Bingo experts are telling us which are the best bingo sites in the UK, check out their criteria and play bingo the safe way. Bingo is growing in popularity, and it is a favorite pastime for many citizens. New rooms are popping out on the internet, which can make it quite confusing for new players. There are a few good bingo sites, but still beginners have a hard time to choose.
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In this guide, we are offering you expert advice on how to determine which the best online bingo sites in the UK are. The knowledge and results presented here are a result of testing more than 100 UK websites. If you are a new player here, you will find everything you need to start in the world of online gaming. The information is also useful for experienced players who can discover new bonus opportunities.
You may ask, why is it so important to play at one of the best sites in the country? After November 2014 after a change in the law many operators received a gaming license, but more than 30% still have an offshore license. Having a foreign license makes it hard to determine if the operator is reputable or not. So, to play safe, you need to know which are the best online bingo sites and stick to them in the beginning. After you have learned more about the gambling world and you can make your research and check, then you can try new sites.
In the table above you can see the top 10 taken from all the websites we’ve evaluated. Note that to rank them we haven’t only considered their welcome offers, but many of their other features such as security, trustworthiness, customer support and payment methods. In fact, we left out of the ranking all the operators that failed to prove their legitimacy and safety. For all the others we’ve written detailed reviews including further information about their performance and offers.
In this guide, we want to give you enough information so that you can judge the bingo sites on your own. You will learn to recognize and avoid the unsafe ones. We have evaluated more than 100 sites to help you make a well-informed decision.
How do we test?
We try to provide online players with useful advice and to offer reviews of the best sites on the Internet. What we do to grade the operators is play the actual games, test the mobile platform and the support. It is important to go all the way and even deposit some money to try out the bonus system and its conditions. Another important step is to test the withdrawal process to see how long it takes and what are the requirements. Next to that we conduct research to find out if the operators have won any industry awards. We also take into consideration the opinions of other players. Here are the main factors we have been looking at:
- Wagering requirements
- Payout requirements, methods, and rates
- Mobile app
- Fair & responsible gaming
- Loyalty rewards
- Customer support
- Slot games
- Social aspect
If we are very happy with some of the operators we give them bonus points. These points are given for unique qualities that each site may have like great customer service, large choice of games, fast payments and a variety of payment methods, etc. Operators are then ranked according to the points each one gets. This ranking is impartial, but the grades do reflect our views. This industry is quite dynamic so that the ranking may change over time. Make sure you check back here for the latest updates.
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How to find the best bingo sites out there?
When comparing bingo sites we go far beyond looking at the games and welcome bonuses. We believe there are many other important factors to consider before starting an account at a given site. It is important always to start with the licensing; this is the point that can make it or break it. All the other factors are important too, but they are related to the experience you get on the site while the license has to do with legal requirements and safety. You can make a short overview of our site through this infographic.
Licensing and legal considerations
Why is licensing so important? At the end of 2014, a new law has been introduced in the UK. According to this law all operators in the UK that want to offer service or advertise gambling need to obtain a license from the UKGC.
There is also a new profit tax rate for the gambling operators. Since the tax is high, many operators were functioning under oversees agreements and licenses. This might not seem important when it comes to players, but it concerns them a lot.
The new regulation means that you are sure of what is legal or not, and you can trust the site since it is not licensed in some foreign jurisdiction you may not know anything about. So, you are aware of your rights better too. According to the UK Gambling Commission, the new law will increase the transparency and player protection. However, the license is not the only thing you should check. It would be great if you could also find out if the owner of the company pays their taxes. In our ranking we first these two factors before proceeding with the rest of the criteria.
What we want to offer here are not only a list or results from research but structured information and useful skill. We think that to be able to find the best sites is a valuable skill. Read on to find out what are the simple techniques that will work for you. The first step is to check the license and then read the reviews on the site that caught your eye. Player reviews will give you a lot of useful information about the operator and what they have to offer. You can easily find reviews online, using the keywords best sites UK reviews or opinions.
