HomeOnline Bingo BlogThe Evolution of Bingo
The Evolution of Bingo

Bingo has it's roots in a lottery style game played way back in the 16th century but it wasn't widespread until much later when the game was known as “beano” in America.  An enterprising toy salesman heard a woman mistakenly yell “bingo” instead of “beano” at a county fair and he turned that into a game that could be played in every home.

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For many years, bingo has been a traditional method of fundraising all across America.  It's been played at fairs, at local VFW halls and churches everywhere.  In fact, regular weekly bingo games have become a staple at one church or another in just about every town or city in the country.

In the UK, a fixture in many rural communities has been the local bingo halls.  These serve not just as a mild gambling event but as the major hub of social activity in many villages scattered across the UK.  Rather than raising money for charities, these bingo halls are usually owned by a number of large bingo operators, such as Gala Coral or Mecca, and they definitely are for profit businesses.

Then along came the internet.  Suddenly it became possible to create applications that people could play on their computers in the comfort of their own homes.  This has changed the world forever in many, many ways but none so much as the world of bingo.  From the first known online bingo sites in the mid-1990s to today, the applications have grown more sophisticated and versatile every day.

Today, there are hundreds of online bingo sites up on the web so the bingo lover is confronted with an absolutely stunning amount of choice.  While online bingo has attracted a younger crowd to playing bingo, the competition is also making it harder for individual sites to keep their market shares.

With the recent recession, that may or may not be over (depending on who you talk to), the most popular thing in online bingo is to offer free bingo but still award cash prizes.  Naturally, this is an idea loved by bingo players all over the world!

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Free bingo, while good for players, may not be such a great idea in the long run for the bingo sites, though.  It's so easy for players to skip around playing all the free bingo, that it's making it very difficult for the online bingo operators to attract a faithful member base.  The sites are offering ever greater incentives to make a deposit as well as loyalty schemes to keep members on the site longer and more frequently.

While the overhead in running an online bingo site is much lower than that of a land based bingo hall, you do have to understand that there is still a finite amount on hand to entice players.  Eventually, without depositing members, a site will go under – that's just economic common sense.  We'll see how far the free bingo craze goes before too many sites realize they are losing too much money to continue.