New bingo sites galore! We’ve got reviews of all the newest and best new bingo sites for 2019. Exclusive bingo bonuses when you deposit £5, no deposit free spins or keep your winnings with zero wagering requirements, we’ve got it all – and if slots are your thing, we’ve also got some great new casino sites for you!
2019 has seen some big changes in the world of online bingo, including the launch of brand new bingo software. Although a number of older bingo sites closed this year, there are plenty of new bingo sites being launched to replace them.
If you’re completely new to online bingo, you’ll probably want to go for a big name bingo site 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 mean your money is safe). Many players choose to stick with just one site, especially if it has a really good range of bingo rooms, player promotions and slot games. There are lots of potential reasons why you might want to sign up with a new bingo site, however:
Once you’ve played at a few different bingo sites you will soon notice that many of them have exactly the same bingo rooms and slot games and sometimes exactly the same promotions as each other, with only the home page looking different. For example, almost all Jumpman bingo sites have the same Mega Wheel welcome offer, and all Dragonfish network sites have the same monthly £10,000 bingo game. 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 and payment processing are all handled centrally and this explains why all Dragonfish powered bingo sites have a licence from 888 UK Limited and payment processing by Cassava, and all Dragonfish network bingo sites have the same customer services telephone number.
Most new bingo sites are skins, but the quality of skins varies dramatically. For example, a new Dragonfish site with added extras such as exclusive bingo rooms and promotions ticks many more items on our list than a Jumpman skin site does.
Every now and again, however, something which is genuinely new and different is launched. Truly new bingo sites, it seems, are like buses – you wait months and then two come along at the same time, in this case MrQ and Buzz Bingo, launched within a couple of months of each other back in 2018 and bringing a breath of fresh air to the world of online bingo.
More than a year after launch, these two revolutionary new bingo sites are still attracting players in droves. Both are No Wagering bingo sites and indeed, they do that so well that it is hard for any other new bingo site to compete!
Sometimes we add bingo sites to this page that aren’t brand new sites – some relaunches of old bingo sites qualify and there’s also the case where bingo is added to existing slot and casino sites.
Most relaunches and redesigns of existing bingo sites don’t make it into our New Bingo Sites listings – just having a new look or upgraded technology doesn’t cut it (although we might write a news item about it if there’s added extras). To qualify, the site needs to have a new bingo welcome offer that is open to everyone even if they’ve played at that site before. This usually happens when there is a software or network migration – for example Sailor Bingo moving from Cozy to Dragonfish 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.
In 2019 bingo was added to a number of Nektan slot and casino sites (some of which had been around for years) and there was also a case (Virgin Games) of a site which had previously had bingo but removed it, adding it back in a year later. We’re expecting more of this in 2020 in connection with Microgaming bingo (of which more later). Merely adding bingo as Mr Green did a couple of years ago isn’t enough, though – to qualify, these sites need to have a bingo related welcome offer.
New account verification rules took effect in May 2019 and apply to new players on any UK licensed site. Previously, players were often only required to prove their identity when they tried to withdraw but now, bingo sites (along with casinos and all other betting sites) have to verify age and identity of a new player before they are allowed to make a deposit or play any games – including free to play and demo games. Most large operators use specialist player verification services that carry out checks behind the scenes but at many new bingo sites this can mean sending in copies of documents such as passports and driving licences before taking up no deposit bingo offers and newbie free bingo rooms.
2019 was a year during which many more bingo sites closed than opened. This was partly due to some exceptional circumstances.
A few years ago before all of the closures, there were three Cozy networks, two Jumpman networks and several Dragonfish networks that were completely separate from each other. The Cozy and Jumpman networks have now gone completely and the distinction between the different Dragonfish networks has become blurred as many rooms including free bingo and jackpot games are shared across multiple networks. The effect of this is to reduce player choice but increase liquidity, making the bingo rooms livelier and prizes larger. Bigger prizes make the bingo more attractive and this brings even more players into the bingo rooms, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing. When there are excessive numbers of players in a bingo room
This does not make for a pleasant player experience even in a free bingo room, and this is why the best new bingo sites on the Dragonfish platform have exclusive as well as networked rooms.