The legal part of gambling is boring for many, but it is important to know the basics when it comes to bingo sites and bingo networks. That is why here we are trying to explain it in simple terms without confusing terminology and fine print.
Two of the most asked questions recently are how to be secure while playing bingo online and who is responsible for my security? As mentioned above the first sign that you are playing on a safe bingo site is a valid license from the UK Gambling Commission. The presence of such a license means that you can be confident in the legality of the operator.
But who guarantees that the operator is fair, and the game results are random? The UK Gambling Commission has approved 10 test houses to make sure the game results are fair. These agencies provide a seal of approval which is usually located in the footer of the majority of UK bingo sites. Always check if a site has a seal of approval from one of the agencies. Here are three of the agencies:
- eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assistance – Also known as eCogra – a London-based company established in 2003, which does annual testing of applicants and provides player protection. It is also guaranteeing fair gaming and responsible operator behavior.
- Technical System Testing (Gaming Laboratories International) – Also known as the TST (GLI). It is a testing lab that has been 20 years in the industry. It operates in more than 475 jurisdictions worldwide and specializes in functional and compliance evaluations.
- iTech Labs – An established industry leader with more than ten years experience. It does regular checks and tests every year and providing reports and audits about the operators in a certain market.
What is bingo according to the UK Gambling Law?
The UK Law is not very specific about bingo. The UK Gambling Act of 2005 defines bingo as “any version of that game, irrespective of by what name it is described”. According to the Act, there should be separate licenses for bingo and casino and bingo is not part of the other games in a casino sections.
With a note from 2014, the UK Gambling Commission aimed to make a difference between lottery, bingo and casino games. After a discussion with industry experts and representatives, some important agreements were reached. Bingo must have clearly defined end point; it must provide equal chances to win and involve participation from the player. It is important to clarify what equal chances are. The game should be equally favorable to all participants and should not require putting a stake against a bank. The stake is the amount of money that is risked and later used to calculate the prize. Here comes the difference with the bingo, where all tickets have the same cost, so you cannot bet more. Of course, you can buy more tickets, but the prize is not calculated based on that. So, no matter how many tickets you buy if you are playing for the same jackpot. It can be concluded that you do not make stakes in bingo games, but rather participate with a fee. So the game is equal chances to win because you are not buying a chance to win a larger prize but more chances to win the same one. When it comes to the level of participation, there should always be human interaction with the game. In online bingo, you still initiate the game, fund your account, etc. The final point concerns the result of the game; there should always be an n aim and a point in which the game is terminated, which is the case with bingo as well.
The welcome bonus is the next thing to consider when looking for the best bingo sites. Keep in mind that even if a bingo site offers a huge welcome bonus the wagering requirements might be too heavy, and there are not more than two bingo rooms available. In the long run, it is more important to find a trustworthy operator, where the game portfolio is regularly updated, you get nice loyalty bonuses and awards, and the deposits are easy to make.
Bingo Rooms and Slots
Despite all the promos, offers and bonuses undoubtedly the most important feature of a bingo site are the games. Most sites offer 70/95- ball games and a selection of slots, but not much more. The game selection depends a lot on the software provider and what the operator can afford. There are major software providers like Microgaming, Cozy Games, Dragonfish, etc., and their network of sites offers more or less the same rooms. However, there are some websites, powered by proprietary software sites like Gala, which can surprise you with some branded games.
Mobile compatibility is another important point among the best bingo sites. Mobile gambling is a growing trend because it is very convenient and there are some very well developed mobile apps. The leaders of the bingo industry are already present in mobile devices via an app. You can choose from native and mobile apps when it comes to bingo products.
All the major bingo brands have developed special apps for IOS products, and most people prefer the native apps, but cashing in and out is often impossible. Sites like Wink, 888 Ladies and Posh have well -functioning mobile cashiers, but, unfortunately, there are many bingo operators who do not.
