Welcome to the WhichBingo Lobby - your home for all the latest bingo news, features, competitions and site updates from the team at WhichBingo.co.uk
All welcome offers and promotions featured are open to players 18+ only and will come with specific wagering requirements and terms and conditions so be sure to check these at the relevant bingo site before taking part.
Congratulations to Joan from Bishops Stortford for winning the 14" Acer Chromebook from last month's WhichBingo competition.
Enter our November competition and be in to win one of three £100 Amazon voucher.Enter our November competition
We've always loved Robin Hood Bingo, especially the cheeky chappie Robin himself who greets us every time we log in. In November we have the brand as our Site of the Month and you have just a few more days to check it out.
November has disappeared really quickly and with all the prep for Christmas starting you may have missed out on learning more about the fun side of Robin Hood Bingo. If you are not already a member there is a nice £40 bonus and 50 bonus spins on offer for a first deposit of just £10.
If you are already a member and not been back for while, the site is certainly worth a look as there have been lots of changes since the site first launched.
Check out everything that Robin Hood Bingo has to offer and be sure to come back and leave a review for other readers to enjoy.Read about our Site of the Month
Jackpot winner announced at Top Dog Slots
A brand new jackpot winner has been announced over at Top Dog Slots. The lucky player has been able to walk away with a massive cash prize of £21,000, which was won in a matter of seconds.
The jackpot itself was won on the popular slot game from Microgaming, Thunderstruck II. This game is inspired by Norse mythology, using the god of thunder as its main selling point. This game has come up time and again as a big jackpot provider, as the bonus features within it are well known for being rewarding.
Over at Top Dog Slots, the player decided to take a spin on the game late at night on their mobile device. This ended up being quite the decision for the player, as they walked away with that £21k from a single spin. This cash jackpot was delivered right into the player’s account and they were pretty elated to say the least!
The owners of Top Dog Slots extended their warm congratulations to the player. They’re delighted to have a winner of such a large magnitude on their site, especially with this popular jackpot game. The Thunderstruck II slot is already a game that many rate as a favourite and with news of this jackpot, there are bound to be a few more spins of the reels going on.
Top Dog Slots is a relatively new addition to the casino market and it comes from the Jumpman Slots family. We all know that this network has acquired a lot of new sites and attention within the past year, so it’s not surprising to hear that a jackpot has been paid out on one of their sites.
They're back! A mega-giveaway at Sun Bingo is underway and it's just the thing to brighten up these gloomy winter days. If, like us, you thought the glory days of big prizes in the online bingo rooms were long gone, then Sun Bingo is here to prove us wrong - for the next three weeks anyway.
Between now and 11th December Sun Bingo is giving away a car and some super cash prizes, every day. That's 21 chances to win a brand new VW Up, 1.0, 3 door in Tornado Red, plus another 10 players will walk away with a £500 cash prize, in the Sun Bingo daily draws.
There is one entry available for every £10 deposited and played on bingo or slots each day for the draw that will take place the following day.
Take advantage of the Sun Bingo deposit £10, play with £40 new member offfer and good luck. Don't forget to let us know if you drive away in one of those cars.Learn more about Sun Bingo
Cozy Games has a new owner
Cozy is one of the big four operators in the UK online bingo market, with dozens of sites out there under licence to numerous owners. The most recent changes to taxation rules in the UK relating to how bingo bonuses are treated as taxable income, together with a clampdown on the images used to market sites seem to have spooked the original owners and the site has been sold to GVC Holdings, owner of Foxy Bingo and many more.
The Cozy sites, such as WOW Bingo and 001 Bingo, are now appearing as being licensed with the UK Gambling Commission under the name of ElectraWorks Limited, which is owned by GVC Holdings.
Whether terms for licensees will change that make the sites unprofitable to run remains to be seen, but early casualties of the tsunami of changes surrounding online bingo and Cozy Games are Santa's Bingo, Buddha Bingo and Payday Bingo, which will close for good in the next few days.
There are currently just two remaining Cozy networks, the Live Bingo and Best Bingo Network. However, these are almost indistinguishable from each other and may merge further to cut costs. In the short term players will not notice any changes, but should keep an eye on emails from and terms and conditions at any Cozy sites they are members of as GVC Holdings may want to stir things up a bit in the not too distant future.
In the past Microgaming platform bingo sites have not been too hot on bingo innovation, but with the introduction a couple of years ago of Immortal Romance Bingo it looked like things were about to change. That game is now well bedded in, but it is only now that another new game is being trialled, Saturday Night Takeaway Bingo with Ant and Dec.
