888 & Cassava Bingo Sites
The bingo sites listed here are those which are powered by the 888/Dragonfish software, with an emphasis on sites which aren’t on the main Dragonfish bingo network.
“Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited”. For anyone who has visited more than a handful of online bingo sites over the last few years, that is a very familiar name. But what does it actually mean? Who are Cassava and is there a Cassava Bingo Network?
Well, for a start the correct question isn’t “who ARE Cassava” but “who WERE Cassava”…
- Who Were Cassava?
- What Is A Cassava Bingo Site?
- Beyond the Dragonfish Network
- Joy Of Bingo
- United Bingo/Netboost
- The Long Arm Of Cassava
- Cassava and Self Exclusion
Who Were Cassava?
- Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited was a wholly owned subsidiary of 888 Holdings plc specialising in secure internet transaction processing and based, licensed and regulated in Gibraltar (until 2014 this meant they were authorised to operate in the UK too)
- They provided transaction, payment processing and management services to online bingo sites (and casinos) owned by 888 Holdings or subsidiaries, or powered by Dragonfish (the business-to-business arm of 888 Holdings). Their services covered literally hundreds of bingo sites and whenever a player made a deposit at such a site, Cassava was the name they would see on their bank or card statement.
- Cassava also took care of the licensing for all these sites (licence number 022 from the Gibraltar Gaming Commission) until the UK licence rules changed in November 2014. Since then, the UK licence for all 888 owned and Dragonfish powered bingo sites has been held by 888 UK Limited (a member of the same corporate group as Cassava).
- Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited continued to provide all these services to non UK players but all that has now been taken over by Virtual Global Digital Services Limited, another member of the 888 family, making the Cassava name a thing of the past.
What Is A Cassava Bingo Site?
Cassava Enterprises never actually owned any bingo sites and in fact there is no such thing as a Cassava bingo site and never has been! When players use the term Cassava bingo site they generally mean some kind of an 888/ Dragonfish bingo site, but these terms can be extremely confusing because of the distinction between 888 owned and 888 licensed sites, and between the Dragonfish software and the Dragonfish network, and also because some Dragonfish bingo games such as free bingo and the nightly £1000 90 ball jackpot are shared between several different Dragonfish powered networks. These days, the term Cassava bingo sites is often used to refer to bingo sites which are powered by Dragonfish software but are not on the main Dragonfish network (identifiable by its signature monthly £10K game) and that includes some very big names! Although the Cassava part of 888 no longer exists as an organisation, players still use the term Cassava to mean Dragonfish bingo sites, especially ones that are not on the Dragonfish network and we expect this to continue into 2020 and beyond.
Beyond the Dragonfish Network
All the different Dragonfish powered networks of bingo sites used to be completely separate from each other but those lines started to blur way back in 2015 when all 888 sites joined together to run a huge £200K linked game. This was so popular, with hundreds of thousands of tickets sold, that they ran it several times; the next development came in August 2016 with the introduction of a linked 90 ball bingo room every evening starting at 7pm with a £1000 fixed jackpot game. This was supposed to be for one month only but was such a success that it is still in existence today (along with an equally widely linked 75 ball room) under different names on different networks. For example, the 90 ball version is called Linked and Loaded at Netboost/United Bingo sites such as Robin Hood Bingo, The High Life at Wink Bingo and 90’s Extreme on the main Dragonfish network.
Nevertheless, there are three distinct groups of sites where there is still not much overlap with the main network and it is sites on these networks that players are often referencing when they use the term “Cassava bingo sites”.
Joy Of Bingo
Joy of Bingo is a Dragonfish powered bingo network consisting of several 888 house owned bingo sites including the very well known Wink Bingo and 888 Ladies.
Joy of Bingo has quite a bit of overlap with the main Dragonfish network. As well as the widely linked 75 and 90 ball rooms discussed above, some of the jackpot rooms and most of the free bingo rooms are shared.
The signature promotions at Joy Of Bingo are a spin the wheel bonus game (which awards bingo bonus, games bonus, slot spins or free bingo tickets on every deposit) and daily slot spins which can be claimed for 7 days after making a deposit of £20 or more (they are subject to a win cap, max convertible and wagering requirement thouhg, which makes them rather less attractive).
Joy Of Bingo has a 4 level invitation only VIP club which runs across the network; when a player attains VIP status at one of their sites they automatically do so at all of them.
Ignite is a Dragonfish powered bingo network based around the very well known Costa Bingo. Sadly it is not what it once was and there have been no new bingo sites on Ignite since the launch of Bringo Bingo in 2017.
The reason for this is threefold. Firstly, the UK Gambling Commission working with the Advertising Standards Authority announced a crackdown on the use of imagery that might appeal to children. This was a major problem for Ignite as it meant that the design of pretty well every single one of their sites was going to have to be seriously watered down to remove all the cute cartoon characters which were one of their USPs.
