From tombola to bingo: evolution of popular bets and their social impact


Every number drawn, every card checked, is a collective heartbeat that resonates in bingo halls and living rooms, transforming simple games into social rituals. If modern platforms try to recreate the excitement of betting, tombola and bingo have built bridges between people, crossing eras and cultures.

The dawn of bingo in Naples

We were in Naples, 1530. Bingo was born as a Christmas entertainment to unite families. Not just a pastime, but a real event that is intertwined with local culture, even resisting attempts by the Bourbon rulers to suppress gambling. More than a game, bingo becomes a moment of sharing, of history passed from hand to hand, from generation to generation.

From Naples to the New World


With suitcases full of dreams and hopes, Italian immigrants brought bingo across the ocean. In the United States, the game underwent a revolutionary transformation. Edwin Lowe, in 1920, was bewitched by the simplicity of a version called “Beano” at a fair in Georgia. A visionary, Lowe transformed Beano into “Bingo”, catapulting the game into the American public sphere, with a shrewd marketing that made it a resounding success.

Bingo: a refuge in the storm of the 20th century

Bingo became a beacon of hope during times of desperation such as the Great Depression and the world wars. This game turned into a vital fundraising tool for many churches and charities, proving that its value went far beyond entertainment. It offered, in fact, a form of relief, an escape, a moment in which worries could be put aside with the cry of “Bingo!”

A sociological analysis of the bingo phenomenon

In-depth studies such as David Leary’s in 1999 have explored bingo’s role in keeping minds active, especially among older adults. The game proves not only as entertainment, but as a mental gym that stimulates memory and social interaction. Bingo, therefore, proves to be a boon for psychological and social well-being, supporting mental agility and strengthening community bonds.

The cultural echo of bingo


Bingo has also left an indelible mark on pop culture. In addition to being a social ritual, it has become a recurring symbol in films, books and television series, often evoking nostalgia or a sense of community belonging. This game, with its enchanting simplicity, serves as a metaphor for fate and luck, bringing with it a wealth of meaning that goes beyond simple entertainment. As it resonates across various media, bingo continues to weave its web of human connections, strengthening its role as a meeting point between generations.

Conclusion: gaming as a social glue

Tombola and bingo are not just games of chance; they are community catalysts, social architectures that have the power to unite. From a Christmas evening in Naples to the latest issue drawn in a packed room overseas, these games convey stories, laughter and, sometimes, disappointments. In the modern world, with the advent of online betting such as those offered by 20Bet, the essence of these games persists, adapting and evolving, but maintaining their original spirit of uniting people in an exciting dance of numbers and hopes.

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