Not so new bingo sites you may not be aware of
Sites you probably didn’t know have bingo
New Bingo Sites 2023
Just like last year, 2023 has not been a great year for online bingo sites and many more closed than opened. And of the new sites, most had a slots offer rather than a bingo offer. But what can we expect to happen in the world of online bingo as we go into 2024 and will there be more new bingo sies launched then?
- Why play at a new bingo site?
- All new bingo sites are not equal
- When is a new bingo site, not a new bingo site?
- The state of online bingo in 2023
- How many new bingo sites will be launched in 2023?
- What else to expect in 2023
Why play at a new bingo site?
If you’re completely new to online bingo, you’ll probably want to go for one of the big name bingo sites for the reassurance of a household name (although as will be seen from our page about trusted and safe bingo sites, the size of the brand does NOT necessarily guarantee that your money is safe). Quite a lot of players choose to stick with just one site if they are happy with the range of bingo rooms, prize money, player promotions and slot games. There are lots of potential reasons why you might want to sign up with a new for 2023 bingo site (if you can find one, of course):
- To try out different bingo games
- To try out different slot games
- New people to chat with (assuming that the bingo site has chat – these days many of them don’t)
- A better user experience on your preferred device
- Fresh player promotions (prize draws, jackpots etc)
- More payment options (e.g. MuchBetter, Apple Pay, Pay by Phone)
- In search of bingo rooms that hit that elusive sweet spot between being boringly quiet or so busy that you never win anything
- Better customer service/wagering requirements/withdrawal rules
- Just fancied a change
- Last but not least – you get to take up a new welcome offer
All new bingo sites are not equal
Once you’ve played at a few different bingo sites you will soon notice that some of them (well, let’s be honest and say most of them) have exactly the same bingo rooms, slot games and promotions as each other, with only the home page looking different. For example, the majority of Jumpman bingo sites have the same Mega Wheel welcome offer, and all Dragonfish bingo sites have the same basic 75 and 90 ball bingo rooms (though some have extras). This is because Jumpman and Dragonfish provide an off the shelf product for anyone who wants to open their own online bingo site quickly and easily – otherwise known as a white label or skin site. The licensing, account verification, payment processing and other technical matters are all handled centrally and this explains why all Dragonfish powered bingo sites have a licence from Broadway Gaming Ireland DF Limited, and many of them have the same customer services telephone number. Opening a new bingo site on one of these platforms is not as quick and easy as it once was, though; due to increased regulation both Dragonfish and Jumpman have become a whole lot fussier about who they will work with.
Most new bingo sites are skins, but the quality of skins varies dramatically. For example, a new Dragonfish skin site with added extras such as exclusive bingo rooms and promotions ticks many more items on our list than a new Jumpman skin site does (especially as the Jumpman bingo rooms aren’t even unique to Jumpman but are networked with every other site on the Pragmatic Play bingo software).
Every now and again, however, a new bingo site is launched that isn’t a skin and offers something special. In 2022, the most innovative launch was Happy Tiger which has proved very popular with our users despite having just one bingo room (they’ve since upped it to two, adding 90 ball bingo to the original 75 ball). The unique slot games plus the £2500 prize which can drop in any bingo game probably have something to do with it! We have yet to see anything like this in 2023.
When is a new bingo site, not a new bingo site?
Happy Tiger wasn’t just the most innovative new bingo site launch of 2022, it came close to being the ONLY truly new bingo site launch of 2022. Blush Bingo launched earlier in the year, but closed after just a few months (possibly to come back later on a different platform) and it wasn’t until December that another new bingo site finally showed up in the form of Bingostars. So where did the rest of the brands on the page come from? Some are relaunches and some are casino, slot or lottery sites that added bingo.