Secondly, the POCT2 tax on bonuses which came in on 1st August 2017 made the generous Ignite welcome offers too expensive; most of the no deposit bonuses were removed in January 2018 and in June 2018 all their deposit bonus offers changed to a free bingo tickets offer which wasn’t popular with players. A few have now returned to a more conventional bingo bonus welcome offer.
Thirdly, in early 2019 the entire network was bought by 888 – who own so many Dragonfish powered bingo sites already that there is little incentive for them to launch any new ones.
Although Ignite bingo sites have lost many of the features that made them special a couple of things still stand out.
Ignite bingo sites used to be famous for having some of the very best promotions in the business and there’s still a fair amount going on but these days it’s mostly deposit based rewards. A signature promotion is the five £1000 bingo games that play at one hour intervals on Friday evenings; anyone who made a deposit in the preceding 6 days can claim up to 6 free cards.
The Ignite network includes regular 75 and 90 ball rooms where the maximum card purchase is a relatively low 24 cards, making maxing out less expensive than elsewhere. A few rooms are more widely networked, including the 90 ball room with the £1000 jackpot at 7pm. As most Ignite bingo rooms have names in line with the site’s theming, the networking isn’t immediately obvious .
The United group of bingo sites actually comprises two networks, one based around Moon Bingo and one based around Gossip Bingo. As with the difference between the Dragonfish software and the Dragonfish network, there’s lots of confusion surrounding this, exacerbated by the fact that the operator also runs some Dragonfish network bingo sites and a couple of Dragonfish slot sites. It’s also not possible to tell which is which from looking at the sites themselves unless you already have an account there, as all now consist of a single visible page with everything else (including the bingo rooms and promotions) only accessible after login via the Snow White lobby.
Netboost is another name associated with the United bingo sites – it’s a marketing company which has been around since 2006. A further complication is that the entire kit and caboodle now belongs to Stride Gaming, the operator of Kitty Bingo and owner of another string of Dragonfish network bingo sites which are all now being given the United design treatment. And that’s not the end of the complications; in 2019 Stride Gaming was taken over by Rank, the operators of Mecca Bingo.
United bingo sites rarely have a plain old bingo bonus as their welcome offer and have tried out a series of hugely complex welcome offers with bingo bonus, slot bonus, bonus spins, free bingo tickets and/or the opportunity to win more via a bonus game included – everything but the kitchen sink! The signature promotion at United is a monthly sliding jackpot bingo game with a headline prize of £1 million but as with the majority of bingo games of this type the chance of anyone winning anything more than the baseline prize of £1000 is vanishingly tiny. United also run other sliding jackpot games from time to time, and free bingo rooms for players who have deposited in the last couple of days.
The Cashcade network used to be huge but is no longer in existence. In 2018 Foxy Bingo and Cheeky Bingo moved to the GVC bingo platform (an evolution of the software formerly known as Cozy) and the other brands (which included Telly Talk Bingo and Think Bingo) were closed.
The Long Arm Of Cassava
The 888 UK Limited licence covers hundreds of bingo sites on several networks and if you manage to get yourself banned from one of them, you will find yourself banned from ALL of them (including new bingo sites which are yet to be launched). Here are some examples (taken directly from the terms and conditions where they have been for some years) of activities which can result in being banned:
“Deceitfully taking advantage of our welcome bonuses or executing any other deceitful activity in relation to: (i) a bonus promotion offered on any of the websites owned and/or operated by us (for example by opening multiple indistinguishable accounts to obtain a welcome bonus several times on the Site, only depositing during promotional activity or opening multiple accounts across the network), (ii) our free sites and free games offers (for example, by playing repeatedly only with free games, or by purchasing all the tickets for a free game), or (iii) in case of repeated patterns of deposit/cashout/redeposit purely intended to gain the deposit related bonus” – so basically, claiming (in their view) too many bonuses or playing too much free bingo.
Cassava and Self-Exclusion
Because they all operate under the same UK Gambling Commission licence, if you self-exclude from any Cassava/888 UK managed site, you will not be allowed to open or run an account at ANY OTHER Cassava/888 UK managed bingo site for the period of the self exclusion.
But what actually happens if you self-exclude and then try to open an account at another 888 site? Until 888 were fined several million pounds in August 2017 for failing to deal with self exclusions correctly. there were reports of players being able to open an account, deposit and play but subsequently having their accounts closed and the monies not returned – and the terms and conditions still contain a clause saying they are not liable for the return or any wagers or winnings from such an account. Now, however, if you try to open an account and it has an email address or other identifying characteristics associated with any account that has ever self excluded from any 888 site (even if it was years ago and nothing to do with bingo), it will be a big fat case of Computer Says No. Don’t be tempted to try a different email address either – that clause in the terms and conditions is still there to bite.
The lesson to be learned from this is that self-exclusion is a formal procedure designed to help problem gamblers to abstain. It lasts a minimum of 6 months and these days it is extremely effective. It should definitely NOT be used as a shortcut if you simply want to close your account. For those seeking something that is not so drastic, Cassava sites also offer “Take a break”, a much less drastic alternative, that applies to a single site only for a much shorter period.