The concept of Slingo has been around for 30 years. It was the brainchild of Sal Falciglia from New Jersey, U.S.A. With a background in the casino industry, he had been looking for a way to combine the best elements of bingo and slot games, and in 1993 he finally succeeded. The early prototype of Slingo was developed using an antique 1950 5-reel slot machine that used Mexican pesos! Stickers with 1 -75 bingo balls with 25 numbers replaced the normal slot symbols. Sal also added a gold star, Joker (basically a Wild card), a Devil that cut scores in half and a Cherub symbol that cancelled out the Devil’s evil machinations. Players had 20 spins to attempt to match the bingo card numbers. In fact, the machine also had a free spin! And best of all? It worked!
Slingo in the 90s
In the mid-90s, Slingo debuted as a single-player, browser-based game on America Online (AOL). The game’s initial release on AOL’s gaming portal allowed it to reach a wide audience, and players quickly fell in love with the addictive gameplay. There was now no doubt about it: Slingo was a hit, and the only way was up. By the late-90s, Slingo was ready to expand its reach beyond AOL. This is where Dave Lyons comes in. At the time, he was the head of slot games at Bally’s Atlantic City. In 1999 he helped Sal Falciglia launch the first Slingo slot machine in partnership with Caesar Entertainment and IGT. Thus, Slingo became available on various online gaming portals.
Slingo Takes the Online World by Storm
2001 was another big year for Slingo. Sal and his team collaborated with Scientific Games (now Light & Wonder) to create the first Slingo-branded scratch lotto tickets. According to Sal’s son, Craig Falciglia, that’s where most people today know Slingo from. But the slots/bingo combonaut was not done yet. 2002 saw the launch of Slingo.com. This served as an online hub dedicated to various Slingo games. The platform introduced multiplayer options, enabling players to compete against friends and strangers. Slingo.com expanded its offerings, featuring themed Slingo games to cater to diverse player preferences. By the mid-2000s, Slingo was present in brick-and-mortar casinos, PCs, and scratch cards. In 2008, Sal even pitched a Slingo TV show, but it was ultimately not picked up.
Slingo in the Age of Social Media & Facebook
Not that it mattered in the end, as new and exciting developments were taking place in the world of Slingo. The game adapted to the rise of mobile gaming and social media platforms. In fact, Slingo thrived in the wake of these technological advances. It became accessible to a broader audience. Mobile versions of Slingo allowed players to enjoy the game on the go. Slingo’s integration into Facebook and other social media platforms provided a social gaming experience. Speaking (or writing as the case may be) of Facebook, Sal had licensed Slingo to Zynga in 2003 with creative freedom to develop free-to-play social games. In 2012, Zynga Slingo launched on Facebook, becoming one of the most popular games on the platform. It got taken off the site 18 months later when RealNetworks acquired Slingo. They then sold Slingo to London-based Gaming Realms. They still hold the licence today.
The Expansion of Slingo in the 2010s
None of that has slowed down Slingo one iota. In fact, it continues to go from strength to strength. Over the years, Slingo has made its way to various online casino operators worldwide, including (of course) Lottomart. Meanwhile, the game’s enduring popularity has led to the creation of branded Slingo games based on popular game shows and traditional slot games. For example, Deal or No Deal Slingo was released in 2016, followed by Slingo Rainbow Riches the following year. These collaborations added new layers of excitement and familiarity to the game, attracting fans of these brands to Slingo.
The Enduring Popularity of Slingo
Slingo remains a beloved game with a dedicated fanbase. There are now at least 40 unique, exciting, and innovative Slingo games on the market, with more coming. Developers continue to innovate by introducing new gameplay mechanics, power-ups, and visual enhancements to keep the game fresh and engaging. The classic Slingo gameplay endures, while various themed versions and spin-offs provide players with diverse gaming experiences. Its continued popularity in the 2020s showcases the game’s adaptability and enduring appeal. Its fusion of slot machine excitement and bingo strategy has captured the hearts of players worldwide, making Slingo a timeless classic.
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