If you live in the UK, you’re probably already keenly familiar with the classic pastime of bingo. From the bingo halls that ring the suburbs of our towns and cities to the cheeky bingo TV ads featuring some of our most beloved actors, you would be forgiven for thinking that bingo is a distinctly British pursuit.
However, this is far from the case. Bingo is actually a game with a vast 500-year history, one that originated in Italy and among the French aristocracy, before spreading around the world. Today, there are several countries that could most definitely be described as having bingo at the core of their culture. Here are the countries around the world that are absolutely bingo-mad.
Obviously, the UK is one of the most bingo-obsessed countries in the world, meaning that it truly does deserve the first mention on this list. Nowhere is this more visible than the world of online bingo, where many of the top titles take on a uniquely British flavor.
A look at the top online bingo games, for instance, reveals themes such as Deal or No Deal or Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, both of which are based on the UK versions of the classic TV game show. In addition, there are numerous modern variations to appeal to different generations and demographics, including live bingo rooms and hybrid games such as Slingo. The seemingly endless array of online bingo games available is reflective of booming user demand: Brits play more online bingo than pretty much anyone else on the planet.
Perhaps a somewhat unexpected entry onto this list, Romania is actually one of the most die-hard bingo countries in the world today. The game supposedly gained popularity after communism ended in the country, with bingo halls opening up on virtually every street corner throughout the 90s.
Today, bingo is a popular pastime enjoyed by all generations, while some of the biggest shows on Romanian television, such as Bingo Romania, are dedicated entirely to the game.
It makes sense that the country that invented bingo would be one of its biggest proponents today. Bingo was first created in 1530 and was popularly known as Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia, as a means of raising funds for Italian city-states.
The game faded into obscurity for most of the 20th century but increasingly became popular once again in the noughties. Today, you can find more bingo halls per capita in Italy than just about anywhere else in Europe.
Modern bingo as we know it was pretty much invented in the USA, with the ball version first being offered in carnivals in the Midwest throughout the 1910s. From here, the game grew in popularity as the American Catholic Church began to hold mass bingo events as a means of raising funds for the faith. Before long, Sin City caught on, adding bingo halls to the early mega-casinos that were building build in the then-sleepy backwater of Sin City. Today, bingo is played throughout the US and is enjoyed by people from all walks of life.
These are the countries that are absolutely mad about bingo. While other countries have been known to enjoy a game or two, none can hold a candle to these nations.