Introducing bingo software and more
Currently, there are approximately 252 UK online bingo sites on the market, but did you know that there are only about seven actual active online bingo software providers?
You may have noticed that many online bingo sites have a familiar appearance. For example, their selection of games and promotions tend to look very similar. This is because unless an operator wishes to commit to the vast expense and amount of time involved in creating a brand-new bingo platform, they are limited to which software platforms they can use.
Browse sites by bingo software
The different software platforms that are currently on the market also dictate what games players can enjoy. This includes the bingo variants on offer (e.g. 90-ball, 75-ball, 30-ball), as well as the side games such as slots, casino games and live dealer games.
As a result, your favourite games may not be available at every online bingo site. And, once you’ve found a brand or platform that offers everything you want, you may wish to look at other sites that use the same software.
So, why not explore our list of software providers by clicking on the logos below to find out which bingo brands currently use their platforms?
Opting for a pre-made platform (or white label) means that everything is taken care of such as customer support, banking, licensing, promotions, loyalty plans and chat hosts. However, operators can improve their chances of gaining new players’ attention and delivering a more personalised playing experience by applying their own branding and extra touches to the site.
Due to operators choosing to consolidate their brands or closing them entirely, the number of sites has significantly dwindled in the past two years, leaving players with less choice but, hopefully, better quality brands to consider. Some software developers have opted out of the online bingo software field altogether by selling out to someone else of moving into the more general world of an entire gambling platform and curating content from multiple providers.
The role of bingo software companies
The developing studios generally don’t run online bingo rooms or slot sites themselves, but instead focus on creating, developing and delivering the games to operators, who are the people ultimately responsible for your playing experience, from the welcome bonus to providing customer support.
Some gaming software developers are enormous organisations, incorporating several companies under the one banner, while others are smaller, boutique producers who operate more independently (although they may rely on a larger developer to ensure their games are distributed and available to a wider audience).
In turn, developers licence their game software to operators (either individual bingo sites or groups operating multiple brands), and this is how they derive their revenue (usually based on a percentage of the gross revenue generated from their games).
It is generally the case that the software developer remains responsible for the operation of its games, enabling the bingo or slots site to be more customer focussed and leaving it free to concentrate on delivering a high quality gaming experience for players.
How to choose bingo software
Deciding which bingo software is right for you is always a personal decision. However, if you’re not that familiar with the options on offer, it can help if you take into consideration some of the most important factors. For example, your decision could be swayed by the popularity of the brand, the number and quality of games on offer, the payment methods and the number of ways to contact customer support, the availability of exclusive games and promotions, and whether the site/operator has won any industry awards.
Some bingo software platforms have been around since the very early days. Good examples are Dragonfish/888 and Cozy Games, the latter of which now goes under the name Entain and has had a significant makeover. As well as being respected operators with years of experience, the owners of these bingo platforms also know that it’s important not to rest on their laurels. Therefore, they’re always making improvements and taking advantage of new technologies to ensure their players receive the best playing experience possible.
Some brands originally used proprietary bingo platforms. For instance, Gala Bingo and BGO Bingo (now closed, but originally known as XBingo) both created their own software to try and stand out from the crowd. However, they’ve since moved to more well-known platforms due to the considerable work and money involved in maintaining a bespoke solution.
A couple of brands have succeeded in carving out a name for themselves using bespoke software platforms, the most notable being MrQ which launched in 2018.
New software solutions have also enjoyed significant success like the one created by Pragmatic Play. On the flip side, Microgaming’s once-popular bingo platform has been retired, leaving brands like Butlers Bingo with no option but to move to a new home. Jumpman Gaming has also swapped its in-house bingo solution for Pragmatic Play’s bingo suite.
Number of brands using the software
As we’ve already mentioned, there are just over 250 bingo sites to choose from, yet most of them use a handful of software platforms or providers.
Naturally, the most popular bingo brands (such as Buzz, Gala and Mecca) tend to attract the most players and can, therefore, have busier chat rooms and bigger prize pots. However, picking a less popular brand can also have its advantages. For example, with less players competing for the same prizes, your chances of winning could improve.
Below, we’ve listed all the main bingo platforms in order of those that host the most sites from the top down.
- Pragmatic Play (includes Nektan and Jumpman brands)
- Playtech/Virtue Fusion
- Entain (was GVC)
- Rank Group (was Daub)
- Relax Gaming
Quality of the games
The quality of the games offered by UK-facing online bingo sites has improved dramatically in recent years thanks to the adoption of HTML5 technology. HTML5 allows you to enjoy browser-based games (i.e. there’s no need to download special software) which also means that many games are also compatible with mobile devices.
