3 October 2022
By Roger Kennedy
Anyone who has played bingo has heard about how the game evolved to become what it is today. But how much do you know about this game’s history in Ireland? Ireland also has a rich bingo history that paved the way for the online bingo sites we see today. Before bingo sites like Quality Bingo ever existed, there was traditional bingo. Let’s look at how this came to be and its influences on the bingo games we play today.
A Walk Down Memory Lane
Bingo started in the 16th century as an Italian lottery before it spread to the UK and the U.S., where it was widely played. It even changed its name from Beano to Bingo at some juncture! But it was not until the mid-20th century that this game became a fixture in Ireland. At the time, the Catholic Church had embraced the game to raise money for the church and charity.
Soon enough, people got the hang of how it worked, fell in love with it, and started playing it in bingo halls that were popping up left, right, and center. The capital was home to tens of bingo halls, and more seemed to come up with each new month. Unlike in Britain, where bingo had seasonal fluctuations, that was not the case in Ireland. Bingo lovers revered the game, and the love for bingo games spread like wildfire, entrenching itself in everyday life of people living in Ireland.
The Technological Wave
Towards the end of the 20th century, bingo had grown to a point where people would meet in halls and stadiums to share their love for the game. It was thus quite a remarkable milestone when entrepreneurs introduced online bingo to an already eager market. The online games picked up with ease thanks to their many perks, including:
- Ease of access: Bingo had long been available in the capital and was not as available in rural areas. With online games, anyone could easily access the games as there was no need to commute. Besides, the games were available 24/7, and people did not need to wait until the gaming halls opened.
- Affordability: With the commute out of the way, people did not need to spend money to enjoy a game. Moreover, most bingo operators had low overheads and thus charged minimal cash to join the games. More people could afford to play, and this compounded the overall prize in the games.
- Variation: Whether one wanted to play the traditional bingo games or venture into other variations, there was always an opportunity to do so. Over time, online bingo games have evolved to include twists to classic games.
At first, the games were available using desktops and internet connectivity was not extensive. But this had changed by the end of the first decade of the 21st century. More people had easy access to computers and smartphones that could load bingo games. Other changes since then have included:
- The launch of bingo apps where people can access the games,
- An increase in payment options, allowing players to load money into their accounts using e-wallets and cryptocurrencies,
- More bingo game operators offering rewards, bonuses, and promotions to their players – some even offer discounts when you buy multiple tickets at once,
- Live chat rooms in the bingo games, enabling players to interact with each other, and
- Social media forums where players can share their love for the game.
Many bingo game operators have now introduced augmented reality and virtual reality in their games. Players can wear headsets and interact in virtual bingo halls, making the game feel more real. Bingo is set to grow even bigger than it was in the past, with younger generations embracing it and passing it on to the next generations.