History of Bingo
Recently here at No Bull we were musing over the possibility that today’s modern breed of bingo player is unfamiliar with forms of the game that are not found on dazzling and highly dynamic websites. While chewing this over, we came to realise that if such players did exist, such players could be unaware of what came before internet bingo in terms of their local Mecca or Gala Bingo venues. Historically these sites were the places at which a whole generation of bingo fans started playing the game with friends and family as part of a wider social scene. It’s true of course that both online and ‘real world’ versions of the game aim to create the perfect environs for friendly communities of players who enjoy interacting socially with one another. Yet, whilst today’s game is as much a social tool as it is a form of gambling, bingo started out life long before all of this.
Where it All Started
Indeed, whilst the precise origins of bingo remain uncertain, it is generally accepted that the game emerged in 16th century Italy. Operated and funded by the state, the Italian version of bingo became popular throughout Europe during the next three hundred years or so. The early form of the game was even used as an educational tool in some countries and it is not uncommon for schools to employ bingo in such a capacity to this day. Nevertheless, the modern game of bingo as it is known and loved throughout the world today only emerged after developments by a mathematician called Carl Leffler in the early 20th century.
Leffler, whilst employed by a US businessman, is said to have developed some 6,000 bingo cards as part of an effort to drive the game towards a commercial success. Leffler’s efforts paid off (although at the cost of his sanity) and the modern era of bingo had begun. In Britain, during the infamous sixties, bingo was also considered in a commercial context by Eric Douglas Morley, who made the game popular amongst people playing in cinemas and dance halls.
Catering to Your Every Need
In 1952 Morley was manager of Mecca, which at that time was a small catering firm. However, as Morley saw how popular bingo was becoming, he no longer used the game as a side interest to fill cinemas but instead made it the primary function of his business. It was not long after that Mecca Bingo would have some 15,000 employees and venues scattered across the country.