We get it… bingo halls can seem a bit, well, old and boring. When you think of bingo halls, you probably imagine your Nan pottering down there with her new ‘do and gaggle of friends. But think again! Bingo halls have actually seen a rehaul and are now THE place to be. But that’s a story for another day. Here we’re going to check out a different way to play bingo — one where you don’t have to do your hair and can play it from the couch, in front of the telly even. This is online bingo, and it’s seduced players around the world.
Online bingo has very quickly become more popular than Netflix. Ok, ok...maybe not quite. But close enough! Why wouldn’t you want to play the world’s most beloved game from the comfort of your own home? It seems like no one wouldn’t want to! Around the world, people are playing online bingo more than ever, and in tons of different ways. Let’s check out the different kinds of online bingo being played around the world.
When they’re not wolfing down Bratwurst and beerfesting with the best of them, Germans are playing bingo online. Bingo (actually, its close cousin — kind of like a second cousin on your dad’s side) used to be used as a teaching tool back in 19th century Germany. At the time it was called Tombola (sounds like a dance... Zumba anyone?) and was used to teach maths, spelling and other subjects. But soon, the B-I-N-G-O that we all know and love evolved into the game it is today. Nowadays, you’ll find our Deutschland friends playing the German version of 90 ball bingo online.
It’s hard to imagine bingo as originating anywhere but from the UK, but surprise surprise — lots of records point to Italy as the birthplace of bingo! Apparently, the game was first played in Pasta-land in the 16th century where it boasted the fancy name of Gioco del Lotto d’Italia. Did you only recognise the word ‘lotto’ in there? Don’t stress — us too! That’s because it was actually a part of Italy’s national lottery, and even still is to this day.
This is really interesting considering Italy’s fun police had very strict rules about gambling and, at one point, only allowed state-run games. Luckily for them, things have started changing and operators can now offer their own version of the game — just as long as it has a maximum of 100 numbers or symbols. Jeepers, talk about strict… But even though there are other kinds of online bingo available in Italy, the most popular type played is 90 ball bingo.
What do Italy and Japan have in common?
Can’t think of anything?
The answer is actually that they both have a tricky relationship with bingo in the past. Even today, Japan keeps online bingo firmly on the naughty list of gambling regulations, while the offline version of the game is regulated by the Casino Supervising Commission, which is more ominously known as “the Commission” in many of their legal documents.
So Japan has banned online bingo… then why is it on our list? Well, it seems that the Japanese also LOVE online bingo as much as we do and schemed their way around those pesky regulations. Nowadays, the 75 ball version of bingo is played online in Japan, and the country even holds the record for the single biggest online game in the world! According to Guinness World Records, the game was organised by Coca-Cola Japan, and took place on the 3rd of September 2010, with over 493 000 players taking part!
Being able to play bingo online has actually given Spaniards a new lease on bingo life!
In 2018, the regulatory body Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (try saying that quickly three times in a row) reported that the amount being spent on online bingo had risen 18% to approximately £11.66 million!
Because people in Spain seem to really love playing bingo online, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly which type is their favourite — but it seems to be a close tie between both the 75 ball and 90 ball versions.
To say Sweden took a while to jump on the online bingo train is an understatement — the first game online only launched in 1996, and the first proper internet-based service only in 2008. But we’ll give credit where it’s due… in spite of being late bloomers, the online bingo market in Sweden boomed with a first annual record of £132.92 million in 2009.
You may be surprised by this, but most Swedes won’t be. Bingo has actually been adored across the country since the swinging 60’s when a small athletics organisation visited England, fell in love with bingo (now that’s not surprising at all), and brought it over. Since then, the game has been a staple game in Sweden.
The game may be the Swedes’ sweetheart, but it actually has a dirty secret: Spelinspektionen, a regulatory body, recognises only three types of the game: variantbingo, automatbingo, and storbingo. The Swedish Lotteries Act defines the online version simply as a numbers game, meaning it isn’t officially classified as bingo in the country!
Regardless, it’s still played online, but is called — you guessed it — Swedish bingo. Swedish bingo is a little harder to win, and is quite similar to the 75 ball version we know and love, but comes with a random number in the square in the centre of the card.
Even though the UK is where it’s at and has always been for bingo, people are playing less and less in real bingo halls. Yes, this may mean your dream of a passionate encounter with a cutie from your local bingo hall is slipping away each and every day; but fear not! The online scene and online bingo playing community continues to grow and there are heaps of bingo games you can play — 30 ball, 75 ball, 90 ball, Slingo, etc.
Spoilt for choice, we are! But even though there is such a variety of bingo available to play online, 90 ball usually comes out tops, both in clubs and online.
America has given us many things, but perhaps the greatest of all, hand over heart, is modern bingo. The man, the legend — Edward Lowe, a toymaker and salesman — is believed to have first played a game called Beano at a carnival in Georgia. It is then said that he played the game with his mates, printed his own cards, and then renamed the game after one of the other chaps playing got so excited that he accidentally called out (you guessed it) B-I-N-G-O instead of ‘Beano’. (Beano doesn’t quite have the same ring to it anyway, now does it?)
In America today, the most favoured version of our favourite game is 75 ball bingo. It just has fewer numbers than UK 75 ball bingo and uses a 5x5 card (the USA always has to do things their own way, don’t they?). This makes the game actually go a bit quicker. Who knows, maybe it’s more fun that way!
Now that you’ve been educated on the different kinds of online bingo around the world, we bet you can hardly wait to have a go at a game. So make a cuppa tea, get comfy (pants optional), and visit one of the best bingo sites in the UK — Lucky Pants Bingo (we never said modesty was our strong point).
You can join the fun from your desktop, laptop, mobile phone, tablet… even if you’re not at home, so you can jump into a game while out and about, but please remember that this time pants aren’t optional.
No matter how many balls you like to play with, you can enjoy some of the greatest online bingo games at our premium online bingo site. Visit Lucky Pants Bingo to find out more about the best online bingo experience available today!
Lucky Pants Bingo / 07 August 2020