We use cookies to analyse traffic and for ad measurement purposes, including for personalizing ads. Read Our Cookie Policy

igb-logo egr-logo
Bingo VIP & Loyalty Schemes Are Changing

Bingo VIP & Loyalty Schemes Are Changing

Sue Dawson

Why Bingo VIP Schemes Are Changing

In September last year the Gambling Commission announced “strict new guidance” regarding the running of VIP schemes – including those at online bingo sites.  The new rules came into effect on 31st October 2020 and if you’re interested, you can find a summary on the Gamling Commission website.

In short, before making a player a VIP, operators now have to

  1. Check that the player’s spending is “affordable and sustainable as part of leisure spend”
  2. Check for evidence of gambling related harm or vulnerablity to gambling related harm
  3. Obtain up to date evidence of player identity, occupation and source of funds

They then have to continue to check, verify and monitor for possible harm to the VIP player on an ongoing basis.  And that’s not all!  In order to increase accountability, each operator has to appoint a senior executive to have oversight of their VIP scheme and these people will be required to hold a Personal Management Licence from the Gambling Commission, making them personally responsible for the conduct of the scheme.

And there’s more! The section in the guidance on “use of incentives” (2.27 onwards) dumps an ocean of cold water on the way tiered loyalty schemes have been run in the past.  Promoting them “in a manner which results in individuals gambling excessively to obtain or retain a grade of status….which is unsustainable” is now a complete no-no, as is “encouraging risk behaviours such as chasing losses, excessive time or money spent gambling, or accelerating frequency of gambling”.  So say goodbye to schemes where you have to deposit thousands to reach the higher tiers, then spend thousands a month to ensure you stay in the higher tiers!

None of this came as a surprise to industry insiders and indeed much of it had already been put into effect voluntarily over the last year or so – with the result that VIP memberships had already dropped by a hefty 70% even before the new rules were published.

How Bingo VIP Schemes Are Changing

So what has actually happened to VIP and loyalty schemes at online bingo sites as a result of the new guidance?

Well, some loyalty schemes have been completely dropped, notably the ones where you had to spend a lot of money to move up the tiers, and go on spending a lot of money every month in order to avoid being dropped down to a lower level.

  • Jumpman got rid of their loyalty scheme entirely, extended the cashback promotion that was available at higher levels to everyone and introduced some new monthly promotions for everyone.
  • 888 Ladies and sister sites got rid of the Joy of Bingo VIP scheme (another one where you had to keep spending £££ to retain your level) and replaced it with a daily rewards promotion that’s open to everyone and resets every day.
  • Foxy Bingo now gives identical loyalty benefits to all players that opt into their ongoing cashback promotion.
  • Robin Hood Bingo and sister sites no longer have any sort of loyalty programme.

Other sites have retained tiered loyalty schemes, but with one or more of the following features:

  1. Loyalty level is based on the previous month’s or week’s play ONLY.  You can be busy with other stuff for a while then swiftly return to your previous level.  Dragonfish have had a scheme like this for years, of course.
  2. Loyalty level is based on lifetime behaviour but you can never drop down to a lower level – such as at Costa Bingo where level is set by lifetime deposits.
  3. There is not much difference between levels – as at Mecca Bingo where higher levels get to collect play points at a slightly better rate, but that’s the only benefit.

One operator, however, has taken the trouble to build a new player rewards scheme that complies with the new rules.  Step forward Gala Rewards at Gala BingoGala Rewards

  • Gala Rewards is a 10 level loyalty programme which resets every month.  Your level is determined by points scored during the previous month.
  • You collect one point for each £40 deposited, one point for each £100 of slots play and one point for each £15 of bingo play.
  • You also score Lifetime Points each month – 5 points for each complete calendar year since account registration, up to a maximum of 25 points. So the longer you’ve been a Gala player, the easier it is to reach the next level.
  • At higher levels, you get access to exclusive promotions including deposit offers, prize draws, cashback and invitation only bingo rooms.  So no automatic free stuff – just the opportunity to participate in exclusive promotions if you want to.
  • Levels 6 and up are not available to players under 25 (this is to comply with recently introduced advertising guidelines).
  • Level 10 is by invitation only and Gala don’t provide any information about eligibility or benefits.

