It’s been a long time coming, and some people thought it would never happen, but Gala Bingo has finally moved all of its 20+ bingo rooms off the Virtue Fusion network, replacing the Playtech bingo product with Entain‘s proprietary bingo software.
This move has been brewing ever since the autumn of 2018 when Foxy Bingo became the first bingo site to run on the proprietary software (itself an evolution of the old Cozy Gaming bingo product) and the writing has been on the wall for Gala since last year when Entain (or GVC as they were then known) moved first Coral Bingo and then Ladbrokes Bingo on to the new platform. Gala has a much bigger player base than the other two sites had so Entain were quite understandably reluctant to move it too hastily; although the back end of the site was moved to the Entain platform some time ago (massively improving the selection of slot games and enabling them to offer free spins on a wide variety of games) the Virtue Fusion bingo product stayed as it was. There was even speculation that it would stay like that until 2025 (when Entain’s current deal with Playtech runs out). Earlier this year, though, planning for the migration began and now it has finally happened.
But what does it mean for players? First of all, because the back end of the site isn’t changing everything apart from the bingo is as it was before.
The first thing you will notice when you try the new bingo software is that it once you get into a bingo room, it’s hard to work out how to get back to the lobby. In fact, once you’ve looked inside three bingo rooms you will find that you have to remove one before you can bring the lobby up again and that when you do, the lobby takes up to 15 seconds to load- which is disappointing and annoying if you’re used to the Virtue Fusion lobby.
Once inside the lobby, it’s not what you’d expect if you’re familiar with other Entain sites. At first glance lots of the bingo rooms are unchanged – but are they really?
- What’s Gone
- What’s New
- What’s Changed Behind The Scenes
- What’s Stayed (Mostly) The Same
- What Looks The Same But Isn’t
- Where To Play Instead
- Rainbow Riches Bingo
- 75 ball pattern bingo
- Some of Gala’s regular promotions including the Roy’s Rolls scratchcard
- Virtue Fusion network promotions including big money games and progressive jackpots (which Gala players have contributed to)
- Any unused bingo bonus you may have had (warnings were issued about this apparently but since Gala were giving out welcome bonuses until just before the move some players have been complaining in the chat)
- Some of the free bingo
- Most of the features like 1TG/2TG and Roll On
- For mobile players, slot games inside the bingo rooms (they are still available when playing on a computer or tablet)
- Fluffy Favourites Bingo – the Entain version of Fluffy Favourites Bingo is completely different to the Virtue Fusion version (36 ball multi stake instead of 90 ball regular)
- 30 ball bingo
What’s Changed Behind The Scenes
The networking is what makes the difference to players; many rooms at Gala remain networked but instead of being connected to the huge Virtue Fusion player base, they are connected to other Entain sites including Coral Bingo and Foxy Bingo. This means the prizes are smaller – in some cases much smaller.
|Gala Room Name||Game Type||Coral Room Name||Foxy Room Name|
|Castle||90 ball||Bargain||No Fox Given|
|Metropolis||90 ball||Arena||Forever Foxy|
|Deal Or No Deal 90||90 ball||Deal Or No Deal 90||Deal Or No Deal 90|
|Deal Or No Deal 75||75 ball||Deal Or No Deal 75||Deal Or No Deal 75|
|Rush||30 ball||Speedball||Dirty Gertie|
|80 Ball||80 ball||Level 80||80 Matey|
|75 Ball||5 line||5 Star||Foxy Hideaway|
|Fluffy Favourites||36 ball||Fluffy Favourites||Fluffy Favourites|
The rest of the rooms are exclusive to Gala, which means that player numbers and prize sizes are very much dependent on retaining the player base after the switch.
What’s Stayed (Mostly) The Same
- Perhaps most importantly, your chat name – so you can still recognise your bingo buddies!
- Bingo Beats – The Gala exclusive single ticket 50 ball game has been recreated on the Entain software with the same player base
- Coconut Island – The new Entain version of Gala’s 50 ball bingo game plays like the original and has some multi stake games like the original, but all of the fun theming is gone
- Coronation Street Bingo – the game has been recreated complete with the Golden Cobbles jackpot but with much lighter theming; the Corrie themed mini games are gone and so is the facility to watch clips from the TV series
- TV Specials – The Chase Bingo and Emmerdale Bingo have been recreated but again, the theming is a lot lighter. Accrued Emmerdale bonuses have apparently disappeared.
- Cashpot Bingo – the Cash Wheel bonus game remains
- Almost all of the games that aren’t bingo (some that were only available inside the bingo rooms have gone)
- Gala Rewards scheme
- Gala Jackpots – the hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and Bingo Boss jackpots have been transferred but you can no longer see how close to dropping they are
What Looks The Same But Isn’t
Deal Or No Deal Bingo – the Entain version of this has just been introduced. It plays the same as the Virtue Fusion version in both 75 and 90 ball versions, but not only does it look different – as can be seen in the screenshot, the classic red boxes have been replaced with silver briefcases – but Entain’s version of Deal Or No Deal Bingo also currently has smaller prizes and fewer players than Virtue Fusion and no progressive jackpot (although one is due to be added, at least temporarily, for a special promotion).
The Allsorts bingo room, which used to run several different bingo variants, is now apparently just a 90 ball room
The Rush bingo room is now 30 ball rather than speed 90 ball
Free Bingo Tickets – Entain run free bingo ticket promotions from time to time and just as at Virtue Fusion, free bingo tickets can be redeemed in selected bingo rooms in games with a ticket price of 10p or less. They are a lot less flexible than at Virtue Fusion though as they can’t be used to pre-buy and there’s no option to switch back to cash until all the tickets have been used.
Where To Play Instead
If you have been playing at Gala and don’t like the new platform, there are several Virtue Fusion bingo sites you could consider moving to. Buzz Bingo in particular have just added Housey to their repertoire; they already had both Deal or No Deal bingo games, Fluffy Favourites and Rainbow Riches plus the Buzz specials Buzz Bingo Blast and The Voice UK. They’ve also got the Spirit Twister equal chance 5 line bingo game (which Gala never added). Session bingo is coming next week – always a good standby if you can’t decide what to play when – and they will also be getting the Virtue Fusion version of the Bingo Beats game.
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