Bingo is a much-loved, speedy, and easy game to grasp. The traditional version of bingo entails players purchasing a card or more, each with a random set of numbers.
Once the game starts, a person reads out a number, which players must locate and cross off their bingo sheets. If players mark off an entire line or the whole sheet, they shout bingo to alert the caller and potentially win a prize.
Since the birth of bingo, the game has changed and evolved into new forms due to demand and technology.
As such, people can purchase a board game of bingo to play at home with their families. Attend a traditional bingo event, where a person calls out a random number and players buy bingo cards with the potential of winning cash. And in recent years, providing players have a smart device, they can access sites such as 888ladies bingo and play anywhere in the world.
While the popularity of bingo is indisputable, particularly in countries such as the UK. In recent years, many have been wondering whether bingo online could ever find success and be the next biggest thing in America.
To decipher the answer throughout this post, we will;
- Delve into the origins of the game and look at bingos’ connection with the US.
- Touch on the USA’s complex legislation surrounding gambling online.
- And pinpoint the possible benefits of regulating online bingo across America.
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The Birth of Bingo
The origin of Bingo stems back to the 1500s in Italy, where it was initially called II Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia.
Over time, the game’s popularity spread to neighboring countries such as Germany and France. And eventually, by the 1900s, Lotto d’Italia had made its way across the ocean to the States, where a toy salesman, Edwin S.Lowe, discovered and popularized the game.
Edwin first found the game at a carnival, where at the time, the game was called Beano. As players would use beans to cover numbers on their cards and shout ‘beano’ when they thought they’d won a line or full house.
Fascinated by the game, Edwin introduced beano to his friends in New York, and they began playing together.
Following one particular game of beano, the game’s name was changed forever by Edwin to bingo. This was after a player mistakenly yelled ‘Bingo!’ during a game, rather than beano.
A toy salesman introduced bingo to New York.
Bingo: UK vs. the US
As Edwin S. Lowe popularised the game of Bingo, it gradually seeped into the homes and halls across the USA and eventually travelled to the United Kingdom.
After the second world war, UK citizens were taken with the game and regularly looked forward to attending bingo halls with their pals. At the peak of the game’s success in the ’60s, it was reported 150,000 Brits visited a local bingo hall every day.
However, by the dawn of the century, the fascination with bingo halls declined. This was attributed to UK bingo providers failing to adapt. After all, their original enthusiastic bingo attendees were aging. And with no new ideas to attract a younger audience to replace older players, the buzz around bingo halls faded, and many shut down.
Equally, a change in legislation, the smoking ban in 2007, deterred avid social smokers from attending the halls where they’d usually play, chat with friends, and smoke as they did.
But over the past decade, bingo has gradually made a comeback in the UK. In its new and improved form, online bingo is enticing people from all backgrounds and of all ages to sample and play its convenient and easy-to-use online platforms.
In the US, however, online bingo is yet to reach the popularity of the UK’s online bingo realm. And today, bingo halls are still widely used in various states across the country, such as Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Kansas.
One of the reasons why bingo online is yet to catch fire in the US is due to uncertainty over gambling legislation.
For instance, while the supreme court in the US has in recent years permitted gambling. It’s up to each state to decide whether or not to approve and regulate gambling activities.
For instance, states including Washington DC, Georgia, and Louisiana are not allowed to gamble online. However, residents in states such as Indiana, California, or West Virginia can.
And in some instances, the rules get even more complicated because some forms of online gambling are permitted but not others. For example, gambling on horse racing, fantasy sports, and bingo is legal in Illinois. But betting at online casinos, on poker, and the lottery is prohibited.
Many states in America are still yet to fully legalize gambling activities offline and online.
The Future of Bingo Online in the US
Attitudes towards gambling have changed significantly over time as more territories understand its importance as a fun pastime for adults. But, more importantly, it’s potential to bring in a lot of taxable income, which can be used to improve a town’s economy, schools, healthcare, and so forth.
Furthermore, legalizing and regulating gambling can prevent citizens from using unsafe and unregulated gambling sites. Or from participating in risky underground gambling activities.
Moreover, regardless of whether the US as a whole or per state legalizes gambling on games such as bingo. Previous research suggests numerous Americans will continue to find ways to gamble regardless.
For example, research on recent US Super Bowl events revealed citizens within states that were not legally allowed to bet on sports used illegal bookies to place bets.
As such, it’s reasonable to suggest, whether states legalize bingo or not, people will still find a way to play.
This could, in turn, encourage more American states to regulate gambling games such as bingo. To avoid the prospect of citizens’ money funding other offshore gambling businesses and instead inject cash into their own economy. And allow bingo to become the next big thing in America!