With its fun, social aspect, bingo has grown to become one of the most popular forms of gambling around the world, both online and in halls. However, despite the game following a similar format, the history behind it within each country differs significantly.
With this in mind, here are the countries where bingo is most popular around the world and how the game made its first appearance.
Bingo was embraced by Germany in 1880, but the game’s format is now very similar to how it’s played in the UK. Originally known as “der Lottospeil”, the phrase “volltreffer” would be exclaimed when someone won during a game.
However, bingo is more than just a form of entertainment in Germany and is actually used as a teaching method in schools; primarily for maths, spelling and even history. This has encouraged considerable popularity growth within every generation, and has also inspired bingo to become a teaching technique in the UK. Overall, there are now more than 40 dedicated bingo halls across Germany.
Did you know that Sweden’s bingo industry is actually worth billions? The increase in popularity is mostly attributed to its young player profile, who now regularly enjoy playing the game. Bingo is also one of the only forms of gambling that isn’t strictly under state-control, which has also encouraged its surge in popularity. Out of all the types of bingo, 75 and 90-ball are played the most.
It’s commonly believed that bingo originated in Italy in 1530, and was based around a form of Italian lottery known as “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia”. Since then, a multitude of bingo halls and sites have popped up in Italy as it remains one of the top countries around the world who enjoy a game of bingo.
Having been played around the country since around World War Two, the UK has become one of the most passionate bingo countries in the world. Although it is largely stereotyped to the older generation, the introduction of online bingo from companies such as Paddy Power and trendier halls has encouraged a younger audience to join in. The game has even developed its own language that is used by the caller, e.g. “two fat ladies 88” and “two little ducks 22”.
Typically, 90-ball bingo mostly commonly played in the UK, but you can also access several 75-ball games.
Unlike the rest of the countries on this list, where brick-and-mortar bingo was the first to appear, the rise of bingo in Japan is actually attributed to online casinos. Japan is commonly known as the land of pachinko machines (an arcade game), however the rise in technology and recent legalisation of gambling in Japan has allowed players to start exploring bingo too.
Surprisingly, Japan is now labelled as the second largest online bingo market in the world, as citizens have grown to enjoy the game’s culture.
With regards to bingo popularity, Romania is actually ranked as second around the world. This popularity originated in 1990, after the country’s resurgence from the Ceaucescu regime. Now, both online bingo and bingo halls are extremely popular here, despite their issues around the legalities of gambling; which is why there are very few home-grown bingo sites from Romania.
Considering it’s one of the world’s biggest gambling hubs, it’s no surprise that the USA has been featured on this list. Labelled as the ‘home of modern bingo’, the game started to appear in the 1920s by an entrepreneur at carnivals in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Shockingly, the game was actually copyrighted by the entrepreneur, which resulted in a number of different versions being manufactured in the 30s and 40s. Catholic churches and charities would even use bingo as a strategy to generate funding. Similar to Germany, bingo is also used as a teaching method within the USA. 75-ball bingo is also associated as America’s game.
Have you ever played bingo in one of these countries? If so, what was your experience like? Let us know below!