Bingo and Social Responsibility: A history of bingo in the US

We all love online bingo. And even more so, we all love how accessible bingo sites in the US are. You fire up your Mac or PC, you hit your favorite online bingo site, and boom. In a matter of seconds, you’re watching the balls drop with up to 30 bingo cards in front of you. You could be playing bingo in the US. Or you could be playing bingo halfway around the world. No matter where you’re sitting, the experience is the same.

So it’s hard to believe that bingo wasn’t always just a few clicks away. Way before the Internet was invented, if you wanted to play bingo, you’d have to make your way to Europe.

Yup, it’s true. Even though US online bingo sites are incredibly popular, today and even though playing bingo in the US seems like it’s always been the norm, the game we all know and love is less than a century old to Americans. Here’s a brief history.

The beginning

Wondering when bingo in the US originated? Well, first you need to know that US bingo actually began as Italian bingo. Or, more specifically, “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia”. In fact, bingo can be traced all the way back to the year 1530. While definitely not as fast as the game provided by online bingo sites in the US today, the lottery game provided thrills for Italians much like bingo does today.

US invasion

Bingo remained largely European until the 1920s, when it became popular at country fairs across the United States. Back then, it was known as Beano, but the name was shortly changed to Bingo by New York toy salesman Edwin Lowe.

Bingo in churches

In the mid 1930s, a priest from Pennsylvania convinced Lowe to bring his bingo game to churches as a way to raise funds. In a matter of months, the collection plate was replaced by bingo cards as churches all over the US relied on the game to raise money.

Because of bingo’s association with churches, the game has yet to be lumped in the same category as casino games or online poker by right-leaning legislators. While the US feds are still weighing licensing of online casinos in the US, bingo players have enjoyed a little more freedom, with countless US bingo sites available to choose from.

That’s largely because at the heart of bingo in the US is a social conscience. While it’s a thrilling game that provides hours of entertainment, it’s also a game that’s valued by all ages as a great way to help out communities all around the United States.

And bingo sites in the US offer you a great opportunity to practice for the next community-supporting church bingo event. So grab some cards and be a part of this amazing social game.