This has been going on for a while because of the Point of Consumption tax which was first introduced in 2014 and extended to bonuses in 2017, but in 2019 redeposit bonuses became very few and far between. Slot spins are far more common than bonus in deposit or play based promotions, and many sites have introduced a free daily game instead, where players can win small amounts of bingo or slot bonus as well as cash and/or free spins.
Here at Best New Bingo Sites we love daily games – we think they really add to the entertainment value, whether the prize is instant or whether you have to collect sets of tokens and redeem for a prize as in the Catford Square game at Kitty Bingo. Arguably the best daily game is Worlds at Tombola. This isn’t free – it costs the princely sum of 1p to play – but has a massive Return To Player of more than 500% and hundreds of daily prizes ranging from £5 – £1000 – a big improvement over their previous game Stars which had to be played every day for a week and which had only one (admittedly rather large) prize each week.
Not all new bingo sites have the facility to add a daily game (it depends on the software), but those that don’t usually either have daily slot spins as part of the loyalty program (Dragonfish), or some form of gamification where players can collect items and redeem for a bonus or bonus game (Jumpman).
The Pragmatic Play bingo product which was first shown at ICE London in February 2018 was finally released, initially as a soft launch at one site only and then across a selection of Nektan sites. A bingo bonus welcome offer coupled with fixed jackpot games in one of the bingo rooms has attracted enough players to make it a serious contender.
At the start of 2019 No Wagering bingo sites and No Wagering slot sites seemed to be on a roll – hugely popular with players and more opening all the time. But in fact, the backlash had already started. BGO, one of the pioneers of No Wagering offers, returned to a more traditional bonus for their welcome offers in late 2018 (although the loyalty scheme remains No Wagering and there is an alternate No Wagering welcome offer for slots). During 2019 some other No Wagering slot sites including the likes of Arcade Spins also returned to an old fashioned bonus offer.
We have a couple of theories about what’s going on here.
At the start of October 2019 the UK Gambling Commission acted to have all slot games offering a “buy the bonus round” option removed from UK bingo and slot sites and casinos. Some of these slots simply disappeared and others had the buy the bonus option disabled. The licensing regime in the UK requires the game providers and games to be licensed as well as the casinos, and in this case the UKGC sent a letter straight to the providers rather than the operators. A few casinos left the games online but to no avail as the providers either switched them off or disabled the bonus buy button server side for UK players.
Having done this once (actually more than once, as that’s also how autoplay restrictions came into force), the UKGC can do it again. What slot feature will be next on the list, we wonder? Gambling the bonus round? Paying to respin one or more reels? Or will they just lower the maximum spin value?
The shadow of Brexit looms over the iGaming industry just as it does over every other industry but online bingo has a special issue – Gibraltar. Many operators have offices and/or servers there (though some have moved to Malta over the last 3 years). Gibraltar is tiny (5km x 1.6km, population around 34,000) and expensive, so up to 10,000 people who work there (around half the Gibraltar workforce) live in Spain and cross the border twice every day. A recent dry run for post Brexit border controls (which will be required, deal or no deal) resulted in a 3-5 hour wait to cross. This is bound to cause massive disruption.
It also remains to be seen how whatever post Brexit trade deal (if any) is eventually agreed will affect cross border digital services; the servers for NetEnt slot games, for instance, are located in the EU.
Here are some of our predictions for the coming year, together with an indication of how likely we think they are to come true.
Yggdrasil’s bingo platform has been in the pipeline for getting on for 2 years now (it was announced at the end of 2017 shortly before the Pragmatic Play product) and has been demo’d at various shows and conferences, but for the last few months everything has gone very quiet.
One of the most exciting features in the demo we saw was the option to include bingo in the mission based promotions that run from time to time across the Yggdrasil network. Typically these involve collecting a certain number of wilds, other symbols or bonus features on 3 or 4 different games in the smallest number of spins possible. The idea of having bingo missions such as collecting wins or patterns included in this type of promotion is certainly an intriguing one, but it may also be partly what’s caused the release to be delayed.