Not all relaunches and redesigns of existing bingo sites make it into our New Bingo Sites listings – just having a new look or upgraded technology usually doesn’t cut it (although we might write a news item about it if there’s added extras). To qualify, the site normally needs to have moved to completely different bingo software and/or have a new bingo welcome offer that is open to everyone even if they’ve played at that site before. For example, Kitty Bingo moving from proprietary software to Virtue Fusion and Lovehearts Bingo becoming a No Wagering site. If everyone is able to sign up and claim the welcome offer regardless of whether they’ve played there previously, it’s effectively an entirely new site – and even if they can’t, when a site moves to new or better software we think it’s worth bringing it to a whole new audience. We also include relaunches if the site has been off the radar for years and wasn’t particularly well known in the first place (Glitter Bingo, for example).
Casino or slot sites that added bingo
This trend started when the excellent Pragmatic Play bingo software was first launched back in 2019 and has been gathering steam ever since. Perhaps the highest profile example is that of PlayOJO, which had been around for years as a well known online casino prior to adding bingo back in 2020, but there have been many others, Peachy Games for example. Lottery sites such as Lottogo have also added bingo, again thanks to Pragmatic Play.
We expect to see even more of this in the coming months, especially as there’s new bingo software (End2End) reportedly coming soon, which is likely to be implemented in the same way as Pragmatic Play, i.e. as a plug-in rather than as a complete white label solution. Also in the pipeline is an exciting live bingo product, LiveG24, which was granted a UK licence in June 2023. If this product appears at UK bingo sites it may well do so in the live casino section (where you can already find games with a bingo element including Evolution Gaming’s Mega Ball).
A few of these sites add a bingo related welcome offer at the same time as adding the bingo, but many of them don’t. We aim to add all of the former and a selection of the latter to our New Bingo Sites listings to give players as much choice as possible.
Other bingo sites you’ve probably never heard of
There’s also quite a few bingo sites that have been around for a while but haven’t had much publicity in the last few years – we feature a selection of these in a section of their own below all the properly new sites.
When do we remove bingo sites from the New Bingo Sites listings?
That’s an easy one! We take them off when player interest wanes and we can see that hardly anyone is following the link. How long that takes is pretty variable; MrQ, as a unique brand, was still attracting interest more than a year after launch whereas with a Jumpman or Dragonfish bingo site, the interest drops off very sharply as soon as a newer site appears on the same platform (admittedly that is not very often these days)
The state of online bingo in 2023
Last year was a time for consolidation rather than expansion in the online bingo world. It was inevitable that as people got out and about more than they were able to do in 2020 and 2021, they’d spend less time on online activities.
Consolidation has been seen most clearly at Dragonfish where what had once been four separate networks (Ignite, Joy of Bingo, United and Globalcom aka the Dragonfish network) had already started to blur together as long ago as 2016, with the introduction of a 90 ball room that was networked across all bingo sites powered by the Dragonfish. Since then, more and more of these widely networked bingo rooms have appeared. And in October 2022, this process reached its natural conclusion as the networks essentially merged into one, with the core bingo rooms shared across every single Dragonfish site and some of the quieter rooms removed to concentrate the liquidity into the others and increase the size of the prizes.
With so many Dragonfish sites now essentially the same as each other, it came as no surprise when around a dozen of the less well known ones were closed towards the end of 2022 and their players encouraged to move to better known sites like Wink Bingo. More closures have since taken place and we understand that there is more consolidation to take place later in 2023, including the closure of some relatively recently opened sites and further tweaks to the terms and conditions.
It’s not only at Dragonfish where there has been consolidation rather than growth. Virtue Fusion has seen the defection of two large operators over the last couple of years but in this case, what we have seen happen is players opening an account at a different Virtue Fusion site as well as or even instead of continuing at their old site with different software.
One site, however, has been all about growth and that is good old tombola – Flutter plc must be delighted with their purchase of this iconic brand, which completed early in 2022. They subsequently launched a number of new games on both tombola bingo and tombola arcade including time limited seasonal specials. In October they introduced Britain’s Biggest Bingo, the first ever bingo game at tombola to have prebuy. Running in a room of its own with randomly allocated chat channels opening half an hour before the game started, this 90 ball game (which has been running on the first of every month but is on a break for the summer) has a guaranteed full house prize of £100,000 and you can buy a strip of tickets for 50p or max out for £2 up to a month in advance. The really innovative thing about Britain’s Biggest Bingo is that if they sell more than enough tickets to cover the £100,000, all of the extra ticket money is added to the prize, keeping the Return To Player of the game at 100%. And they did indeed sell more than enough tickets for the game’s first outing – the prize ended up at more than twice the original £100,000.
