If you want to open a new bingo site or new slot site and you’re not an already well known huge brand like Ladbrokes, Gala, Heart Radio or the Sun newspaper, one of the important things you need to do is come up with a great name for it. Some operators are clearly better at this than others and here we look at more than 50 bingo sites with unfortunate names, some of which turned out to be unsuitable because of changes in advertising rules and others which were quite frankly a daft idea in the first place. Here’s some of the WORST bingo (and slot) site names we’ve seen over the last ten years:
- Too much child appeal
- No booze please
- No bingo here
- Department of terrible puns
- No sex please, we’re British
- Cultural appropriation
- Brand infringement
- Right off the money
- Ambitious but flawed concepts
- What were they even thinking?
- Exact match domains
Too much child appeal
Prior to autumn 2017 it was commonplace for bingo sites to feature themes and characters that could have come straight from a toy shop. Then the Gambling Commission cracked down on the use of images on gambling advertising that are likely to have particular appeal to under 18s.
- Once Upon A Bingo and Fairy Dust Bingo were both themed on fairytales (a particular bone of contention with the ASA). The former survives, but the theming has gone.
- Bingo Minions referenced a popular animated film series.
- Bingoroo was themed around a super cute cartoon kangaroo and featured bonus games and promotions built around it. In a masterpiece of bad timing the site was launched just a few months before all the cartoon characters had to be removed. It didn’t survive.
- Santa’s Bingo looked like an explosion in the Christmas department of a pound shop.
Not to mention a couple of sites that are still around – Sparkly Bingo which was originally themed on what looked like the bastard offspring of My Little Pony and a bingo ball, and Angry Bingo which unofficially referenced a certain very popular video game. Both sites have long since had all the child appealing theming removed, leaving Angry Bingo with a particularly silly name (bingo is meant to make you happy not angry, right?)
The crackdown is about to get even more severe with the change of “particular appeal” to “strong appeal” from 1st October 2022. “Particular” meant that images and themes in gambling advertising were only a problem if they were considered to appeal more to children than to adults. But with “strong”, whether and how much adults also like whatever it is is no longer a factor and we expect imagery based on football, video games and the like to disappear.
No booze please
Cocktail Bingo and Champers Bingo overtly mixed drinking and gambling, another thing which is no longer allowed in the UK. Not only can you not have anything to do with alcohol in the name of your bingo site, you can’t have any references to it anywhere visible. So the Cocktail Party room at a bunch of Dragonfish bingo sites had to be renamed the Mocktail Party room, and Butlers Bingo had to modify their logo to remove the bottle of bubbly it originally contained.
No bingo here
Here we have two sites which did have bingo to start with, but dropped it and didn’t change their name. To be fair, Dream Bingo was obliged to drop the bingo when Microgaming retired their bingo product in 2020 and Mainstage Bingo likewise when White Hat retired their bingo product in 2017. It’s been YEARS since this happened – will either of them ever get their bingo back? Rumour has it that possibly Dream Bingo will.
Department of terrible puns
Step forward Dragonfish bingo site Isle of Bingo, 888’s now defunct Facebook real money bingo game Bingo Appy, and Bingo & Slots Friendzy, another vanished Facebook app from Gamesys.
No sex please, we’re British
Another element in the rules about gambling advertising is that “marketing communications must not link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness”. So theming bingo sites around sex and relationships was always treading close to the wind.
Hunky Bingo and Smooch Bingo are both still in existence. The former has toned down its theming to make it more of a joke and the latter lost its raison d’etre long ago; it was originally owned by Global Personals and the idea was that singles could meet each other in the chat rooms, especially during special singles bingo sessions.
The Cozy bingo sites Bingo Hotpot and Bingo Date are both gone. Bingo Hotpot was themed around a sexy Irishman and for Bingo Date players, there was a prize for the first couple to marry after meeting in the chat rooms. Needless to say the prize was never awarded and those of us who remember what Cozy chat rooms were like know very well what a ridiculous idea it was.
Cultural appropriation is bad enough when it’s just reducing someone else’s ethnicity to a stereotype. For example, the cod Mexican theming of the now defunct Bingo Gringo and Bingo Hombre might have seemed like a harmless piece of fun, but perhaps not if you’re actually from Mexico.
What really took the biscuit, though, was the Cozy bingo site Buddha Bingo. The people who came up with the idea of theming on Buddha as a luck symbol had plainly completely forgotten that Buddhism is an actual religion – under whose “Right Livelihood” tenet the site itself would be regarded as a source of negative karma.
A Jumpman bingo site whose name we won’t mention was VERY swiftly renamed to Clover Bingo after Paddy Power very understandably objected.
United Colours of Bingo and Wallis Bingo both appear to be references to fashion brands but these now closed sites were nothing to do with said brands.
Right off the money
A gravy train is an easy money bandwagon, and if the Cozy bingo site Gravy Train Bingo was one of those, it was for the operator not the players.
And what about the Jumpman site Money Saver Bingo? Money Spender bingo more like! Its cashback promotion paid 10% (in order to get that rate at other Jumpman sites you needed to be a top level VIP) but the cashback promotion itself was very poor as it could only be claimed the day after making a deposit and losing almost all of it. The Jumpman VIP scheme and cashback promotion are both gone now as is Money Saver Bingo itself.