The bingo product was supposedly going to be launched in Sweden before the UK, but this hasn’t happened yet. The Swedish licensing regime which came into force at the start of 2019 bans operators from offering players any bonuses apart from a first deposit bonus and this casts doubt on whether the mission based promotions would even be allowed there.
Microgaming reportedly have a new 30 ball bingo game coming soon and are looking to work with a wider range of operators but again, not much has been heard about this recently. One obstacle is that Microgaming don’t offer a white label solution as far as licensing goes; any operator wanting to open a Microgaming bingo site has to apply for a licence in their own right if they don’t already have one.
An encouraging sign is the addition of remote bingo to Aspire Global’s UK licence, announced at the end of August 2019. We believe this is in connection with Microgaming bingo and look forward to seeing it rolled out at Aspire slot and casino sites, but there’s no indication at this stage as to when it will be available in the UK (it was rumoured to be launching in Denmark first) or whether there will be a bingo focused welcome offer.
A couple of years ago bingo site promotions pages seemed to be wall to wall cuddly toys, fairytale characters and other childish things. Operators are now not allowed to show this kind of imagery publicly; they have to restrict it to logged in, age verified accounts so as not to encourage children to gamble. Even the tiles for slot games in the lobby (if visible without a login) have had to be toned down. Fears that games such as Fluffy Favourites would have to be removed entirely have proved to be unfounded thus far, and currently many bingo sites include Fluffy Favourites spins in their welcome offer. This may have to stop though; 32red were recently in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority just for mentioning the name of a fairytale themed slot game in a Google ad. We could see a situation where (thanks to the new account verification rules for free play) bingo sites are allowed to give out free spins on Fluffy Favourites but are not allowed to tell players which slot they are for until after account verification has been completed!
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.
The problem with playing bingo on mobile, though, is that if there is only a short window before the game starts in which to buy tickets, it’s really easy to get distracted or hit a data blackspot and miss it – and that’s one reason why there is such a big difference in how busy the bingo rooms are at sites with a fully featured pre-buy (Virtue Fusion, Relax Gaming, Gamesys. Microgaming) compared to sites without (Cozy, Jumpman, Dragonfish). With pre-buy, a player can buy tickets for a number of games in one go and then dip in and out of the action – and the chat – at will.
Dip in and out of the chat, that is, if chat is easy to use on a mobile – but in some cases it isn’t, or there isn’t any chat. We believe that removing the chat is very off-putting for bingo players and that mobile players still want to chat. Far from not wanting to chat as often or as long as desktop players, mobile players use the chat just as much as non mobile players (50% of players across all devices, according to our source at Playtech). Some make heavy use of emojis while others type just as past on a mobile as a desktop user would on a regular keyboard.
The move towards mobile play also affects the design of the bingo games themselves and we expect to see many more new bingo games like Buzz Bingo Blast and Tombola Blocks, where players have just one ticket to keep track of and play is super fast. The operator who is best at this is undoubtedly Tombola themselves and their latest game Potion has clearly been designed for maximum playability on phone screens.
If there’s one thing we can be absolutely 100% sure of, it’s that the Gambling Commission will continue to roll out new ways to protect players, from themselves as well as from operators. More of the same, in the form of further social responsibility measures and further restrictions on slot game features or themes would come as no surprise. What you may not be aware of is that the Gambling Commission has recently turned its attention on the use of credit cards for gambling, both on and offline – covering sports betting, casino and lottery as well as bingo. One option under consideration is a complete ban! Restrictions on credit cards could also affect the use of other payment methods such as paysafecard and Paypal which can be funded using a credit card. After a public consultation ending on 6th November 2019, they will announce what measures are to be taken.
Credit card ban or no credit card ban, another thing that’s a dead cert is the ongoing popularity of online bingo and we expect to be able to bring you plenty of new bingo sites to play at throughout 2020 and beyond.
4th December 2019
28th November 2019
27th November 2019
6th November 2019
31st October 2019
28th October 2019