A more unwelcome development that has been taking place over the last couple of years is that more and more bingo sites are dispensing with chat rooms as they are too expensive to run (more about this later).
How many new bingo sites will be launched in 2023?
More than in 2022, we hope! Seriously though, there have been a number of factors contributing to hardly any genuinely new bingo sites being launched last year.
- There’s less choice of bingo software for operators. The Cozy bingo platform is no longer available at all, Playtech is prohibitively expensive for smaller operators, Dragonfish didn’t launch any new sites in 2022 due to the change in ownership and even Jumpman slowed down their rate of expansion.
- There’s restrictions on bingo site theming – operators can’t use any elements with a strong appeal to children (so no cartoon characters, cuddly toys, rainbows, fairies or celebrities who are popular with teenagers)
- Bonuses are getting very expensive for operators due to changes in taxation and the requirement to let players withdraw their deposit any time.
- The Pragmatic Play bingo software makes it much easier for operators to add a bingo product to an older casino or slot site (or sportsbook or lottery site!) rather than launch a whole new bingo site.
In fact, slots are very much in the ascendant, partly because of the massive amount of innovation that’s taken place around slot games over the last few years and partly because slot games are easier than bingo to make work on mobile, and more than 80% of you play on mobile. Increasingly when a new bingo site launches, the welcome offer is for slots and not a bingo bonus – all Jumpman sites, for example, are like this. We’ve even seen some older bingo sites (including Lucky Pants Bingo and Chit Chat Bingo) go over to entirely slots based offers. And we certainly expect to see more new slot sites in 2023 than new bingo sites.
There’s yet another obstacle to new sites launching and it applies to every type on online gambling site, not just bingo: many operators have been just too nervous about what’s going on with the long delayed Gambling Act Review to feel comfortable about launching a new brand.
2023 did start off with a couple of Dragonfish bingo site launches, Heat Bingo and Win It Bingo, but these are now reportedly closing. Since then there’s been only one new site and it’s a Jumpman site with no chat in the bingo rooms so barely qualifies. We’ve managed, however, to track down some new bingo offers from casino and lottery betting sites that have added bingo and will continue to bring you new places to play bingo in 2024.
What else to expect in 2023 (and 2024)
- Gambling Act Review
- Affordability Checks
- To chat, or not to chat?
- Further consolidation
- Fewer promotions
- New bingo platforms?
- Variable return to player
- Mobile first
The Gambling Act Review White Paper
The Gambling Act 2005, which regulates all UK gambling sites and products, online and offline, has been undergoing a comprehensive review over the last couple of years but because of everything that has been going on politically in the UK it took an extremely long time. There was a public consultation but it closed long ago (March 2021 to be precise), so long ago that yet another consultation took place with evidence to be submitted by mid February 2023. Leadership changes at the Gambling Commission, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and in the government itself contributed to the long delay.
Finally, the long awaited White Paper was published in April 2023 but the exact changes to be made will only materialise after further consultation some of which has been taking place over the summer and the rest of which is due to start in the autumn.
The delay to the White Paper has been really bad for the industry. Operators have been understandably nervous about what’s going to be in it, with concerns over stake limits and the future of advertising, promotions and loyalty schemes as well as over intrusive affordability checks. Operators have also been worried about possible fines as the Gambling Commission’s enforcement measures hark forward to what they think is going to be in the White Paper rather than current gambling law.
