How Cozy Bingo Sites eventually became Entain Bingo Sites
The story of Cozy is rather a sad one. Back in 2013 there were dozens of Cozy bingo sites on several different networks, and when all were brought under the umbrella of Cozy’s new UK licence in autumn 2014 it looked like they were going from strength to strength, with the networks consolidated into two super networks (Live Bingo Network and Best Bingo Network) and the beginnings of a third (Lucky Duck Network) plus the launch of several casino sites (Mobile Casino Network).
- Live Bingo Network – This was the largest Cozy network, especially after it absorbed the Winners Bingo Network in 2014.
- Best Bingo Network – This included sites formerly on the Fun Bingo Network.
- Lucky Duck Network – This was born when the standalone bingo site GameVillage migrated to Cozy in 2014. GameVillage had been around since 2007 on a proprietary platform with an associated forum and it wasn’t until some time in 2017 that Lucky Duck sites had any bingo rooms or promotions in common with other Cozy sites.
- Mobile Casino Network – This was for Cozy sites without bingo.
The main plus points of Cozy bingo sites were the absolutely massive bonuses including a £15 no deposit bonus, the number of different bingo games on offer including 30 ball and 50 ball and the ease of mobile play (they were early HTML5 adopters). The minus points were that within each network the sites were all exactly the same as each other in terms of bingo rooms and promotions, the terms and conditions were hard on players and apart from a few sites which included a small selection of Microgaming titles, the slot games on offer were dreadful proprietary games. Nowadays this would be the kiss of death but back in 2014, few bingo sites had the good selection of slots that is usual today.
Unfortunately there was a monstrous thundercloud on the horizon for the “massive bonuses” model in the form of the Point of Consumption Tax. This 15% tax on remote gambling was imposed in 2014 at the same time as regulatory changes but only applied to cash play. In 2017, however, the scope of the tax was extended to cover bonuses and free bets, with effect from 1st August. Instead of immediately getting rid of their no deposit bonus offers, Cozy introduced some truly arcane and confusing arrangements for ring fencing and reducing the RTP of bonus play to cover the tax burden.
That lasted less than three months – the no deposit bonuses were axed in October 2017 and replaced with newbie free bingo, and other bonuses were cut as well making the Cozy welcome offers far less competitive with other bingo sites.
Meanwhile, something big was going on behind the scenes – the purchase of Cozy by iGaming giant GVC. This was done so quietly that the first time many of their white label partners heard about it was when they noticed that the UK Gambling Commission licence on their sites had been changed to Electraworks (a GVC subsidiary). GVC were too large and Cozy too small for there to be any requirement for them to publicise the transaction.
The first thing that GVC did was to put the brakes on Cozy white label sales. The last of the Cozy white label sites Goldy Bingo opened in December 2017. Things went a bit quiet for almost a year after that and then in October 2018, Foxy Casino (now known as Foxy Games) moved to the Cozy platform. Two weeks later it was announced that Foxy Bingo would also be moving to Cozy. It soon became apparent what had been going on for the past year – development work on the Cozy product but only for GVC’s own sites. Not only was the Cozy bingo product at Foxy Bingo streets ahead of that at Cozy white label sites for usability, choice of games etc, the terms and conditions at Foxy were – and remain – much more attractive for players.
Consolidation had also been going on at the Cozy networks. By early 2018 the Best Bingo Network and the Live Bingo Network were different in name only and the Lucky Duck network, which had started out completely separate, shared several rooms with the other two and just had a few exclusives (all of which subsequently went). Worse was to come for Cozy fans in 2019 though, in the form of a massive wave of closures of Cozy bingo and casino sites including Landmark Bingo the flagship brand which was responsible for the names of all the bingo rooms (Big Ben, City Hall etc). GVC apparently decided (perhaps because of compliance worries) not to continue working with any small-time partners – the few white label sites that were left belonged to larger operations. A further blow came in 2020 when most of the slot games on Cozy skins were removed leaving only Cozy proprietary slots and a few older Microgaming titles.
Cozy’s corporate site was also looking pretty neglected before it closed completely in 2020. For a start, it boasted 100+ brands and there were nowhere near that many left! At the bottom of the page, there was a carousel of testimonials and almost all were from brands that no longer existed. It also used to have links to each of the networks but at the end the links – which were to “bingo network” and “casino network”only – were broken.
The final nail in the coffin came in August 2020 when all remaining Cozy skins either closed or migrated to different platforms, leaving only GVC owned brands on what used to be the Cozy bingo software.
The platform itself certainly has a bright future, though, at Foxy and at other sites owned by GVC – including Ladbrokes Bingo and Coral Bingo – rather than as a network of skins. Developing the Cozy product further is making GVC less and less reliant on other platform providers including Playtech and therein lies the true value of the purchase.
A new twist to the tale came when GVC itself rebranded to Entain in Spring 2021, changed the licensing on the Electraworks sites to LC International and a few month later migrated the flagship site Gala Bingo on to the Entain software, complete with Entain recreations of popular Gala bingo games including Bingo Beats, Coronation Street Bingo and Deal Or No Deal Bingo. The result is a bingo platform that is a serious rival to Virtue Fusion in liquidity and choice of games and promotions – a very far cry indeed from all those old Cozy skins.
Technically there is no longer any such thing as a Cozy bingo site. Cozy Games was bought by GVC some years ago and the Cozy licence was replaced by Electraworks. Most Cozy bingo sites closed in 2019 and all of the rest closed in 2020 apart from big GVC owned sites including Ladbrokes Bingo. GVC has since changed its name to Entain and the licence of the sites to LC International.
Entain bingo sites all have the safety afforded by a UK Gambling Commission licence, plus the rare and super safe High Protection rating for player funds.
Cozy bingo sites that were not owned by GVC had 30, 75, 80 and 90 ball bingo and Microgaming and proprietary slots. Entain bingo sites with Cozy bingo have many more bingo rooms including Friends Bingo, Cash Out Bingo, the Entain version of Deal Or No Deal Bingo and a much bigger range of slots.
Not any more. Cozy bingo sites used to be famous for their no deposit offers but these were long gone and the free newbie room removed even before the white label sites were closed. Entain bingo sites do not have any no deposit offers.