As for Bingo Millionaire – step forward section 16.3.4 of the CAP code which forbids gambling advertising from suggesting that gambling can be a solution to financial concerns, an alternative to employment or a way to achieve financial security.
Guess what, all three of these sites are now closed.
Ambitious but flawed concepts
These sites took their names and themes from extra (and often weird and wonderful) things they attempted to do with or alongside the bingo.
- Telly Talk Bingo from Cashcade was supposed to provide a venue for players to chat about TV shows and the Microgaming bingo site Bingo on the Box was similar. Bingo room chat really isn’t suitable for this sort of discussion as it doesn’t persist after you leave the bingo room. Perhaps it could have worked if they had an attached forum or message board?
- Another odd concept, the idea of an attached buy/sell/swap site for members, was seen at Car Boot Bingo and Flog It Bingo. Needless to say it never materialised.
- BOGOF Bingo never had any exclusive buy one get one free offers when it was on Virtue Fusion and still hasn’t on Pragmatic Play – and it’s even worse now that the site’s logo has changed from BOGOF Bingo to Buy One Get One Free Bingo. Besides, the whole notion of buy one get one free on bingo is bogus anyway because the ticket sale money determines the prizes; assuming that everyone gets the BOGOF the extra tickets have zero effect on either what you can win or your chances of winning it.
- The Bingo Diaries was attached to a fan blog for the Vampire Diaries TV show which was fine while the show was actually on but soon lost momentum when the run finished
- Ace of Bingo was themed around a 52 level loyalty scheme (one level for each of the 13 cards in each of the 4 suits) which required players to spend eye-popping amounts of money to reach the Ace of Bingo level. This type of VIP scheme is no longer allowed as it encourages overspending.
- The Virtue Fusion bingo site Bingo With Kerry was fronted by Kerry Katona (of Atomic Kitten fame) but it wasn’t long before she was called out publicly as being an unsuitable person to promote gambling. You could take the view that all publicity is good publicity, but maybe the players weren’t too keen on Ms Katona either as the site is long since closed.
- Years after it closed, Bingo Godz is still one of the bingo industry’s most infamous flops. It was meant to be all about the gamification, with level progression and the Bingo Godz themselves supplying power-ups, but the site launched before any of this was ready and it was never properly executed.
- Fierce Bingo was a Dragonfish site, aimed exclusively at a LGBT audience, that was around for just six months back in 2013.
- Film Bingo was so called because it sought to raise funds for a small film production company, Dogs of Annwn.
- The Lucky Diner bingo site had a jukebox as part of its theming, which put out a live show once a week.
- At Lucky Socks Bingo you could win a pair of branded lucky socks.
- Say Yes To The Dress Bingo was a TV tie-in with the wedding dress shopping reality show, but in name only. What a missed opportunity to do exclusive promotions!
- Finally we have a quartet of charity bingo sites, Bingo Giving, Give Back Bingo, Charity Bingo and Big Heart Bingo, all of which dropped the charity aspect after a while (in some cases without accounting for where the money went)
What were they even thinking?
Some bingo site names are so odd that you have to wonder what was going through the mind of the people who thought them up!
- Clucky Bingo was themed on chickens and seems to have been a combination of a pun on the word lucky, a veiled reference to Foxy Bingo (“foxes keep out”) and possibly something to do with a non real money bingo app.
- LMAO Bingo – yes, people do (or did) say this in chat, but surely you want players to take your product seriously?
- Biscuit Bingo – there is actually a brand of biscuits called Bingo, it’s a bit like an Oreo and is popular in the Philippines. Or maybe it’s a reference to the British and Irish holidaymakers who were arrested in Portugal in 2013 for playing bingo illegally with biscuits for prizes?
- Bridezilla Bingo is an amusing idea if you’re ticking off all of the ridiculous demands of a bridezilla on a joke bingo card, but as a name for a real money bingo site, not so much. After all, Bridezillas are difficult to deal with and not fun.
- Reem Bingo was a reference to The Only Way Is Essex and means good or attractive. But not everyone watched TOWIE or is familiar with Essex slang, and if you didn’t get the reference you might easily confuse it with something very NSFW.
- There once was a Dragonfish bingo site called Small Bingo – but whoever would want to play at a small bingo site with small prizes? No wonder they had to add “nothing small about it” to the logo!
- The Jumpman site Scope Bingo was nothing to do with Scope the disability equality charity and perhaps they weren’t aware that the word is sometimes used as a derogatory term against people with cerebral palsy.
All of these bingo sites are now closed….funny that!
Exact match domains
An exact match domain is a website whose name is a phrase you might search for on Google and there are MANY of these. For example, Brand New Bingo was clearly designed to appear in the Google search results for “brand new bingo site” and pull in players that way. It’s not around any more and one can surmise that the players moved on as soon as it wasn’t a brand new site any more.
In 2022, there are lots of bingo and slot sites with exact match names. Many have decent welcome offers and are fun to play at – but just look at those names, do you really think you would be able to remember the name of the site when you needed to find your way back there? And yes, they are almost all Jumpman sites.
Amongst all of these exact match names, however, there are two sites that have really nailed it (although one of them is no longer available in the UK! What could be more memorable than casino dot com and bingo dot com?!?