How bingo became such a big part of UK culture

by MaddOx
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Few things have struck a chord across society like bingo. It’s been an integral part of people’s lives for decades in the UK and the game’s popularity ceases to slow down. Whether it’s in bingo halls, online or on your phone, it’s more accessible than ever before and that’s helping it to reach new audiences across the country and the wider world.

But how did it become such a big part of British culture?

Bingo through history

The game has its origins firmly rooted in Italy in the 16th century, where a lottery game called “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia” eventually developed into a phenomenon that spread throughout Europe and the world. It wasn’t until the late 19th century and early 20th century that something resembling bingo emerged on the British Isles and in the US.

“Il Gioco del Lotto d'Italia” A bingo-like game developed into a phenomenon that spread throughout Europe and the world.

As a social activity and one that could conjure up a sense of belonging and camaraderie in local communities, the game was a powerful weapon in wartime Britain. It became a staple for those at home and away, perfect for keeping spirits and morale up at such a dark time. The post-war periods saw the rise of commercial bingo and the creation of dedicated halls.

The rise of the bingo hall

Bingo halls were a revelation across the world, offering people a place to socialise with friends and family. The game was arguably the main entertainment activity in the UK until the 1990s, especially for the working classes and older generations.

As the turn of the century beckoned, changing trends and habits threatened the game’s popularity and image. It gradually became synonymous with an older demographic and younger generations were drawn to developments in technology and other entertainment avenues. But one thing saved bingo!

An empty Bingo Hall

The evolution of online bingo

With the emergence of the internet came a shockwave of opportunity for industries across the country. The game didn’t take long to find its new path and many brands started developing online bingo sites to appeal to wider audiences. Granted, early internet technology and user experiences weren’t amazing, but it was the start of something special.

As digital capabilities developed and internet connections improved in player’s homes, the online bingo experience truly took off and many traditional halls were left desolate. Playing from the comfort of your own home proved to be popular and online bingo apps now mean you can play wherever you like on a mobile device. The digital revolution has helped to bring the game back into the hearts of the nation and remains a staple of daily life for so many to this day.

Tablet showing the ability to play online bingo anywhere, bingo balls popping out of the screen

Bingo continues to bring the nation together and give people the chance to win money from the comfort of their own homes. What’s next?

For more gambling-related articles like this one or on based on other games, then be sure to head on over to our gambling section where you can find more interesting articles to read in your spare time. You can also find the latest gaming and tech news by clicking here, our latest reviews by clicking here, and other feature articles by clicking here.

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