All the discussion around stake limits so far has related to slot games and spin value, but a £2 stake limit could also have big repercussions on bingo players if it was per game rather than per ticket, making it impossible to buy even a strip of tickets for a game once the ticket price is more than 30p. Cheaper tickets and a lower maximum purchase sound good but inevitably it would mean much smaller prizes which would in turn be less appealing to players – and that’s how bingo sites go into a death spiral.
Curbs on advertising could mean the disappearance of bingo ads from TV and radio, the end of sports sponsorship by gambling firms, and new rules on what types of promotions bingo sites are allowed to run. In Sweden, for example, operators are only allowed to give players a bonus once. They are allowed to have a welcome offer but no further incentives or bonuses are allowed. In Ontario, operators can give bonuses but they are not allowed to advertise them apart from to players who have explicitly opted in to receive marketing messages. The White Paper has a whole section about reviewing bonuses, advertising and marketing – so what if the UK ends up doing something similar? Could we see the end of prize draws, free spins and even free bingo rooms?
The White Paper itself is sufficiently vague as to leave open a whole range of possible outcomes, some of which are much worse than others, and this means that operators are still reluctant to plan the launch of new brands. We’ll be following the consultation with interest.
One of the ways in which the Gambling Commission has been pre-empting the White Paper is by mandating affordability checks and if you haven’t heard about these yet, you surely will now that the White Paper has been published. Operators have been under increasing pressure to ensure players don’t slip into spending more than they can afford on bingo, slots or any other gambling product. Some use age, occupation and location data to set a threshold above which you must undergo affordability checks and some set the same threshold for everyone. Players have become used to (but are still annoyed by) having to send in copies of ID documents such as driving licences and passports in order to get their account verified prior to making a withdrawal, but affordability checks take things to a whole new level as they involve supplying bank statements, payslips and so on to prove how much spare money you have.
The White Paper proposes “light touch checks” (similar to a credit check, looking for CCJs and the like) triggered by a net loss of £125 in a month or £500 in a year, escalating to the most stringent affordability checks triggered by a net loss of £1000 within a day or £2000 within 90 days. The DCMS say that 8 in 10 players would not trigger any of these checks and only 3% of the highest spenders would trigger the most stringent ones.
As an alternative to getting players to send in documentation such as payslips and bank statements, some operators have been investigating the use of Open Banking technology for affordability checks. This would allow you to authorise your bank to share your data with the operator directly over a secure channel to establish how much you can afford to spend on gambling products, most likely determined by an computer program without a human being involved. It would be better for data security and less hassle than sending copies of documents over the internet; nevertheless, players may feel very uncomfortable with this type of affordability check, especially if it becomes part of the proposed Single Customer View, which would allow operators to share player affordability data with each other with the aim of preventing players spending more than they can afford across multiple brands and operators. Indeed, in a survey of 2000 users carried out by Racing TV, a whopping 95% of respondents didn’t like the idea of operators having access to their bank accounts!
There’s a view amongst industry insiders that too much emphasis is being placed on affordability in the fight against problem gambling. The argument is that just because a player can afford to lose lots of money, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a gambling problem, so concentrating on finances rather than behaviour could cause markers of harm to be overlooked.
Overly intrusive affordability checks, however they are carried out, are a huge turn-off for players. In a recent poll carried out by YouGov for the Betting and Gaming Council, 70% of respondents said they would not authorise operators to carry out such checks, 67% said compulsory spending limits would push players towards gambling at unlicensed sites (where there is no player protection) and 64% said more gambling at unlicensed sites would cause an increase in problem gambling. According to the BGC, 460,000 people in the UK have gambled on an unlicensed site – around the double the number that had done so a few years ago. The White Paper promises to tackle this issue by giving the Gambling Commission powers to work with ISPs to block unlicensed sites “when parliamentary time allows” (which won’t be until 2024 at the earliest).
To chat, or not to chat?
