When deciding which bingo sites to play at two very important factors are software and network.
Bingo SOFTWARE is the underlying engine that the bingo games run on – so it affects HOW you buy bingo tickets.
Bingo NETWORK is a group of sites on the same bingo software that share some or all of the same bingo rooms and promotions – so it affects WHERE you buy bingo tickets.
Completely different networks running the same software used to be common (especially if the software was Dragonfish) but these days there’s lots of overlap and mixing and matching of bingo rooms between what used to be separate networks, not to mention the Pragmatic Play networked bingo rooms which are available very widely indeed.
Dragonfish is a type of bingo software but there’s also a Dragonfish network. Well actually there’s several Dragonfish networks but only one of them is THE Dragonfish network. All sites using the Dragonfish software do so under a licence held by 888 UK Limited; some Dragonfish bingo sites are operated by 888 themselves and others are white labels. The Dragonfish software is hugely popular but doesn’t have much in the way of pre-buy facilities.
Virtue Fusion is both a software and a network; it’s owned by iGaming giant Playtech and eventually the branding will all change so it is known as Playtech Bingo. The Virtue Fusion software is extremely versatile and deservedly very popular. There aren’t as many Virtue Fusion bingo sites as there used to be (many smaller sites have closed and a couple of big sites have moved to the GVC bingo software) but it still has a huge and loyal player base enabling them to offer some really big prizes and amazing promotions. Most Virtue Fusion sites also have non network bingo rooms and promotions.
Pragmatic Play is very much the new kid on the block of the bingo software world but is clearly going places fast. The bingo platform was given a soft launch at one site in early 2019 and was then rolled out to a number of Nektan slot and casino sites in summer 2019. Since then it has replaced other bingo products at more than a hundred other sites. There’s 75, 80 and 90 ball bingo with fully featured pre-buy.
Gamesys have a network of bingo and slot sites running their own bingo software and a huge selection of slots (including some of their own). The number of sites is few but the player base is very large. Gamesys sites have some of the best bingo promotions in the business. Some of their bingo rooms – Session Bingo, Superlinks, Crystal Maze Bingo and Blox Bingo – are networked across all Gamesys sites and other rooms are shared across fewer sites or unique to one only.
GVC’s proprietary bingo software is based on the old Cozy Gaming bingo product but has been massively improved with exclusive bingo variants and fully featured pre-buy; it runs on a few of their own sites which are networked together. They’ve got some great player promotions as well. GVC have recently rebranded as Entain.
After years of decline with the bingo rooms getting quieter and quieter, Jumpman’s proprietary bingo software was dropped in Spring 2020 and all sites on the Jumpman platform including Jumpman Slots sites now have bingo rooms powered by Pragmatic Play. Most of the bingo rooms are networked with other Pragmatic Play bingo sites but they do have some exclusive games and there’s also several versions of the Bingo Millions game by Mutuel Play.
The Relax Gaming bingo product is exclusive to the Kindred group and only two UK bingo sites have it. The bingo rooms are internationally networked and are busy and lively with substantial prize money. 75 ball, 90 ball ,Swedish bingo and the unique game Hexabingo are available and the software has a number of unique features including letting players see how close other players are to bingo and which numbers they are waiting for. It also has Roll On bingo and a prebuy facility as good as that at Virtue Fusion, allowing tickets to be purchased up to a week in advance.
Tombola’s software is unique to the Tombola site and includes many weird and wonderful bingo games you won’t find anywhere else. Another thing which makes Tombola different to other bingo sites is that there are NO slots (instead there are some Tombola proprietary instant games on the Tombola Arcade site that can be played with the same login). For many bingo players this is a good thing, either because they have no interest in slots or because they regard the slots as a potentially expensive temptation.
MrQ is a standalone bingo platform and bingo site that was launched in 2018. It plays very nicely but suffers from lack of pre-buy facilities and there isn’t much liquidity.
B-Live powers just one site – Bingocams – which uses webcams to enhance the user experience and the community aspect of the site.
The Intouch bingo software runs at mFortune and sister sites only and has 90 ball bingo only (in multiple bingo rooms). It is designed for mobile use and has 24/7 chat.
Leapfrog is a bit of a joke as bingo software goes; it is extremely old, for desktop only and requires a download. The slots are proprietary. There are just 3 sites powered by this ancient software and the licence is held by Daub Alderney.
If you find bingo software that you like, you may very well want to seek out new sites that use it too (unless you fancy a complete change, of course). The Dragonfish software, for instance, will look and play very much the same whichever bingo site you are on and regardless of whether you are on a PC, a Mac, a tablet or a smartphone.
The same is not true if you find a bingo network that you like. If you already have an account at one bingo site on the network, there is not much point in opening more accounts at new bingo sites on the same network as you’ll just be playing the same games in the same rooms as before. If you buy tickets for the same room at both sites, you’ll also be competing with yourself and in most cases chatting with yourself. Pretty pointless, right?
That’s where the welcome offer and any exclusive player promotions come in!
The Real Bingo Network is an offshoot of the main Dragonfish network, including some of the same rooms. The difference between Real Bingo Network sites and regular Dragonfish sites is that there are no wagering requirements on anything and this also means that there are no bingo bonuses as such; the welcome offers (and ongoing player rewards) at these bingo sites are based on free bingo tickets for specific games and free slots spins. All winnings are paid in cash including those from daily free slot spins (but these are subject to a cap).
Joy of Bingo is an 888 network which includes sites such as 888 Ladies and Wink Bingo, with a combination of shared and standalone rooms (the free bingo in particular is mostly shared). The Joy Of Bingo sites aren’t skins; they are all owned by 888.
