A social, economic and cultural history of bingo (1906-2005): The role of gambling in the lives of working women

Abstract

This social history of bingo takes the long view on presumptions that bingo is a game rooted in the commercialization of gambling in the 1960s. It rebuffs the notion that in the 1960s commercial gambling entrepreneurs targeted women who had never previously gambled; enticing them with a new form of gambling. This work investigates whether a tradition of playing games of chance existed amongst women, and seeks to establish whether this included gambling amongst working class women, who would nowadays make up the majority of players of bingo. The nature and influence of bingo on British culture, links between bingo and criminality, the move of bingo-specific language into wider use and the potential of bingo to cause moral panics are all examined in a book that applies scholarship to a leisure pursuit that has long been treated as a something of a joke by middle-class society.

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