How popular is bingo in Europe?


You are given a card with a grid of numbers printed on it. As the random numbers are called out, you cross them off your grid – hoping to be the first to get them all.

That’s the basis of bingo – one of the world’s most enduring and popular games. The classic game of bingo is now popular all over the planet – but did you know it started in Italy around 1530?

Soon the new game moved to France and finally it travelled to England where it evolved a little more – and became a smash hit. Finally, traders took the game to America… and only in 1929 was it given the name bingo.

Fast forward to today and almost anyone anywhere in the world can play a bingo game – and that’s thanks to the rapid rise of online versions. Now there are various bingo providers available online and on mobile devices for bingo players to access the top bingo games. An example of a bingo provider who are mobile compatible is Tasty Bingo who are currently offering a welcome bonus for new players.

The latest global estimates reveal that around 1.6 billion players enjoy bingo each year, both physically and at online sites. That number is only expected to grow.

The online version of the game is available at plenty of popular gaming sites now and experts estimate around 100 million are regularly playing bingo on computers and mobile devices. The rise in the popularity of online bingo is also fuelling a rise in attendance at real bingo venues too.

In fact, real-world bingo is still very popular across Europe and the number of players is growing in many areas. We’ve selected some of the places in Europe that like the game the most:

The UK

The UK is home to a lot of bingo enthusiasts which have stemmed from the end of the second world war.

British soldiers loved to play bingo while on leave during the second world war. The booming bingo halls of London were the main venues for this.

Bingo halls grew into a distinctive UK social feature, with large halls in most towns and cities. They often served food and drink too, turning the simple game into a whole night out.

As cinema attendance declined many old landmark movie theatres were turned into bingo halls. The attendance at UK bingo halls reached a peak in the sixties.

The words used by bingo callers to describe numbers have evolved into well-loved British clichés, like “two little ducks 22” and “two fat ladies 88”.

The latest figures reveal that there are around 350 bingo clubs in around the UK, stretched between Helston in Cornwall and Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

Around 3.5 million UK residents are estimated to play the game regularly. This is the highest proportion of the population in the world.

While it was once considered the game of elderly Britons, it is now being embraced by all generations.

There are three traditional chains that run many of the UK bingo halls but newer and alternative venues are springing up. Look out for modern bingo sessions in nightclubs, pubs and leisure centres.


In Sweden there isn’t such a historic tradition of bingo. The older generation is not particularly interested in the game.

Instead it’s the younger players that are most keen, especially when groups of them gather to play using their mobile phones. The appeal of online 90-ball and 75-ball bingo has soared among younger gamers.

Precise figures are not available but the Swedish bingo industry is now believed to be worth billions as the game is not under the control of the state, which strictly regulates all other forms of gaming.


The original game of ‘Gioco del Lotto’ was thought to have started in Renaissance Italy around 1530. The game has evolved since then, but the modern version retains an appeal in Italy.

It is still one of the top bingo-playing countries in the world with a high number of bingo venues and a younger average age of player than many other countries.

Bingo Ritz Roma is a famous example of the opulent Italian bingo venues. It’s a grand site in Rome with marble floors and a fancy restaurant.

There are around 300 bingo clubs in Italy today. The island of Sicily is Italy’s bingo hotspot with 28 bingo venues.

The latest figures showed an annual bingo turnover of around 240 million Euros across Italy.


The Germans began to follow bingo back in the 1880s and they still play enthusiastically today, using a style of game very similar to the UK. Originally German bingo was called ‘der lottospiel’.

Interestingly, the bingo card system has also been used as a fun way of teaching in schools, especially for maths and spelling. This has kept the game’s popularity high across the generations – it reminds them of school.


After the Eastern European country overthrew its communist dictator there was a surge in love for bingo, perhaps as a sign of their new western freedoms. There are now bingo halls all over the country.

Romanians like online bingo too – but unclear regulations mean there are few locally-based online operators.


The rich historic heritage of Hungary includes castles, palaces… and a scattering of bingo hotspots. You’ll find bingo venues in the bigger towns and cities across this Central European state. No accurate figures are available, but experts note that more and more Hungarians are playing online bingo too.

It’s clear that there’s plenty of life in the old European game of bingo. Whether online or in a bingo hall, it’s still as much fun as it always has been – and is expected to grow even more popular than ever.






Tech Digest Correspondent