The History of Keno: How Did It Become a Popular Game in Online Casinos?

If you are a member of any online casino, you probably figured out that it features at least one keno game. The popular game revolves around choosing and drawing numbers, much like bingo and lotto, but with a couple of unique twists that make it stand out from the pack. Once players get into the swing of things, they often fall in love with this game's simplicity and excitement.

Let’s check its quick history and how it became a must-have for many casinos.

The Chinese Era

Even though keno might look like a decent game made as a variation to bingo, it’s actually a very old game.

We cannot pinpoint the exact date it was created, which is the case for many games of chance we play today. However, one thing is certain — the game originated in China a long time ago.

Legend has it that keno was played for the first time as a type of charity game used to fund the building of the Great Wall of China. However, that remains what it is: a legend. In fact, there aren’t any documents in China that confirm that.

The first time any type of Chinese lottery was recorded was in 1847, when Macao decided to grant licenses for operating lotteries. Some sources claim that the lottery was played in China via pigeons who brought lotto results to remote villages.

Keno in the West

The 19th century was marked by many Chinese immigrants moving to the US, where they usually worked on building the First Transcontinental Railroad. Many of those workers were keno lovers who played the popular game in their pastime and introduced it to American workers.

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However, the Chinese version was confusing to Americans as it used Chinese symbols instead of numbers. Therefore, Americans made a few tweaks to the game by introducing Arabic numerals, and thus, the modern-day Keno was born.

Keno Today

The popularity of keno started spreading like wildfire among Americans, although it wasn’t legal, let alone regulated, in many areas where it was played. However, the 20th century was marked by many states legalizing this type of gambling and casinos introducing it to players all over the US.

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A very important shift in the game’s history took place with the introduction of online casinos. Many online game developers created their version of keno, which means you can now play several different types of keno in online casinos. Most of them follow the same rules but have unique twists. Most importantly, players can now participate in free keno in online casinos and test the popular game for fun.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, keno is a simple yet captivating game played by millions of people worldwide. It started small in China centuries ago and became the #1 choice for many lottery-type game lovers. The most significant aspect of this is that it became available to players all over the world via many great online casinos.

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