Essentially Gala Rewards is exactly what its name implies – a rewards scheme rather than an incentives scheme. It doesn’t really encourage players to deposit or spend more than they would normally do, particularly not on an ongoing basis – but it rewards them for playing at Gala, and continuing to play at Gala, rather than going somewhere else.  An absolutely key part of the scheme is the participatory nature of the rewards and the sense of community in the invitation only bingo rooms; visit Gala Spins (the slots only sister site) and you’ll see that instead of running a similar scheme to Gala Rewards, the operator has opted for something completely different – mission based gamification.







Ask us a question


Welcome offer paid in bingo bonus (bingo bonus can be used only in bingo rooms), new players only. 3x bingo, 50x casino wagering required. Max bet £6.25 until completed. Game weighting applies. 2 day bonus expiry. eWallets & prepaid cards excluded. T&Cs apply. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Play Responsibly | Minimum deposit of £10 , Play with £50 and Get 150 Free Spins. | Offer must be claimed within 48 hrs of you registering an account. *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

First Deposit Only. Min. deposit: £10, max. Bonus £50. Game: Star Joker, Spin Value: £0.05. WR of 30x Deposit + Bonus amount and 60x Free Spin winnings amount (only Slots count) within 30 days. Max bet is 10% (min £0.10) of the free spin winnings and bonus amount or £5 (lowest amount applies). Free Spins must be used before deposited funds. First Deposit/Welcome Bonus can only be claimed once every 72 hours across all Casinos. Bonus Policy applies. *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

Claim once only, min cash buy-in £20, max bonus £250 plus 20 free spins, valid 7 days, cash buy-in & winnings playable on classic slots, 20x WR(cash buy-in & the buy-in bonus), max £2 stake, free spins bonus and winnings playable on Starburst only, free spins carry no wagering. Keep It Fun - set your deposit limit. T&Cs apply *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

First time depositors only (18+ UK exc. NI). Min Deposit £10. Max Offer 300 Free Bingo Tickets [250 on Street Party & 50 on Big Bang] & 25 Pending Free Spins [on a game of our choice]. Free Spins winnings are capped at £2.5. All winnings are credited to real money balance. Free Spins will be available once £5 of deposit funds have been wagered and expire after 7 days. Promo code: BFF300. We reserve the right to deny promotional offers based on abusive bonus activity across sites operated by the Company. Deposit balance available for withdrawal at any time (UK only). General withdrawal restrictions & full T&Cs apply. Valid until further notice *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

18+. New Casino players only. Deposit required. Min bet £10 on qualifying games. 40x wager reqs (bonus only) on selected games. £50 Bonus + 10 Free Spins for a selected game. Accept within 14 days. Valid for 30 days. Spins value £0.25 each. Certain deposit types excluded. Player restrictions & T&Cs Apply. *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

New players only. 1st ever deposit: win a Matchup Bonus up to 10X your deposit amount (£3,000 max bonus), 2nd and 3rd ever deposit: win a Matchup Bonus up to 10X your deposit amount (£1,000 max bonus), £10 min fund for all 3 offers. Max bonus conversion equal to lifetime deposits (up to £250), 65x WAGERING REQUIREMENTS and full T&Cs apply *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

This offer is only available for first time depositors. Min deposit is £10. 50 Free Spins on Book of Dead. Spin Value: £0.10. After your first deposit you may claim your 30 Extra Free Spins by visiting the Kicker Section. No min withdrawal. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. This offer is only available for specific players that have been selected by PlayOJO. If you have arrived on this page not via the designated offer via PlayOJO you will not be eligible for the offer. OJO’s Rewards and Game Play policy applies *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad

New Players Only 18+. Minimum Deposit: £10. Maximum Offer: 250% Bonus up to £35 & 20 Spins on Starburst. Bonus & Spins winnings must be wagered 35x before withdrawal. Spins expire after 24hrs. Promo Code: 250. Withdrawal & full T&Cs apply. Valid until 31/12/2021. *18+ BeGambleAware.org Please play responsibly #ad