How Popular is Bingo Around the World?
By Space Coast Daily // November 19, 2019
Bingo – it’s one of the most popular games in the UK! People all over the world associate the game with the Brits.
In fact, it’s recognised everywhere to be just as British as other institutions like drinking tea and having fish and chips!
However, is bingo played anywhere else in the world? How popular is the game in other countries?
Do people sign up in droves to bingo sites in the USA or Australia? Are people in Asia heading out to bricks and mortar bingo halls? Or is the game a purely UK phenomenon?
Interestingly, if you do a little research, you’ll discover that, in fact, bingo is played all over the globe, albeit in slightly different forms.
No matter where you may be, you’re sure to find that bingo is being played somewhere nearby, either in a real-world bingo hall or online.
So, whether you’re just curious or whether you’re heading overseas on holiday and want to know whether you’ll be able to indulge in a few games while you’re away, you can find more details here about how the nation’s favourite game is played in other countries around the world.
Bingo In Italy
It’s often said that the game of bingo actually originated in Italy, so it might not be too surprising that you can find bingo halls and online bingo sites galore in Italy.
The earliest game of bingo was called Gioco del Lotto and was around as long ago as the 16th century! Even today, Italy is a top place to enjoy a few games of bingo, and you’ll have no difficulty finding somewhere to play.
Germans – Bingo Fans Since The 19th Century
The Germans first embraced the game of bingo back in 1880. Since then, Germany has developed its own version of the game which is quite similar to that which we know and love in the United Kingdom. Originally, the game was called “der Lottospiel”, and instead of calling out “house” for a full card, players shout “volltreffer!“
In Germany, however, bingo isn’t just a kind of entertainment, it’s also a well-used teaching method which is used in towns and cities nationwide.
Primarily, bingo is used in schools for teaching spelling and maths, however many other subjects have integrated the game into its curriculum.
As a result, bingo is incredibly popular with people old and young, and there are over forty bingo halls in Germany, proving just how popular the game is today.
Number Two In The Bingo Popularity Stakes – Romania
It probably comes as a surprise to many British bingo lovers that Romania is the country which is ranked in second place for bingo popularity! In fact, the game has risen to astronomical heights since 1990 when the country began to resurge after the Ceaucescu regime came to an end.
Bricks and mortar bingo halls and online bingo are both popular here, and there are even TV shows like Bingo Romania which are very popular in Romania.
Bingo In The USA
America is home to Sin City, (otherwise known as Las Vegas), one of the top gambling destinations anywhere in the world, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that the USA is known as one of the nations to truly love bingo. Actually, America claims that it’s the birthplace of modern bingo after the game was introduced to the nation during the 1920s.
First played at carnivals in Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh the game was then copyrighted and several versions manufactured and sold during the 1930s and 1940s.
What’s rather more surprising is that it was the Catholic church which helped to cement the popularity of the game amongst the population, using bingo as a method of generating funds. Charities, too, seized on the game to raise money for their organisations.
Even today, commercial bingo games can be found running in casinos, while in American schools, bingo is used as an educational tool.
There is one difference between the game as it’s played in America and in the UK, however. In the USA, 75-ball bingo is most popular, while the original 90-ball game is still the top choice in the United Kingdom.
Japan – A Late Adopter Of Bingo
In most countries around the world where bingo is popular it was the land-based version of the game which led to sufficient popularity to launch online sites. In Japan, however, it’s the other way around. In fact, the game’s popularity has only increased here because of online casinos!
Thanks to cutting-edge technology and recent changes in the gambling laws, the Japanese are increasingly turning to online bingo, and Japan is the world’s second biggest market for online bingo games.
Sweden’s Billion Dollar Bingo Industry
Sweden’s bingo player profile is slightly different to that found in the UK. Although more younger British people are starting to play the game thanks to the popularity of online sites, most players are still of an older generation.
In Sweden, that profile is turned on its head, with more young people registering to play at online bingo sites. Bingo is one of just a few kinds of gambling which isn’t fully state controlled, so this goes some way towards explaining why so many people enjoy a game. Swedish bingo sites offer several different variants of bingo, however 90-ball and 75-ball games come out on top.
As you can see, bingo isn’t just a UK phenomenon! No matter where in the world you are, you’re sure to find a game going on somewhere near you, even if it’s through an online bingo site!