Virtue Fusion Bingo Sites
Virtue Fusion is basically the gold standard as far as bingo software goes and the ideal place to start if you’ve never played online bingo before. In terms of sheer numbers of players the Virtue Fusion bingo network is rivalled only by Tombola; at busy times there can be thousands or even tens of thousands of players online and while this makes the chance of winning the game in question remote, the prizes can be HUGE.
- History of Virtue Fusion
- What’s Special About Virtue Fusion
- Virtue Fusion Bingo Games
- Virtue Fusion Slots
- Virtue Fusion Promotions
- Virtue Fusion – The Future
History of Virtue Fusion
Virtue Fusion (Alderney) was originally founded around the turn of the millennium and concentrated on the online bingo product from 2005 onwards, getting a significant boost from the launch of Deal Or No Deal Bingo in partnership with Endemol in 2009. Deal Or No Deal Bingo is still hugely popular today.
In 2010 Virtue Fusion was bought by Playtech as one in a series of very canny acquisitions by the iGaming giant, later to include ECM systems who make electronic bingo devices for bingo halls and Eyecon, the maker of Fluffy Favourites, the favourite slot of many a bingo player.
In 2016, Virtue Fusion bingo sites began to migrate away from the old platform which needed Adobe Flash to run and therefore wasn’t suitable for mobile devices, on to the new HTML5 platform. The new style lobby was not particularly popular with players and many established bingo sites gave existing players the choice between Flash and HTML5. New games such as Cash Cubes and the Gala exclusive Emmerdale Bingo were only available on HTML5 and new Virtue Fusion sites which launched from summer 2016 onwards were also only available on HTML5.
Since then Virtue Fusion have brought out a number of new bingo games, some across the network and some exclusive to certain operators.
What’s Special About Virtue Fusion
You’ve heard of people who are famous for being famous, well one reason Virtue Fusion bingo sites are so popular is because they’re popular. The sheer numbers of players have a very positive effect on the size of the prizes and the liveliness of the bingo rooms – which in turn attracts even more players.
Virtue Fusion bingo sites are most definitely not all the same. Playtech give operators lots of opportunity to customise with exclusive bingo rooms, exclusive promotions, operator configured welcome offers and the use of game features such as Roll On, 1TG/2TG, Last Chance Saloon etc
For example, in the case of the free room for newbies that is commonly found at Virtue Fusion sites the operator decides when their newbie room should be open, what the prizes should be (including whether they should be bingo bonus or cash) and how long new players get access for. Contrast that with Dragonfish where all new players across the network get access to the network free bingo room at fixed times.
On networks such as the Dragonfish Network, when you play in a network bingo room the chat host is the same whichever site you are playing from and you can see the chat from all the other players from other sites on the network.
This is not the case at Virtue Fusion; each site has its own chat and chat hosts, with each chat host typically covering several rooms on the site. That means that the sites have much more of a community feel about them and that they are also able to run exclusive chat game promotions.
Players can also add other players they meet in the chat rooms to a friends list and see when they are online.
At Virtue Fusion players can buy tickets for any bingo game up to a week in advance (as long as they satisfy any room entry requirement). The only exception is free games where tickets have to be claimed shortly before the game starts.
This is very powerful plus point for Virtue Fusion bingo sites as it means players with busy lives can still participate in big money games – and it also ensures that participation levels remain high enough for the big money games to continue to be offered.
Virtue Fusion Bingo Games
One very strong plus point of Virtue Fusion is the choice of different types of bingo game.
Deal Or No Deal Bingo
Deal Or No Deal Bingo is perhaps the most perennially popular bingo variant ever released. It is basically 75 or 90 ball bingo with a DOND bonus game that makes it more interactive for everyone – the winner gets to choose whether to accept the Banker’s offer and everyone else in the room can vote on what they should do.
Rainbow Riches Bingo
Rainbow Riches Bingo is a fast moving 40 ball bingo game themed on the UK’s best known slot machine and is played on cards with 8 numbers arranged as two 4 leaf clovers; the prizes are for 1 clover and full house. It has three community jackpots and a bonus collection feature.
Cash Cubes was the first Virtue Fusion bingo variant to be released for HTML5 only. It is a one card, multi stake game designed to play well on mobile devices and has 36 balls and 12 numbers arranged around 4 cubes. The prize is for completing all 4 cubes, but any cubes completed are added to the bonus collection feature which pays out at 50 cubes.
Age Of The Gods Bingo
Age of the Gods Bingo is 90 ball bingo with an extra feature game, based on the Age of the Gods Slots jackpot game, that plays occasionally and awards a jackpot.
Fluffy Favourites Bingo
Fluffy Favourites Bingo is also 90 ball bingo with an occasional feature game, this time based on bonus rounds from the slot game.
Many Virtue Fusion bingo sites have their own exclusive bingo games and usually these are a reskin of a game engine already in use:
- 50 ball traditional – e.g. Coconut Island at Gala, BOB at Mecca
- 50 ball single ticket/multi stake – e.g. Emoji & Burst at Mecca, Brit50 & Mystic Meg at Sun
- 40 ball (Rainbow Riches) – e.g. Tipping Point at Sky
- 36 ball (Cash Cubes) – Winning Headlines at Sun, Buzz Bingo Blast
- 90 ball + bonus game – The Chase at Gala
There was even an operator exclusive reskin of DOND bingo (Big Banker Bingo at Gala) but this never really caught on and has now been removed.
