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Bingo as we know it today is quite different to how it all started out back in 16th Century Italy. Back then it was, in effect, the Italian lottery and it proved immensely popular with the local people and indeed the Government (thanks to the revenues it generated for the state).
Of course, the game we know is slightly more advanced than just a simple "Lottery". We must look a little further forward to late 18th Century France to discover the first recorded instance of a game being played involving discs numbered 1 to 90 picked from a bag and shouted to a room of players. Each player was given just 1 single card that was divided into 3 rows and 9 columns, with numbers organised in a very similar to way as on modern bingo cards. The winner would the first person to cover all of the numbers on a full row.
The first time the game really made a push into the English speaking regions was in the 1920's when a New York toy salesman, named Edwin S. Lowe, came across a carnival game in Georgia, North America. This game was known as Beano and involved a caller drawing numbered wooden discs from a bag shouting them to the players. Numbers were marked off by the players using beans (hence beano). The first player to cover a whole line with beans was declared the winner.
Lowe's friends were immediately hooked to the game and one player got so excited that instead of shouting "Beano!" when she filled a line, she inadvertently yelled "Bingo!". This name then stuck and Edwin S. Lowe began creating a commercial version of his game which retailed for $1 for a 12 card set.
Bingo continued to evolve throughout the 20th century, and clubs began springing up throughout North America and Europe. Bingo was often associated with charitable events and fund-raisers often used Bingo as a means of raising cash.
Into the 21st century and bingo evolved yet again as it moved online. The dot com rush lead to many of the leading bingo clubs moving their products online, including Mecca Bingo and Gala Bingo who continue to thrive today. As of 2011, there are over 350 active UK bingo sites, with the number estimated to be 1000 if taking into account other regions throughout the world. Globally in 2010 online bingo was said to be worth £1.76bn (US$2.67bn), with forecasts suggesting 2011 will topple the £2bn mark.
Coral Bingo has not been around as a bingo brand in its own right for very long, but it has quickly stepped out of the shadows and is making a name for itself in its own right in the competitive online bingo market. So much so that we think it is deserving of the title of WhichBingo Site of the Month for June 2013.