While bingo has certainly changed over the years, the essence of the game remains intact. Introduced in the US in the 1920s as a game played with beans on a board, it took a Long Island toymaker by the name of Edwin S Lowe to rebrand, remarket, and rename the game Bingo. Since then, the game’s popularity skyrocketed, with unprecedented successes across the US, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and beyond. Of course, online bingo represents the paradigm shift for the game. It catapulted bingo into the big leagues of social games. From Facebook to online bingo rooms, this chance-based game rules the roost!

Bingo in the United Kingdom

We begin our bingo journey with the world’s #1 hotspot for bingo – the UK. Nowhere is bingo more appreciated, more enjoyed, and more played by millions of adoring fans than in the UK. Stats indicate that upwards of 3.5 million+ players regularly enjoy games of 75 ball, 90 ball, and jackpot bingo games. It’s not simply the appeal of bingo that drives players wild; it’s the very essence of the game that has been adopted into daily life. As part of our cultural zeitgeist, bingo reigns supreme.

While the popularity of land-based bingo halls has faded over the years, the appeal of bingo has not. Scores of bricks and mortar bingo halls have shuttered operations through increased costs, government regulations, and coronavirus-related concerns. However, online bingo has burst onto the scene and players are eating it up in their droves. Pandemic fears aside, bingo generates hundreds of millions of pounds in annual GGR, with increased player numbers being reported at leading online bingo rooms.

Bingo in Italy

Bingo fever swept across Italy in the early 2000s and continues to remain a dominant game in this European enclave. Legend has it that bingo originated in Italy, and the locals’ embrace of it is a natural phenomenon. Thanks to technologically sophisticated bingo halls and online bingo rooms, the Italians’ love of bingo is blossoming. Recall that Gioco del Lotto d’Italia began in 1530, and this lottery-style game with bingo balls caught on in a flash.

In Italy, a game known as Tombola is played and enjoyed by millions of fans. Bingo is similar to Tombola. Hundreds of bingo halls opened up across Italy in the early 2000s, and while many have closed their doors through natural attrition, the online bingo boom has taken root. According to a leading statistics portal Statista, the gross gaming revenue of online bingo in Italy has ticked higher and higher every year since 2015. Consider the following amounts wagered, total winnings, and GGR over the years:

  • 2013 – €115 million wagered, €81 million winnings, €34.5 million GGR
  • 2014 – €96 million wagered, €67 million winnings, €29 million GGR
  • 2015 – €91 million wagered, €66 million winnings, €25 million GGR
  • 2016 – €100 million wagered, €73 million winnings, €27 million GGR
  • 2017 – €116 million wagered, €88 million winnings, €28 million GGR
  • 2018 – €128 million wagered, €97 million winnings, €31 million GGR
  • 2019 – €154 million wagered, €117 million winnings, €37 million GGR
  • 2020 – €243 million wagered, €184.5 million total winnings, €59 million GGR

Source: Statista https://www.statista.com/statistics/1035555/bets-placed-wins-gained-and-players-losses-from-bingo-italy/

Bingo in Nigeria

Nigeria features the strongest economy in Africa by GDP and is a petrochemical powerhouse on the world stage. According to stats, Nigeria’s GDP in 2021 was $514.05 billion, eclipsing Egypt at #2 with $394.28 billion, and South Africa at #3 at $329.53 billion. In Nigeria, bingo enjoys a loyal and growing following. Nigerians prefer bingo games online since it is a tech-savvy nation with plenty of offshore online bingo rooms offering 75 ball bingo, 80 ball bingo, 90 ball bingo, and jackpot bingo games to players. Since chance-based games are illegal in Nigeria, players naturally gravitate towards offshore sites to enjoy bingo games. Nigerian citizens are not prevented from playing at offshore bingo rooms, so it’s easy to power up a PC, Mac, or mobile and enjoy online bingo.

Bingo in France

French aristocracy embraced bingo in the 1770s, and over time the game found its way to the mainstream. Nowadays, traditional bingo and online bingo games are thoroughly enjoyed across France. The two most popular variants of bingo in France are 75 ball bingo and 90 ball bingo. That the game has had hundreds of years to grow roots in France has certainly helped with adoption by a large and growing player base. Initially, bingo was named Lotto and was the exclusive purview of the well-heeled. While the French customised their bingo games to local flavours, the essence of bingo remains intact. It was the liberalisation of online gaming legislation across the European Union that catapulted bingo into the mainstream. This began in 2010 with the French Gambling Act and has been gaining momentum ever since.

Bingo in the United States

Few gaming markets can compete with the size and scope of the US market. In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, bingo is a big business. 75 ball bingo is the preferred variant for most players, although 90 ball bingo enjoys tremendous success as well. It was the renowned toymaker Edwin S Lowe who popularised bingo in the US. It didn’t take long for Atlantic City casinos and Las Vegas casinos to begin running commercial bingo games, with whopping prizes up for grabs. Beyond gambling, bingo is roundly enjoyed at community-style gatherings, with schools, churches, clubhouse gatherings, and home games. The widespread liberalisation of online bingo games in several US states has substantially grown the market. Unlike other gambling games, women tend to dominate the bingo scene, helping to bring the game to many more players.

According to Data Bridge Market Research, the global online bingo market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.20% between 2021 and 2028. That translates into hundreds of millions of dollars.