Virtue Fusion Slots
Clover Rollover, Cleopatra’s Chest, Bouncy Balls, Big Top Tombola, Fairest of Them All, Fireworkz Blitz, Mafia Millions and Winnings of Oz are all popular progressive jackpot slots that are only available at Virtue Fusion bingo sites. Some are Virtue Fusion slots (which can be played as mini games in the bingo rooms) and others are by other Playtech subsidiaries such as Ash Gaming. A selection of Eyecon slots including Fluffy Favourites can also be played from inside the bingo lobby.
Most but not all Virtue Fusion sites also have a range of Playtech slots. These can’t be played from inside the bingo client and in some cases – typically at big bookies such as Paddy Power Bingo – players need to go to an attached Playtech casino that can be played with the same wallet and login. Age of the Gods, DC Comics, Gladiator, Sporting Legends and Kingdoms Rise are some of the games that can be accessed in this way.
Virtue Fusion bingo sites have some of the very best bingo promotions out there, whether networked or exclusive.
Guaranteed prize funds
These run over the last weekend of every month, at other regular times and as part of seasonal specials.
In an escalator jackpot, the number of calls within which the full house must be won for the room jackpot to drop is gradually incremented until the jackpot is won. For example, the normal number of calls for the jackpot in the 90 ball network room is 33. Typically when Virtue Fusion run an escalator in this room, it starts at 6pm on the specified day and the ball count is incremented by 2 every hour, on the hour. If the jackpot hasn’t dropped by 11.45pm the ball count goes to 90 ensuring that it will drop in the next game. These jackpots are always split 50/50 between the FH winner or winners and the tickets held by all other players, so whenever this promotion runs the room goes crazy with everyone piling in and maxing out on tickets.
Operators can run escalators in their exclusive rooms too, and some do; Buzz Bingo ran one for their first birthday which was a whopping £100,000.
Stake & get
A stake and get promotion is of the form “spend xxx cash on y game and get z”. They are all operator exclusives. Z is usually a bonus but may also be free spins or even a share of a prize pot. In its purest form the promotion does not include any requirement to make a deposit but at some sites (Gala for instance) it is typically “deposit and spend” rather than just “spend”.
Lossback / winboost
A lossback promotion awards a percentage of cumulative losses back as a bonus or cash – not to be confused with a stakeback which awards a percentage of stakes. A winboost promotion adds an extra percentage to cumulative wins.
Slot prize draws
Virtue Fusion have run vast networked slot prize draws in the past under the banner “million pound slots prize draw” but now it seems to be more common for operators to run their own exclusive draws. Typically players get one entry for each £10 of play on the slots on the list and one may be designated as a double ticket slot.
Most but not all Virtue Fusion sites (Sun Bingo is one that doesn’t) pay winnings from free spins in cash with no wagering requirements.
Networked or not?
Virtue Fusion sites are notoriously bad at making it clear to players when a promotion is networked; to find out, either read the small print in the promotion T&C which will say something along the lines of “These are enhanced schedules run by Virtue Fusion and available to all members of participating Virtue Fusion websites” or simply visit a couple of other Virtue Fusion sites to check whether they are also running the promotion.
Virtue Fusion – The Future
It has been clear since 2016 that the Virtue Fusion name is going to be gradually phased out and everything rebranded to Playtech but despite the newest Virtue Fusion site Buzz Bingo not having any Virtue Fusion branding at all this hasn’t yet had much of an effect. The Virtue Fusion name remains in the licensing of the smaller sites on the network, in the small print of network promotions and – more importantly – in the minds of players.
The intention was also to expand the Virtue Fusion / Playtech bingo product beyond the big name sites with a number of launches of new sites for smaller operators on the HTML platform, but on the whole this was not a success and there are very few of these smaller Virtue Fusion bingo sites left in operation today. Bogof Bingo and Bingo With Kerry, for example, are now closed. The initial unpopularity of the HTML5 lobby was certainly a factor but there are some other reasons:
- Opening a Virtue Fusion bingo site is expensive – not only is the platform itself more expensive than others, but there is no network chat so the operator has to hire a number of chat hosts.
- Even with the inclusion of Eyecon slots the range of slots that are playable from inside the Virtue Fusion bingo lobby is not great. The big bookies get round this by having lots of other slots products that can be played with the same login and wallet as their bingo product and other large players such as Gala and Mecca have a big selection of slots seamlessly integrated into their site in a separate tab. Smaller operators could add more slots (at a price!) by taking a product called Portal which gave their players access to a wider range of slots but even with this they were not really able to compete with the large sites.
- Smaller sites are also unable to offer the range of exclusive bingo rooms and exclusive bingo games that the larger operators have.
In short, to make a success of a Virtue Fusion bingo site requires a big organisation (a national newspaper, a big bookie, a TV or radio station, a casino giant), but most of the large organisations that might wish to get involved in the online bingo world already operate a Virtue Fusion bingo site. So don’t expect there to be any new Virtue Fusion bingo site launches any time soon.
So, the 64 million dollar question is….what to do if you’ve already got an account at every single Virtue Fusion bingo site (as we’re pretty sure some of you have)?
As all Virtue Fusion bingo sites are different, the answer is simple. Pick the one you like best for whatever reason – range of games, customer service, promotions, wagering requirements (or lack thereof) – and concentrate your play there to make the most of any loyalty scheme they have.