The game of bingo, or Housie as it is known in Australia and New Zealand, started life back in the 16th century. It is thought to have first been played in Italy as a national lottery, before the idea spread around Europe. It was even used in Germany in the 19th century as a teaching aid for maths and multiplication.

Bingo as we know it today really started in America, and was used there as a means of raising funds for charities. In America the game was played with beans and the Americans originally called it ‘Bean-Go’ which was eventually shortened to ‘Beano’. A New York businessman saw a business opportunity in the game and hired Carl Leffler, a mathematician to formulate more bingo cards. Leffler is said to have gone insane creating 6000 different cards – not surprising considering this was in the days before computers, but the result was that there was just now just one winner per bingo game – prior to Leffler’s involvement bingo cards could produce numerous winners.

Eric Morley brought the game of bingo back across the Atlantic in the 1960s. Morley had presided over the Miss World pageant, and saw that bingo would be a great way to fill the British theatres and dance halls that had been abandoned since the rise of television. Bingo was seen as a great way of getting people back out of their homes again to socialise, and the cause was greatly aided by the relaxation of gambling laws. Eric Morley’s bingo company was called Mecca and it led the bingo craze that swept the nation (and is still sweeping today!)

Mecca Bingo became more and more sophisticated with random number generating machines and bingo vocabulary was born! Competitions are still held annually to find the best bingo caller in the country. While a lot of the larger halls do not use the old bingo vocabulary anymore, it is still used in social clubs and holiday resorts. The 1980s saw a new era for bingo, with purpose built modern bingo halls springing up around the country, and the popularity of the game just keeps on spreading – so much so that in 2004 more people in the UK went to bingo halls than to football matches.

Online bingo is the newest version of the game and has taken the internet by storm, and the UK is enjoying the fastest growing online bingo market! Mecca bingo is an amazing bingo website, and being trusted as the original bingo company in the UK, it has attracted many players. There are simply loads of games on offer, with seven main 90 ball bingo rooms – Three Little Ducks, Key to the Door, Lucky for Some, Turbo 90, Clickety Click, Legs Eleven and Dancing Queen. There are also three 75 ball bingo rooms – Jump and Jive, Sunset Strip and Lucky 7 where you have five chances to win on every game you play.

There are 50 slots games available as well as 24 numbers games, plus casino and keno games including craps, roulette, dice and blackjack. Mecca bingo on line is pretty much everything you could ask for, including a friendly online community and moderators to help you with anything you might need!

Registration is really easy, and the webpages are bright and appealing. You can play demos of most of the games, you can have Big Brothers Brian Dowling as your bingo caller (if you so wish), there are clear instructions on how to play each game by simply pressing on the question mark symbol and there is the opportunity to get a 200% sign up bonus! Simply register, place your deposit and you receive 200% bonus back. Almost sounds too good to be true! But it’s not!

By Gen Wright
MeccaBingo is the UK’s biggest bingo club, learn about the companies history and it’s new online bingo games.