PayPal). With all these options in place, funding your account is easy, fast, and secure.
Bingo halls were always loud and full of laughter and chatter, representing a place where players could gather with their friends for some socializing and fun. While the premise of online bingo means that you are likely to be by yourself when you play, the addition of chat functions in the games means that you can make new friends while you play and enjoy the banter and small talk if that is your cup of tea.
You can even chat with the host of the room, which is always helpful if you are a beginner or want to ask a question about the game.
The last point, and probably the most important for those of us who are always on the go, is that online bingo sites have created some of the best mobile gaming apps out there. Not only are they slick and easy to use independently, but they are also streamlined to give you a seamless experience when you are moving from your PC to your smartphone.
This is even more important when you consider the prevalence of Wi-Fi and the rollout of 5G. We can now get online in so many more places, which means that you can while away the time you are waiting for the bus or for an appointment by playing online bingo – just as you would at home.