Bingo has come a long way. Originally, the game is thought to date back to the days of Lo Guicco di Lotto in 16th century Italy, but there is some dispute around the beginnings of the game. Today, players aren’t worrying about that, however, as they can jump online and play until their heart’s content in the comfort of their own homes or, if they’re on a mobile device, while they’re on the move.
Of course, this isn’t the case of bingo alone. Other games, such as casino games, have also transitioned to the online space. Poker was one of the first to do this, and as technology grew more and more advanced, online casinos began to increase their offering and other games followed. The industry exploded. Mobile gaming arrived on the scene and the industry exploded even further. Below is a look at the history of online bingo and how bingo in cyberspace has improved over the years for players.
The history of online bingo
Now, today you may go to a site like JackpotJoy for your online bingo, but the first ever bingo site is thought to be Bingo Zone and was launched online in America in 1996. Naturally, being the first site, it was very basic and has evolved since then, as has online bingo in general.
But how did online bingo come about in the first place?
Bingo originally spread from Italy in the 16th century to France in the 18th century, where it was named “Le Lotto.” Then in the 1880s, the German intelligentsia observed the popularity of the game and decide to begin working on the game as an educational tool. The purpose was to help children improve their maths and spelling skills.
But perhaps the turning point in the evolution of the game was when, in the 20th century, a man named Hugh J. Ward happened upon the game in Europe and started working on a version of it. The game spread across the US, taking on the name “bingo”, and gradually became standardised.
Bingo then became popular in wartime and afterwards. Soldiers played it in the trenches, but also carried on playing it when they came back to their families. As churches and charities realised the popularity of the game, bingo became a fundraising activity, and in the 1960s, bingo halls opened up in the UK. The game would take off, but its popularity would gradually wane and the number of active bingo halls would dwindle, as would the number of employees working in the industry.
Enter online bingo
This all paved the way for online bingo. As online casinos began to thrive, online bingo entered the picture. Savvy operators spotted an opportunity in the market and before bingo fans and the internet knew it, there were several operators all offering players the convenience of playing in the comfort of their own homes.
Following Bingo Zone was Bingo Blitz by a company called Uproar in 1998. The bingo games were more or less the same as the offline games, but tech was improving and games makers would begin adding new features to bingo to make it even more engaging.
Improving the online bingo experience
Online bingo had won the hearts of many, but now that operators had attracted the players, they had to keep them. Developers began adding cool new features to games, such as auto dabbers and, to prevent wealthier players from abusing the sites, card limits.
An especially cool feature online operators added is the chat room. Traditional bingo has a strong social side that players missed when it went online. Developers observed this and made it possible for players to communicate during games through the chat function. Best of all, they can do it without disturbing the other players.
Not only the functions were improving the experience, however. Games makers have really worked hard on the music, graphics and overall presentation of the games. Design is a major element in online gaming. Poor design leads to a poor experience; and a poor experience causes players to walk out of an operator’s digital doors, never to return.
Promotions have also had a big impact on the online bingo experience. Welcome bonuses and no deposit bonuses are one of way getting players to visit the site and spend more time on it. Some operators will also offer a bonus when a player makes their first deposit or if they make a fresh deposit. Other bonuses include referral bonuses, which a player receives when they refer a new player to the site, and a loyalty scheme in which players accumulate points they can then use to purchase bingo tickets.
It’s hard to ignore, too, the impact of mobile gaming on the online bingo experience. In the early days of online gaming, software didn’t boast the capabilities for bingo to function optimally on mobile. That’s all changed. Today, you can sign up, game online and make payments. Incidentally, a greater range of payment options, including options such as digital wallets which make players feel safer when crediting their account, have also improved online bingo for players.
Bingo has come a long way since its very early days. Today, you can play it online and even on a mobile device and have an amazing experience. Games makers have really worked on making playing as rewarding as possible for players.