It is thought that bingo, much loved by millions today, has its history in 16th-century Italy. The game started off being known as “Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia” before being adopted by the French aristocracy and ultimately finding its way onto British shores.

Post-war Britain developed a penchant for the game, which found favor at UK seaside resorts around the country. This would be the first bingo boom in modern history and one whose wave would be ridden up until the late 1970s.

But bingo fans would begin to grow older with the game, and bingo halls started struggling to attract young fans into the fold. It was seen as a pastime for the elderly, and it appeared that bingo’s days could be numbered.

That was before a do-or-die attempt at a rebrand at the turn of the century would see the fortunes of bingo turn around. The game was marketed at young adults as an exciting and light-hearted night out for groups of friends to enjoy with drinks, prizes, and even dinner.

The move paid off, and bingo received a much-needed shot in the arm. Concurrently, the pervasion of the world wide web was playing its own role in the future success of the game. Online bingo was teeing up to be one of the next big things in the world of dot com enterprises.

Nowadays, there are several trusted and reliable online bingo providers like Jackpotjoy who offer bonuses and promotions to new players and exciting gameplay to existing fans of the genre. The online game has come a long way from the dusty bingo halls of mid-century Britain.

In an expanding industry so fiercely competitive, bingo operators are continually on the lookout for ways to expand and diversify their products so as to appeal to a broader base of customers. We explore some of these approaches here.

New Bingo Variations

European and American versions of roulette are separated by a single “00,” but the differences between bingo games enjoyed in different parts of the world tend to be more pronounced.

90-ball bingo is the most recognizable and traditional of the variations, especially in Britain – you might recognize some of the famous bingo calls culminating in “number 90…top of the shop.” Played on a small 3×5 card, winners are the first to complete one line, then two lines, and finally a full house.

75-ball bingo is a more recent development and is popular in North America. The games are fast-paced and are played on a 5×5 square grid, with the centre spot remaining a “free space.” Players are kept on their toes since winners will be the first to complete any number of predetermined patterns on their cards – from crosses to letters to hearts depending on the host.

80-ball bingo is sometimes called “shutter bingo” since it is often played on hard cards with window shutters that cover numbers which are called, to eliminate the need for daubers or bingo chips. 80-ball bingo is played on 4×4 grids. 

30-ball bingo is the fastest-paced of the lot, with just 30 balls in play and a tiny 3×3 card. 30-ball rounds are sometimes played between main event games of a different variation.

5-line bingo, or “Swedish bingo,” is the new kid on the block and combines 75-ball and 90-ball varieties. 90 balls are in play with 5×5 tickets – excluding the “free space.” A total of five chances to win is what makes 5-line bingo popular, with winners being the first to complete each line and, finally, a full house.

Different bingo games appeal to different play styles, and everyone has their own favorites. Developing new games gives consumers more choices to find the perfect fit for them.

Slingo was developed in the 1990s and pushes the boundaries of what bingo can be. As the name suggests, Slingo is an amalgamation of slots and bingo.

Played on a slot machine, instead of attempting to align symbols to win money, numbers are randomly spun and checked off a bingo-like scorecard. Slingo makes it possible for single players to enjoy the bingo experience at their own pace.

Bingo and Technology

Technology has played a pivotal role in the growth of the bingo and casino industries alike. The capabilities of smart devices have increased exponentially, and the affordability has reduced drastically over the past decade, granting a growing number of people access to powerful mobile devices.

Combined with an extensive mobile data network and a library of apps for every conceivable purpose, the market for bingo players has exploded. People can enjoy the convenience of playing their favorite bingo games from the comfort of their own homes at any hour that suits them.

Party Bingo

Alongside its online counterparts, bingo events have grown in size and popularity. Dedicated theatrical companies have taken to touring larger-than-life bingo performances to auditoriums in cities across the country. Big prizes, big games, music, and a lot of audience participation make these events a hit among young adults who swap an evening in the nightclub for an evening of playing bingo.

The forecast looks bright for bingo enthusiasts since the trend shows no signs of slowing. In such an innovative arena, we’re eager to see what developments might come next.