Bingo originated in Italy centuries ago, rapidly spread across the rest of Europe and eventually transitioned to the USA, and in the 20th century it became a firm fixture in the social activities of western culture, especially among the working classes.
But the fact that bingo has survived and continues to be one of the most popular games in the world is testament to its ability to innovate and reinvent itself to keep it current and relevant.
Here are just three ways in which modern bingo has kept pace with the times and managed to broaden its appeal at the same time.
- In 1996, bingo games went online – becoming one of the first online games to reach mass internet audiences. The first versions were somewhat basic variants of the traditional game and were free to play for all who wanted to enjoy the game. Game providers earned revenue from advertising which appeared on the sites. And as bingo’s online popularity began to grow – all the major bingo operators soon joined in offering their own online versions, along with many casino operators who also saw the enormous potential of extending their gaming market through online gaming.
- The introduction of the iPhone and subsequent rapid uptake and growth of smartphones and the associated technology brought an even stronger current of development and expansion for online bingo. Touch screen technology and the ability to include high quality video content gave rise to the basic version of today’s highly interactive and visually rich bingo experience allowing users to simply tap their screen to mark off numbers and see virtual bingo number callers on their screen.
Global networking technology also brought back an essential element of the original bingo game – the social side of bingo – allowing players to be in contact with and chat with other bingo players in various parts of the world.
- Another reason why online bingo has boomed, and it’s nothing to do with technology, is the fact that the UK policy to ban smoking in public places (bingo halls) changed the experience for millions of regular bingo players who used to socialize in traditional bingo halls.
Now, these same players can simply log on to their preferred mobile bingo app and enjoy their game while not being demonized for smoking while playing at the same time. They can also keep in contact with their old bingo buddies through bingo chat provided in such platforms – or simply get together in their homes and play online together.
No doubt future technology advances will see bingo bringing even more features and fun to the millions of players worldwide who continue to enjoy this simple, yet extremely appealing game online.