History of Bingo in Canada, Then and Now

How a century of live and online bingo games has evolved so much.

History of Bingo in CanadaBingo is one of those games everyone just knows. We all played it as kids, not just at home, but often in school as a way to learn math, science, history, spelling, you name it. Chances are, your grandparents were regulars at the local church hall’s bingo night, too. It’s been around forever, and it always will be. But not necessarily in the way we remember.

I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the history of Bingo in Canada, and how it’s evolved so much over the years.

History of Bingo in Canada

Bingo didn’t actually make its way into Canada until the late 1930s and 1940s. It started as a carnival game in the southern US, discovered by a toy manufacturer by the name of Edwin Lowe. He was traveling through Atlanta, Georgia in 1929 when he visited a traveling carnival just outside of town. Hearing a loud raucous within one of the tents, and stopped in to see what all the fuss was about.

What he found was a large group of people playing a game they called ‘Beano‘. There was a number caller at the front. Every player had a numbered card, and a pile of dried beans (hence the name) to cover the called numbers with. Everyone was having such a grand time, Mr. Lowe went back to New York and immediately began fabrication of the new board game.

The name Bingo came about while Lowe was testing his creation with friends. One of them, so excited to have covered a line on his card, jumped up and accidentally shouted “Bingo!” instead of “beano”. Thus ‘Lowe’s Bingo‘ went to market. It was a hit. Bingo quickly spread all across North America. Within a decade, it was the number fund-raising activity for churches.

Evolution of Online Bingo Games

When the internet came along, it changed everything. Software companies were already developing every game known to man as a computer game. The internet gave people a way to play these games with other people from all over the world. Bingo was one of the very first to become a popular online multi-player game in the mid 1990s.

Real money bingo games were an instant online sensation. From Canada and the US, and all over Europe, countless players were logging onto websites and playing penny games like there was no tomorrow. And why not? They were unbelievably cheap and indubitably exciting. Even if you didn’t win, it was worth the couple of bucks spent for a great time.

As the years went on, some software companies got the idea to reinvent the game. To give it a new face, with new designs and more unique ways to win. We already had multifarious patterns, like four corners, coveralls and a plethora of shapes. Now, we have so many ways to play. Alone or with other people; instantly or on a schedule.

Ways To Play Real Money Bingo Online

You would think that, if you want to play online bingo, you need to visit and online bingo website. That’s not even the case anymore. To play against a large group of other people and interact with them in the traditional way, sure. But online casinos – as they always do – saw an opportunity to deliver bingo as a house-banked casino game.

Unique Real Money Online Bingo Game Super Bonus BingoMicrogaming presents a throng of casino bingo games, many of which are nothing like the game we grew up with. Super Bonus Bingo is more like keno or an instant lottery draw. There’s no cards involved. The player picks 2 to 10 numbers then waits to see what’s called, winning prizes off a paytable display. If you’ve never played the European version (with 90 numbers and 9×3 cards), check out Microgaming’s Ballistic Bingo. That takes some getting used to!

More traditional games are available too, of course. Bingo Bonanza uses normal cards and number calls, paying prizes dependent on how soon a player reaches bingo. Electro Bingo is a mini-version, with 5×3 cards and numbers 1-60. Samba Bingo, Mayan Bingo and Pharaoh Bingo are exactly the same, but with different graphical themes for variety.

So long as there’s a market for online bingo games, there will always be someone out there looking to innovate. And with modern technology giving players access to anything and everything in the palm of their hand, there’s no chance that’s going to change in the foreseeable future.

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