Why Slot Tournaments Needed Reinventing
Slot tournaments are not a new idea. Bingo and slots sites have been running promotions for many years that involve playing slots competitively against other players.
In the earliest slot tournaments, scoring was based on total wagering which meant they were basically competitions to see who could spend the most money. Since then the Gambling Commission has tightened up restrictions on operators and in 2022 they take a very dim view of inducing players to spend more than they intended to. That’s not all that was wrong with those early tournaments, either – if you weren’t a high roller, there was no point participating at all as there was ZERO chance of winning anything.
More recently, scoring has been based on wins relative to stake which means that someone playing at minimum stake has just as much chance of winning as someone playing at maximum stake. But even in this type of tournament, players can get carried away and spend more than they intended, especially if there’s no limit on the number of spins allowed or if there is a limit but it’s high.
Entain To The Rescue
Now Entain, who pride themselves on their player protection measures, have come up with some slot tournament promotions that are suitable for all levels of spend and commitment. The tournaments run every day until further notice and can be found in a tab called “Slots-Tournaments” in the lobby at Gala Bingo and a tab called “Showdown” at Foxy Bingo. You can opt in to any tournament that’s listed (use the plus button to see info about later tournaments) and once the tournament is live, hit the Play Now button to take part.
Once you’ve played your spins, you can use the “i” button any time up until the end of the tournament to see where you are on the leaderboard and there’s also a See Your results button at the bottom of the page for seeing where you finished in any past tournaments you entered.
Slots Tournaments at Gala Bingo
Entain experimented a bit with the format to start with and have now come up with the following:
- Tournaments start at 7pm (BST) every day and run for 24 hours so players can drop in any time
- The featured slot game changes every day (all are Entain exclusives).
- At Gala the tournaments are all completely free to enter (for eligible players with an account)
- Everyone gets 20 tournament spins to play with. These are not real money and don’t affect your real money balance – their sole purpose is to determine where you end up on the leaderboard.
- Scoring is based on number and size of wins (1 point for each win plus points for stake multipliers, e.g. 25 points for winning 10x stake). You also score a point for 3 losses in a row. Get a really good bonus round and win 250x stake to collect the top score of 1000 points and rocket up the leaderboard.
- The prize pool is 10,000 free spins (with a 48 hour expiry and winnings paid in cash). It can be split differently on different days of the week (depending on which game is featured in the tournament) but typically hundreds of players (out of the 20,000+ that take part) win something.
Showdown at Foxy Bingo
Entain have also been experimenting with the format at Foxy Bingo.
- At one point they were alternating free to enter 20 spin tournaments with pay tournaments in which players could play up to 50 spins at a minimum spin value of 10p (so still cheap to enter and with cash prizes); it was possible to continue and play another 50 spins to try and improve your score but as all of the tournaments only lasted 30 minutes there wasn’t really time for much of that.
- Currently (May 2022) there are several Showdowns a day and all are free to enter.
- Showdowns last 2 hours and players get 50 tournament spins (again, these are not real money).
- The scoring is a bit simpler in Showdown than it is at Gala. You score points for a win, points for 3 consecutive losses and points for a win that is 10x stake or more. So while getting a great bonus round in Showdown certainly adds to the entertainment, it’s not as helpful as you might think for winning the tournament.
- The prize pool varies according to the time of day and the prize distribution according to the featured slot but again, typically hundreds of players win free spins each time.
Not only does everyone have an equal chance of winning in these tournaments, the only thing it costs players to enter is the time it takes to opt in and complete the tournament spins. And as there’s no wagering requirements on the free spins you can win, there really is zero downside to participating in these tournaments.
The big questions are:
Will there be any further changes to the format at either site?
Will Entain roll out this format of slot tournament to their other sites Coral Bingo and Ladbrokes Bingo or will it remain exclusively at Gala and Foxy? (Ladbrokes does have something very similar but it’s for live game shows rather than slots).