888 & Cassava Bingo Sites
The bingo sites listed here are those which are powered by the 888/Dragonfish software including those 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?
- Who Were Cassava?
- What did Cassava Do?
- Payment Processing
- Licensing and Compliance
- Management of Sites
- A Word of Caution
- Cassava and Self Exclusion
Who Were Cassava?
- Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Limited was a wholly owned subsidiary of 888 Holdings plc
- They specialised in secure internet transaction processing
- Cassava Enterprises was based, licensed and regulated in Gibraltar (until 2014 this meant they were authorised to operate in the UK too)
- Cassava Enterprises does not actually own any bingo sites and in fact there is no such thing as a Cassava bingo site! 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.
What Did Cassava Do?
Cassava provided transaction 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 new Cassava bingo sites (i.e. 888/Dragonfish bingo sites) are being launched all the time.
- Licensing and Compliance – Cassava used to look after this for a very large number of bingo sites (and slots sites), for non UK players until quite recently. Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) held licence number 022 from the Gibraltar Gaming Commission but this licence is now held by Virtual Global Digital Services Limited, another member of the 888 family.
- For UK players, the situation changed in November 2014. In order to operate in the UK after that date, bingo sites must be regulated by the UK Gambling Commission; the UK licence for all these bingo sites is held by 888 UK Limited (a member of the same corporate group as Cassava).
- Management of Sites – again, prior to November 2014 Cassava used to provide management services for a vast number of bingo sites powered by 888 and Dragonfish software but now, for UK players, the same function is carried out by 888 UK Limited. Virtual Digital Services Limited now performs this function for players in EU member states.
- Payment Processing – Cassava provided transaction services including payment processing to all these bingo sites and when you made a deposit at any bingo site whose licence is held by 888 UK Limited, Cassava was the name you would see on your credit card or bank statement (again, this has now changed).
A Word of Caution
The 888 licence covers hundreds of bingo sites on several networks and if you are banned from one of them, you are 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 as of September 2017) 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 too many bonuses or playing too much free bingo and not enough pay bingo.
Cassava and Self-Exclusion
In the Responsible Gambling section of the terms and conditions of 888/Cassava/Dragonfish bingo sites is a provision that if you self-exclude from any Cassava/888 UK managed site, you are not 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? Prior to August 2017 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, it seems that a player who has self excluded from one Cassava site will automatically be blocked from all the others and this actually happened to thousands of accounts shortly before 888 announced that they had been fined several million pounds for failing to deal with self exclusions correctly.
The lesson to be learnt 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 less rigorous alternative to self-exclusion that applies to a single site only for a much shorter period.
Although the Cassava part of 888 no longer exists as an organisation, players still use the term Cassava to mean Dragonfish bingo sites, including ones that are not on the Dragonfish network and we expect this to continue into 2020 and beyond.