However, the various software platforms mean that the lobbies and the games themselves have a different look and feel. For example, in Gala Bingo’s Corrie Bingo room, two of the soap’s former residents lend their voices to the bingo caller. There’s also a good argument for seeing how a brand uses the ever improving technology innovations to make the playing experience better. Take Buzz Bingo for example. They have fine-tuned the technology needed to be able to interact with players almost immediately alongside the bingo numbers being called for instant prizes and reactions to game outcomes, all available in the its Live Bingo sessions each day.
Some bingo games offer bonus features such as Virtue Fusion’s Deal or No Deal Bingo while others can include extra prizes like 1TG and 2TG.
You’ll also notice a difference in the way your tickets are presented, dabbed and sorted. Plus, not all the platforms support chat rooms while some offer a strong selection of mini-games than others.
By trying out different bingo software, you’ll quickly become accustomed to their individual quirks and perks. You can then decide which one best fits your needs.
Innovative and unique games
If you enjoy playing exclusive or innovative bingo games, there are several operators and brands that you might wish to take a closer look at.
Over the past 5 years, speed bingo games have become increasingly popular due to their fast pace and ability to fit in with players’ busy schedules. As a result, you’ll now find 30-ball/speed games at most online bingo sites.
Dragonfish brands now feature bingo games that use 52 cards, and another great site for quirky and unique games is Tombola.
Proprietary bingo platforms like the one used at MrQ also guarantee you a fresh playing experience.
Pragmatic Play’s bingo suite has enjoyed considerable success over the past 18 months too. You’ll find it at Jumpman Gaming sites, as well as SkillOnNet’s PlayOJO. It gives you a wide choice of online bingo variants along with an exclusive game called Bingo Blast which sees bingo balls bursting onto the screen and exploding to create wins.
Download vs online
You may recall a bit of software (or, for the techies among you, a plug-in) called Adobe Flash. In its day, it was useful for helping to run embedded videos, animations, and games on all manner of websites and saved online bingo players from having to download each game individually prior to playing it.
Many bingo sites either required players or gave them the option to download their bingo clients to allow for uninterrupted play. However, this had several disadvantages, two of them being the storage/disk space required and the fact that players were tied to using the same device for every session.
These days, most bingo sites operate on HTML5-based platforms and do not, therefore, require you to download anything, unless you wish to install their mobile apps for ease of use. However, In Touch Games (which owns brands like mFortune and PocketWin) still designs its own games to be downloaded individually or in batches.
Standalone games vs Networked games
Some sites feature what are known as standalone rooms. These are rooms that are only accessible by members of a specific site. Although they may offer slightly smaller prizes, there are fewer people competing for each prize which some players prefer.
Rooms that share their prize pools with other members of the same network or software platform are called networked rooms. They often run special jackpot games and guaranteed prizes, so although your chances of winning are lower due to more people playing, you typically stand to win significantly more.
Promotions through Networks
Networked promotions are extremely popular with players when done correctly. They often involve large amounts of cash or even physical prizes such as holidays and new cars. You can either buy tickets to games for the chance to win or earn prize draw entries by completing specific tasks.
Many promotions that run on bingo networks are timed to coincide with annual calendar events such as Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Eve and St Patrick’s Day. So, make sure you regularly each our Bingo Offers page to see what promotions and special offers are due to take place over the coming days and weeks!
Industry awards and recognition
In the same way that a terrible actor or actress is unlikely to win an Oscar, a sub-par online bingo site has little chance of gaining an industry award or recognition.
It can, therefore, be useful to know which brands have been deemed worthy of awards.
The annual WhichBingo Awards, in particular, help to indicate which bingo sites and operators warrant your attention as our readers get to cast the deciding votes. EGR and iGB are also prestigious awards to look out for – in 2021 Relax Gaming took the EG B2B award for Best Bingo Supplier for instance.
You can also search the Internet for player reviews or read our in-depth site reviews to find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of playing with different brands.
Compare Bingo SOFTWARES
You can see below the major UK bingo platforms and their most common features, to help you decide which bingo software has what you’re looking for.
|Variety of Games||3||6||3||5||8||3|
|Withdrawal Time||1 Week||3 Days||3 Hours||1 Week+||24 Hours||3 Days|
|Bingo Wagering||None – 4x||4x||No Wagering||N/A||None – 4x||N/A|
|Slots Wagering||80x||40x||No Wagering||65x||30x||35x|
Author And Contributing Editor
Anita is a well-known bingo-lover and has been involved with online bingo since the late 1990’s. She has been along for the ride and seen the industry grow and develop into what it is today. She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and has a reputation for being fair and to the point in her writing.