The Dragonfish powered Ignite network started out with big name Costa Bingo and grew rapidly up until the launch of Bringo Bingo in Summer 2017. All these sites are now owned by 888 but are still on a network of their own. They used to be known for their fun theming and large bonuses including no deposit offers but now, the theming has had to be toned down so as not to appeal to children and the welcome offers are mostly for free bingo tickets not bonus.
United Bingo is a Dragonfish powered network that is now a subsidiary of Rank Gaming. Their USP is sliding jackpots and they have one of these with a top prize of a million pounds (it’s never been won, though, and almost certainly never will).
All four of these Dragonfish powered networks have bingo rooms in common with each other and with the main Dragonfish network but because they are called different names on different networks it can be hard to spot. For example, there’s a 75 ball room variously known as Linked & Loaded 75 (now there’s a clue!), Big Fat 10, Have A Ball, Number 10 and Costa Paradise.
Nektan is a casino network that was an early adopter of the Pragmatic Play bingo product. Nektan sites started to offer bingo rooms, and a bingo bonus welcome offer, back in 2019. They don’t, however, have any bingo rooms apart from the widely networked ones.
Rocket X refers to a group of bingo and slot sites that were originally on the IPS network, powered by Bede Gaming. After being bought by LeoVegas, they are now on the same underlying software platform (Rhino) as LeoVegas itself, and have Pragmatic Play bingo rooms including one that is exclusive to them. Their welcome offers are slots based rather than bingo based.
Broadway Gaming operate five bingo sites that were originally on the Microgaming bingo software and still specialise in Microgaming slots. When they moved to the Pragmatic Play product in autumn 2020, they retained their exclusive Broadway Room.
The Cozy bingo software used to power dozens of sites and was one of the first to use HTML5 for an easy to use mobile service. After GVC bought Cozy Gaming the white label arrangements began to be phased out and the last Cozy bingo sites closed or moved to other platforms in August 2020. The software lives on – sort of – at GVC sites but it’s been enhanced and developed so much you’d hardly recognise it.
The Microgaming bingo product was a stalwart of the online bingo world for many years but player numbers started to decline after the new UK licensing regime was introduced in 2014. Operators who wanted to open a Microgaming bingo site needed to apply for their own UK licence rather than Microgaming handling it, whereas other bingo software suppliers were offering a white label solution including a licence. As a result, very few new Microgaming bingo sites launched after that, so the decline was not really surprising. In early 2020 Microgaming announced that they would not be supporting the bingo product going forward, and by autumn 2020 all Microgaming bingo sites had closed, moved to a different platform or stopped offering bingo altogether.
Daub Alderney was the name of the proprietary bingo software used until recently by Stride Gaming. In autumn 2020, the last two bingo sites on the Daub software, Kitty Bingo and Lucky Pants Bingo, switched to the Virtue Fusion bingo product sharing exclusive bingo games with parent organisation Rank Gaming’s flagship site Mecca Bingo. Daub Alderney still exists as a casino software platform, and they also write some of their own slot games.
Bede Gaming was the bingo software behind one of the online bingo world’s most expensive flops, Bingo Godz (nothing wrong with the software though, just the concept), and it also powered several other sites including Crown Bingo. The well known bookie Betvictor was rumoured to be launching bingo on the Bede platform but after being delayed for a long time the launch was cancelled altogether. In Spring 2020 all of the remaining “RocketX” bingo sites that had previously been powered by Bede went on to new software. Guess which one? That’s right – Pragmatic Play, that Borg of bingo software on a mission to assimilate everything.
White Hat Gaming entered the UK bingo arena in Autumn 2014 after becoming one of the first companies to gain a full UK online gambling licence, but stopped offering bingo in Summer 2017. Somewhat confusingly they still have a site called Mainstage Bingo but like their other sites it is purely a slot and casino site.
Both these bingo products are long gone. Probability started off as a separate company but became a subsidiary of the giant GTech, which itself then merged with the huge slots provider IGT (who have never shown much interest in bingo). The GTech software powered a handful of sites including the Daily Express bingo site, but was never very popular, largely because of the lack of any bingo bonus offers, and the last of the GTech sites closed or migrated to other platforms in Summer 2016. Probability was for mobiles only (including older types of phone) and was mostly focused on proprietary mobile slots with just one bingo room. In Summer 2017 all remaining Probability sites closed.
Gaming Realms had a proprietary bingo platform, Grizzly, and for a while it powered bingo at the Bear Group slots site Spin Genie. This was not a success and the bingo rooms closed within a few months. Gaming Realms also own the rights to Slingo and several real money versions of this cross between bingo and slots were available at their sites. The only one that could be considered a bingo game was the multiplayer version Slingo Boom, which was similar to 75 ball bingo. This was not a success either and not only does the game no longer exist, the Bear Group sites it ran at have also now all closed or moved to the Skill On Net casino platform.
Parlay are based in Canada and in the past have been associated with a number of big names in the industry, but by 2018 there were only a few (house owned) Parlay bingo sites such as Bingo Palace that had a UK licence. The interesting thing about this software was that alongside regular real money bingo there was a freemium game called Bazingo which was akin to the sort of bingo app one would find on Facebook or for a mobile, played with in-game currency but with cash or bonus for those who topped the weekly leaderboard. In 2019 Parlay surrendered their UK licence and exited the UK market.
The Yggdrasil bingo software is not a “retired” but a “never was”. In development as much the same time as the Pragmatic Play product, it got as far as being exhibited at a number of industry conferences and was even the headline sponsor at the Online Bingo & Slots Summit in 2018, but after that it all went mysteriously quiet and by early 2020 it was clear that it wouldn’t be making an appearance any time soon and probably not at all.
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