The only site running this 90 ball bingo game at present is 32Red Bingo and they have exclusive rights to the game for now. The game is based around the two stars, Ant McPartlin and Dec Donelly and features the boys doing the calls. The games are all themed around the Saturday Night Takeaway TV show. Themed games take place every 5 minutes and there is a £32,000 jackpot available in some games. Games have names such as Camera Consolation and Guest Announcer Bingo, Super Computer Jackpot and Win the Ads Qualifier and this will help the feeling of familiarity.
As you would expect, the associated Saturday Night Takeaway slot game features strongly in the side games as does the exclusive I'm a Celebrity slot game that also features Ant and Dec.
Up to now Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo have been the big players with licensed bingo games, with Gala even running a Saturday Night Takeaway Bingo game for a while. However, since 32Red became a part of Kindred Group in mid-2017 the site has become more competitive. The £175 million acquisition that included 32Red Sports, 32Red Bingo, 32Red Poker and other brands including Roxy Palace Casino, means that anything is possible as they fight for market share.
Let's hope that the game and the rest of the site live up to the marketing hype that, “Ant & Dec will call the numbers and watch over you while you enjoy the thrilling bingo games, our super-friendly chat hosts will provide fun and exciting chat games and our team of behind-the-scenes promotion experts will make sure our bingo promotions are the best around!”Discover more about 32 Red Bingo
We love a good marketing campaign from the online bingo sites, it shows they are making a bit of an effort. The introduction of Paddy McGuinness as bingo royalty over at Jackpotjoy, taking the place of Barbara Windsor who was the Queen of Bingo, was an inspired move in our opinion.
The addition of tongue in cheek 'royal merchandise' with selling points like '1 of 5,000 (but we'll probably make more if they catch on)' and 'made at the Royal Bolton kiln', all adds to the fun.
Indiana Jones has searched high & low for #Jackpotjoy's @PaddyMcGuinness royal plate. #RightRoyalDish— WhichBingo (@WhichBingoUK) November 15, 2017
“Professor of Archaeology, expert on the occult, and how does one say it… obtainer of rare antiquities.” pic.twitter.com/rfO9Na8ppz
The scope of the campaign can get a little out of hand when people don't seem to get the joke. A Nottingham woman has taken to the newspapers to express her 'shock' at receiving one of the Jackpotjoy commemorative plates recently.
The Nottingham Post has reported that Jude Walker described the item with Paddy in all his glory as “hideous” and a “monstrosity”, adding "I have no clue about who sent it or why I got it, I have never heard of Take Me out, and I don’t gamble."
The items have been given out by Jackpotjoy for free, but players have had to request them. Mrs Walker has no idea where the firm got her name and address and her friends are denying a prank is in play.
Alex Fagelson, brand manager at Jackpotjoy, said: “The commemorative Paddy plate was a light hearted way of celebrating the start of his reign on the Jackpotjoy throne, and we wanted to help his loyal subjects share our excitement. Lucky for Jude, she has received one without even asking!"
Revenues are improving at Jackpotjoy with more players joining year on year. Announcing the third quarter results Neil Goulden, Executive Chairman, commented:
Learn more about Jackpotjoy
"I am very proud of the new integrated advertising campaign for our Jackpotjoy brand, which launched in the UK in mid-September. Television personality, Paddy McGuinness, succeeded Barbara Windsor as the new brand ambassador and early signs indicate that the campaign is helping to reinforce our market leadership position in online bingo in the UK."
Gala Bingo clubs return to profit
In 2015 things looked bleak for high street bingo halls and Gala Coral took the decision of offload its high street bingo halls and concentrate on the online bingo and gaming world.
Following the change of ownership to Caledonia Investments the high street sites retained the Gala Bingo name, but the focus that was placed on these sites as a standalone venture has seen a dramatic change in fortunes.
The sites are run under the umbrella of the Gala Leisure name and figures just released show a profit of £18.1m, compared to a loss of £10.2m posted just prior to the acquisition in September 2015.
Gala Leisure has clearly benefitted from the ethos of Caledonia Investments, who believe that people are just as important as bricks and mortar assets. It ensures it puts in place high-quality management teams that are driven to succeed and with proven ability to generate excellent long-term shareholder value.
This strategy appears to have been very successful. Gala Leisure now employs over 3,700 people in 160 clubs around the UK and the new focus on these clubs without the distractions of online offers saw revenue increase from £284.6m to £360.7m.
