20 fun facts about Bingo in the UK

Bingo dauber with numbered sheets

Whilst Bingo is a widely played game, both here in the UK and overseas. Many players know little about the game, its history, or anything other than its famous calls and calling ‘House’.

With this in mind, we have gathered 20 facts about Bingo in the UK that may surprise you. So, whether you just want to know more about this iconic game, share your new facts about the game with friends, or think the facts below may come in handy one day for a quiz, read on to discover more about Bingo in the UK.

UK Bingo facts

  1. Historical origins – Bingo can be traced back to a lottery game played in Italy in 1530, called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia.
  2. Introduction to the UK – Bingo was first introduced to the UK in the early 20th century and gained massive popularity in the 1960s.
  3. Bingo halls boom – The 1960s saw a rapid rise in Bingo halls across the UK, with hundreds opening to accommodate the game’s popularity with players nationwide.
  4. Legislation impact – The Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 legalised commercial Bingo in the UK, leading to its widespread popularity.
  5. Charity fundraising – Bingo is commonly used in the UK for fundraising events by charities and community organisations.
  6. National game – It is estimated that over 3 million people play Bingo in the UK each year.
  7. Famous caller phrases – British Bingo has unique phrases for numbers, like Two Fat Ladies (88) and Legs Eleven (11).
  8. Online Bingo – The advent of the internet brought Bingo to the digital age, with many players now opting to play the game online. However, many Bingo halls still welcome players daily.
  9. Take a Margaret to Bingo – Margaret is the most common name of Bingo winner. Although, it’s nothing to do with the name, of course, as Bingo is a game of chance
  10. Bingo lingo – The unique language used in Bingo, often called ‘Bingo lingo’, is a cherished part of British culture.
  11. Bingo tax – In 2009, the UK government reduced the tax on Bingo from 22% to 15%, boosting the industry.
  12. Bingo and the NHS – The UK is very lucky to have the National Health Service (NHS), so Bingo events are sometimes held to raise funds for the NHS and keep the institute going.
  13. Men and Bingo – Traditionally seen as a female-dominated game, Bingo is increasingly popular among men in the UK.
  14. Bingo world record – The largest game of Bingo was played in Bogota, Colombia, but UK Bingo events frequently break local records for participation.
  15. Bingo in pop culture – Bingo has been featured in numerous British TV shows and films, highlighting its place in UK culture.
  16. Bingo on TV – National Bingo Night, a televised Bingo show, was popular in the UK in the mid-2000s.
  17. Health benefits – Studies suggest that playing Bingo can have cognitive benefits for older adults, helping with memory and coordination.
  18. Bingo books – Players used physical Bingo books and dabbers to mark their numbers before electronic Bingo.
  19. Social aspect – Bingo is valued for its social elements.
  20. Themed Bingo nights – UK Bingo halls often host themed nights, including fancy dress, music-themed events, and even drag queen Bingo.

These facts showcase the rich history and cultural significance of Bingo in the UK, highlighting its evolution and enduring popularity amongst its players.

Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored marketing content. It is intended for promotional purposes and should not be considered as an endorsement or recommendation by our website. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.


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