It may be nearing its 500th birthday, but bingo is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.
This iconic game has undoubtedly progressed a long way since it first saw the light of day as a 16th-century Italian lottery.
Fast forward to today and one of the best bingo sites at 888ladies highlights just how much the game has changed during its history.
Read on to learn the history of bingo and assess how advancements in technology have helped to fire the game into another stratosphere.
An Introduction to Bingo
Bingo has its roots in “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” – an Italian lottery game that subsequently spread its wings into several other European countries.
It eventually found its way across the Atlantic Ocean during the early part of the last century, finding favor with visitors to local fairs and carnivals.
A version of bingo was spotted by New York car salesman Edwin Lowe, who tweaked the game to create the version played by millions of people today.
His creation become the go-to entertainment activity in the United Kingdom and the United States during the 20th century, although its growth was not without challenges.
Relaxation of Gambling Laws Sparks Bingo Boom
One of the biggest issues bingo faced in the 1900s was the presence of restrictive gambling laws in the U.K. and U.S.
Governments frowned on bingo as a commercial activity, forcing the game underground as people sought to circumvent the rules.
The revision of gambling laws in the U.K. during the 1960s transformed the landscape, providing a platform for bingo to become a worldwide phenomenon.
Bingo venues opened across the world as gambling operators clamored to grab a piece of the action for themselves.
Aspiration Threatens Bingo’s Future
While bingo proved to be hugely popular, it can be argued that its working-class image became a major problem as the new millennium approached.
People started to become far more aspirational where entertainment activities were concerned, and bingo’s future appeared to be under serious threat.
Other factors such as a lack of investment in modernizing venues and the smoking ban in public places also derailed the bingo sector.
However, technology emerged as a savior to the bingo industry, helping to resurrect the game’s fortunes and fire it back to the forefront of public consciousness.
The Internet Saves Bingo’s Bacon
It would have been a brave move to predict that the arrival of the internet would have such a transformative impact on bingo’s fortunes.
Inspired by the success of other forms of online gaming, gambling operators and developers soon realized the internet offered a wealth of possibilities.
While the earliest bingo sites did not offer too much in the way of excitement, they were unquestionably the forerunner to what has become a massive industry in its own right.
Advancements in software capabilities, better payment security and improved Wi-Fi connectivity have all played a massive role in bingo’s resurgence.
Bingo in the Mobile Age
Improvements in smartphone capabilities have arguably been the most important factor in bingo’s 21st-century boom.
People can now play bingo games whenever and wherever they want, making the game far more accessible than was once the case.
This has helped to attract a different demographic of players to bingo, thus helping it become one of the biggest growth sectors in the gambling industry.
Once seen as the sole preserve of the working classes, bingo is now one of the most inclusive entertainment activities on the planet.
Embracing the Social Side of Bingo
When bingo was enjoying its heyday during the second half of the 20th century, the game’s social aspect was one of its main attractions.
People would use bingo as a way to meet up regularly with friends and family, and that ethos has been expertly integrated into online bingo.
Gambling operators use the latest instant messaging software to allow players to interact with each other, thus recreating the game’s social element in a digital environment.
With some sites exploring how video chat technology can be incorporated into online bingo, the game will continue to provide people with a way to socialize for many years to come.
Bingo in the Future
Given that bingo appeared to be on its knees at the end of the last century, the past couple of decades have witnessed a quite remarkable transformation.
Digital technology has proved to be a Godsend, allowing gambling operators to develop increasingly immersive online bingo sites.
They are unlikely to rest on their laurels, particularly with technology now advancing at an utterly ridiculous pace.
Among the biggest changes seen in recent years has been the evolution from standard variants such as 90-ball bingo to crossovers with other games.
These include Slingo and Flash Fives, each of which has been a big success. More of this type of innovation is likely to impact the sector in the next few years.
Virtual reality (VR) technology has also been widely thought to be the next big thing in bingo, with the supporting hardware now capable of delivering stunning gameplay experiences.
Some social VR bingo games have already been launched online and it is unlikely to be too long before real money games are added into the mix.
With digital technology expected to keep powering forward in the next few years, these are exciting times for a game that continues to stave off the sands of time.