A statement by the board said:
"Despite the business distractions caused by the sales process, the directors are pleased to report that the underlying operation has performed well and the business has successfully and smoothly managed the transition from being a division of a large corporate to a fully independent, standalone operation.
"This is a testament to the quality and drive of our staff which, when combined with the ambition and customer centre focus of all out colleagues, puts us on a strong footing for future growth."
WhichBingo makes it three in a row at the EGR Operator Awards 2017
EGR Operator Awards Winners 2017
The EGR Operator Awards are a big deal in the online gaming calendar - almost as big as the WhichBingo Awards! Only joking - EGR encompasses the biggest and best from all areas of online gaming, while we at WhichBingo tend to focus on online bingo, with a growing involvement in slots and casino sites too.
The headline awards are for Bingo Operator of the Year, Casino Operator, Mobile Operator, Socially Responsible Operator, Poker Operator, Rising Star, Affiliate of the Year, overall Operator of the Year and Game of the Year. Plus the one of most interest to ourselves, of course, Bingo Affiliate of the Year.
We are proud and delighted to announce that WhichBingo scooped the award for Best Bingo Affiliate for the third year running, with a 'highly commended' mention in the overall Affiliate of the Year category, just behind Easyodds, which specialises in sports betting.
Another big winner of the night was tombola. The team behind that unique online bingo site scooped both Bingo Operator of the Year and the Socially Responsible award - well done to them. The judge's comments sum up the ethos of the site very well -
“Tombola loves bingo for bingo’s sake rather than as a means to another end and it continues to set its own rules for success rather than following the path most travelled. The company’s performance cross-jurisdiction and in its approach to social responsibility meant that the panel felt recognition was very much appropriate.”
Of interest to our growing slots audience will be the Rising Star Award that went to Play Ojo and Game of the year which was won by Wild Toro from ELK Studios.
The prestigious Operator of the Year went to bet365, with the judges saying,
“A truly phenomenal overall performance across all areas of the business, bet365 has outperformed on a truly impressive scale and was a clear winner this year. The Operator of the Year award reflects another 12 months of market-leading revenue and profit growth from the industry behemoth driven by innovation, differentiation and near-flawless execution. The group continues to evolve its product line-up and user experience to customers in over 150 countries.”
All the rest:
Mobile operator - Sky Betting & Gaming
Sports Betting operator - Sky Betting & Gaming
Football betting operator - Sky Betting & Gaming
In-play sports operator - Sky Betting & Gaming
Casino operator - GVC Holdings
Poker operator - GVC/partypoker
Mobile poker product - The Stars Group
Mobile bingo product - Mecca Bingo
Mobile casino product - LeoVegas
Mobile sports product - bet365
Marketing campaign - The Stars Group
Slots operator - Kindred
Lottery operator - Lottoland
Affiliate programme - Casumo
Spread betting operator - Spreadex
Social operator - Product Madness
eSports operator - Danske Spil
Fantasy sports - Dribble
Customer services operator - Betsson Group
In-house product - Colossus Bets
Casino affiliate - Better Collective
Sports affiliate - Skores
Congratulations to all the winners.
If you visit a number of gambling sites looking for the games that appeal to you the most, you might have noticed a number of changes in recent weeks and you will notice even more moving forward.
No longer will you see top games such as Fluffy Favourites, Piggy Payout or Jack and the Beanstalk imagery when you land at a gambling site, as these are being said to appeal more to those under the age of 18 than to adults and may induce those minors to try to access the sites to play.
In response to a long term investigation by the Sunday Times into how gambling sites market themselves and the games they offer, the UK Gambling Commission, the Committee of Advertising Practice, the Advertising Standards Authority and the Remote Gambling Association have joined forces to issue an open letter for the attention of everyone involved in gambling whether directly by operating a site or indirectly by advertising such sites.
The letter states the importance of protecting minors and that sites "must immediately amend or remove any freely accessible ads on your website or in third party media space that are likely to appeal particularly to under-18s. (This includes affiliate ads that promote your company and its products.)"
This also means that many sites may drop the demo versions of many games which are free to play, or any offers which involve free spins which may be more accessible to under 18s.
In 2016 investigations by the UK Gambling Commission discovered that nearly half a million children were able to access gambling sites in England and Wales every week, with 6% of 11 to 15-year-olds having gambled online using funds from their parents’ accounts.
All the games will still be available to play, but will not be featured on any site without a member being logged on, having been verified as being over 18.See the full letter here