A ball falling frantically and the need to mark one of the numbers on the card are part of the atmosphere of Espaço Real São Judas, in the South Zone of São Paulo. A bingo attended by more than 300 people, most of them elderly. This is just one example of the bingos that continue to be successful in Brazil even during the pandemic.
Participants use a mask, there is a temperature measurement at the entrance door and alcohol gel spread over the pending areas that offer lottery bets, TV draws and other games. Prohibited since 2004, bingos began to return in 2017 with a change in the law that made it possible for charity entities to hold sweepstakes.
According to a report by Portal Uol, these sites spread in 2019, only that the pandemic and the need for social isolation in the first half of 2020 caused the closure of many. Only in the center of São Paulo, there were two environments on the same street, now the two locations have signs for rent.
Nowadays, these establishments describe themselves as “adult entertainment service” and a person is announced the stones drawn. In addition to the dozens announced, the atmosphere is far removed from the glamor and lights of the casinos.
Players stay focused so as not to miss any information from the screens, as each round lasts only five minutes with a 30-second interval for the distribution of new cards.
The emotion occurs when someone sings “bingo” or “line”, accompanied by a generalized lament.The check of the card is digital, speeding up the whole process.
From the heyday to the banning of bingos in Brazil
In the 1990s, bingos had flashy facades. Bingo Imperatriz became the main one in Latin America and had a decoration inspired by the African continent. Today, a dealership occupies the site. And the current bingos are much more discreet and practically all have “spaces” in their names.
For example, Espaço Real Itaim took the place of the old Bingo Itaim. The building even gave way to a supermarket for a few years. The headquarters of Bingo Planalto was closed for a long time until it reopened in 2019, renamed as Espaço Real São Judas.
In 1993, bingo halls were legalized in the country with the approval of the Zico Law. The former Football player was Sports Secretary of the then President Fernando Collor and developed sports rules that created the lode, passing on 7% of the revenues to Olympic federations. However, the problems resulted in a CPI in the Chamber two years later.
In 1998, the famous Lei Pelé arrived, since the football idol played the same role in the government of Fernando Henrique Cardoso. However, reports of irregularities followed and caused Pelé’s successor, Rafael Greca, to leave in 2000.
The bingos also moved Lula’s presidency. The first scandal was the leakage of messages between Waldomiro Diniz, José Dirceu’s aide at Casa Civil, with “businessman” Carlinhos Cachoeira, linked to the game of the animal. Another CPI was made and the president signed a provisional measure vetoing the operation of any gaming house in Brazil in February 2004.
Bingo was abolished for a decade until the Regulatory Framework for Social Organizations (law 13.1019 / 2014) provided the opportunity for non-profit organizations to take action to obtain resources for their projects.
Origin of the game
In community or school bingo, each participant receives a single card and the selected stones are marked with beans. This connection between the game and the grain is very old. Although bingos were linked to Italy in the 16th century, their recent form was created by Edwin S. Lowe in 1929.
This happened after he got to know a typical carnival entertainment from the state of Georgia, in the United States. The hobby was called beano because the participants used beans. As far as we know, one of the players got confused when he won a round and shouted “bingo”.
The term caught on and the game was so successful that in the 1930s it is estimated that around 10,000 public contests took place weekly in the USA. The cards, ranging from 1 to 75, with five rows, five columns and the hollow square.
While the current chart was developed in 1977 in Spain. The model extends to number 90 and has six 15-digit cards. This means that punters are often making appointments.
This type of game prevents many winners at the same time, which would force the house to spend a lot on the prizes each round.