Hundreds of sites now have the Pragmatic Play bingo product, but some are doing it MUCH better than others. Visit Heart Bingo, PlayOJO or bet365 bingo and you’ll find exclusive bingo rooms, lively chat and plenty of promotions. At Jumpman Gaming and Grace Media, however, there’s a much smaller selection of bingo rooms and all have had the chat facility disabled; the screen space where the chat window used to be has been filled up with extra minigames. In late 2021, a number of Skill On Net casinos added Pragmatic Play bingo rooms and didn’t even bother enabling the chat in the first place.
We’re looking at a situation, then, where a few of of these Pragmatic Play bingo sites are “true” bingo sites with exclusive bingo happenings and a lively community, but most of them are basically casinos with a little bit of bingo on the side and no social interaction.
Why is this happening? Because exclusive promotions, exclusive bingo rooms and hosted chat are VERY expensive to do properly (and getting very hard to do well now that so many are playing on mobile phones and communicate in emojis or not at all) and operators are clearly coming to the conclusion that if they are unable to do it properly they can avoid wasting a lot of money, time and energy by not bothering to do it at all. And you know what? They’re right! A half hearted attempt to create a bingo community is invariably dismal for everyone.
Unfortunately the attempt to market some Grace Media sites as primarily bingo sites (while removing bingo completely from other Grace Media sites) was a perfect illustration of a half hearted approach; they put in a bingo bonus offer and showcased the bingo rooms but with no chat and frankly dismal promotions. This resulted in one of the few new for 2022 bingo sites, Blush Bingo, ceasing player acquisition within weeks of opening and closing a few months later with a view to starting again on a more bingo focused platform.
Why do operators take this kind of approach? They reason that since less than 20% of players (the latest estimate from our contact at a well known bingo software provider) actively participate in the chat, the other 80% aren’t interested in the chat and won’t care if it’s taken away. This is faulty reasoning; as anyone who’s ever frequented any kind of online forum or chat channel will tell you, lurkers very often outnumber active participants and they will leave in droves if you take their entertainment away.
The Jumpman approach, for example, with the bingo tucked away in an area of the lobby that you have to scroll to find and welcome offers that are firmly focused on slots, sidelines the bingo almost completely with the result that Jumpman’s exclusive bingo room was removed in autumn 2022.
While there are many players who quite like the idea of a little bit of bingo now and again and aren’t bothered about social interaction, this type of site is so far removed from what one would normally expect a bingo site to be like as to be barely a bingo site at all. Many of them don’t have the word bingo in their name – and rightly so.
Nobody likes to play in a bingo room with very few players or at a neglected looking bingo site as there’s no atmosphere and the prizes are not at all appealing. But everyone loves a big money game – just look at the numbers of players Virtue Fusion get when they do an escalator jackpot! Fewer bingo rooms with bigger prizes at fewer, better bingo sites is clearly the way to go to stop rooms being too quiet and we expect to see this trend continue.
Not only are promotions expensive to run, operators now have to be really careful that their promotions don’t break responsible gambling rules by enticing players to spend more than they intended. We expect most operators either to scale back on the promotions they run, or to be more selective about who is allowed to participate in promotions, or both. How could they be more selective? By adding some kind of a deposit requirement or – as Gamesys have already done – making most or all of their promotions invitation only.
The advantage of the latter approach is it ensures that the most loyal players (not necessarily the biggest spenders) get the benefit.
New bingo platforms?
End2End are a bingo software provider from Argentina. They’ve recently been granted a UKGC licence for their bingo product and subsequently signed a deal to integrate it into Pariplay’s Fusion platform. Pariplay are owned by Aspire Global (who already have a UKGC licence for remote bingo dating back to when they were planning to add Microgaming bingo). Shortly after that, Aspire Global bought 25% of End2End’s shares, with an option to acquire the rest in 3 or 5 years’ time, so it looks like a dead cert that we’ll see the End2End product at Aspire casinos in the not too distant future. End2End and Aspire were exhibiting together at ICE London in April 2022, and in July the product went live in various Latin American countries on Salsa Technology‘s casino platform. In December 2022, End2End secured a Malta Gaming Authority licence so it is surely only a matter of time before it goes live across Europe and in the UK
LiveG24 have also recently signed an integration deal with Pariplay. They exhibited at ICE London and again at SiGMA in November 2022. Their product is rather exciting and a bit different – it’s live bingo, with a caller drawing balls from a lottery style machine. It now has a UK licence.
Variable return to player on slot games
Over the last few years many slot game providers have moved away from making slot games with a fixed Return To Player and started making games where the RTP can be chosen by the casino from within a range. It’s not just new slot games either – casino configurable RTP has been added to classic slot games such as Starburst, Shaman’s Dream and Immortal Romance. Starburst for example has RTP of 96.09%, 94.05% or 92.05% depending on where you play it – so quite a difference! In May 2023 Dragonfish sent an email to all registered players warning them of changes in the RTP of around 75 games including the three previously mentioned and lots of other popular titles. We expect more bingo sites to adjust the RTP on slot games during 2023 and 2024 which means it’s always a good idea to check the game help files for the current RTP before starting to play.
The last couple of years have thrown up some huge surprises. Big operators changing platform (Entain) and shock mergers and acquisitions (Broadway buying Dragonfish and Flutter buying Tombola) have rocked the world of online bingo and there’s likely to be more in 2023.
We also expect to see more surprise exits from the UK (driven by the burden of taxation and regulation) but these tend to be casino and slot operators rather than bingo operators. And indeed, in September 2023 there was just such a surprise exit when InTouch Games, operators of mobile casinos some of which had 90 ball bingo, surrendered their licence.
It’s clear from our own visitor stats that not only are more and more of you playing bingo and slots on mobile, an increasing number never play on any other device, and that means that the way people play has been evolving and will continue to evolve.
A player on a bingo site via a mobile device is highly likely to be doing something else at the same time – watching TV, chatting, paying attention so as not to miss getting off the bus at the right stop or even – shock, horror – an actual phone call. This means that mobile content needs to be snackable i.e. delivered in bite size chunks. A single bingo game is about the right length for that and so are a few slot spins.
To make a traditional bingo game playable on a mobile phone screen is quite difficult as there’s so much going on, and over the last few years operators have responded by developing single ticket multi stake bingo games and other variants – such as the recently introduced Battle Royale Bingo at Foxy Bingo – which have a “mobile first” design.
Another issue with mobile play occurs when the bingo software doesn’t have schedule buy. The problem is that with only a short window before the game starts in which to buy tickets, it’s easy to get distracted or hit a data blackspot and miss it. This is not too much of an issue with Tombola as most of their bingo games are mobile first and have a very simple ticket purchase screen, but it is a big problem with Dragonfish where there can be a lot of faffing about to select the right number of tickets.
Indeed, the Dragonfish bingo software could really do with an overhaul to make it more suitable for mobile play. The lobby is mobile first, but the games haven’t changed for years. They badly need schedule buy and games that are designed for mobile phones and it is to be hoped that new owners Broadway Gaming will tackle that in 2023 or 2024.
Whatever happens in the coming year, we have faith in the ongoing popularity of online bingo and we hope to be able to bring you more new bingo sites to play at in the future.
New bingo sites are safe and trustworthy as long as they are regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. However, not all bingo sites have the same level of insolvency protection for player funds and you can find out more about that on our Trusted & Safe Bingo Sites page.
There are hundreds of online bingo sites that are open to UK players but not many of them are actually new bingo sites. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been seeing an average of less than one new bingo site a month launched. We have lots of listings for older bingo sites elsewhere on our site, so you’ll probably be able to find several that are new to you.
Yes, free bingo rooms for new players are a feature at most new bingo sites (and indeed at many older ones). To be allowed to play, you’ll need to have your account age and ID verified and register a payment method even if no deposit is required.
No, there are no UK bingo sites, new or old, that accept deposits via credit card. They have all been banned from doing so since 2020 by the UK Gambling Commission.
All new bingo sites have slots but not all new slot sites have bingo. If you are mainly interested in playing slots and want a slots focused welcome offer check out our New Slot Sites page for dozens of new slot sites.