Native apps are a rarity when it comes to Android users because Google store does not allow gambling apps. To download such an app, you need to adjust the settings of your device to be able to download from an unknown source and get the app from the site of the operator. Not downloading a native app has its advantages – you play in a browser, and you do not need to download anything, you do not provide access to your contacts, calendar or camera.
There are not many options for Windows users yet. Although the majority of good offers are not available, 888 Ladies is working on developing a Windows
Payment methods, fees, and security
Payments and finances are another key requirements that the best sites should fulfill. They must have an easy to use cashier. A big part of that is the security of financial data. When you provide your banking details, you need to be sure how they are used and how fast is the transaction process.
Here are some more details on how to ensure the security of your financial data.
- Security protocols – Sites use SSL protocol to ensure that there is a safe channel between two devices working over the internet. Usually, when the SSL protocol is active, you get a pop-up notification.
- Security seal – If a cashier has a security seal from one of the big payment providers it can be considered quite safe and well operating. Here are some of the big names in this industry are GoDaddy, TrustWave, and Safecharge.
- Payment Method – Most people shop online using a debit card like Visa, Master, Maestro and these are accepted payment methods by gambling sites as well. But there are alternative payment methods depending on the operator. Skrill and Neteller are popular payment options in the UK. It is nice to have alternatives, but the most convenient way is to be able to pay with the most convenient method across different operators. There are some disadvantages that you should keep in mind. Services like Skrill come with either annual or administrative fees.
- If you want hassle-free transactions, there are two payment methods we recommend – PayPal and Paysafecard. With PayPal, you need to open an account, but there are no annual or administrative fees to worry about. Another great advantage of using PayPal is that you do not need to provide your banking details to the operator. All you need to deposit and withdraw money from a bingo operator is a username and a password- no codes, bank numbers, etc.
- Paysafecard is a prepaid voucher that you can buy at a kiosk or gas-station. You get a 16-digit code, which you can enter on an online bingo site, and you will fund your account with the prepaid sum. Safe, quick and easy. The big drawback is that you cannot withdraw money using the same method. Paysafecard is perfect to deposit money on a site that you are just testing, or you have not decided to commit.
This is another important feature of a good bingo site. You should always be sure that if you need assistance, there is someone to answer your questions and help you out. The efficient Customer Support service is the feature that can help you differentiate the reputable websites from the fake ones. The customer support agents are helpful and reliable, and you can ask them for advice on all matters. Top operators offer a lot of ways to get in touch through various channels. Toll-free phone number, live chat, social media support these are all a must. Quick mail response time is also an important part of the quality support service. A short and structured contact form and a full FAQ section are very helpful. Big brands go even a step further; they offer a 24/7 support. Check the helps tabs; they usually contain questions that have already been answered. Operators offer a variety of betting services, apart from bingo are much more flexible and have a better-established support system. The drawback is that their help section is so full of information that it gets hard to find what you need. Check all these features well before grading their efficiency. We did that to rank the best bingo sites in the UK.
Top bingo sites are not only focused on attracting more and more new customers, but also in retaining the loyal ones. Since the competition is so big, welcome bonuses and no deposit offers, are not enough. No matter how huge the bonus is, when you are not lucky in the games you naturally get frustrated. Plus there are website hoppers who play until they use their free gifts and then move on to the next site. VIP clubs are a must in the bingo world. They motivate customers to climb the ladder and get rewards. To keep players intrigues some of the best sites offer personal account managers, exclusive bonuses, and attractive preferential offers. Loyalty points are an often used scheme which awards points for each ticket purchase, which can later be converted to freebies or rewards. The easy conversion of points and the diversity of rewards are vital. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could swap your points for a family holiday, a dinner or shopping vouchers? Some big bingo sites occasionally give away tangible rewards that have nothing to do with the bingo and games in general. The major operators may even give away cars, laptops or phones. These types of rewards are hard to miss. So, operators that offer such promos got bonus points from us during our evaluation.
Awards are another important sign that a site is reputable. Although it may seem that people do not care about them, they are there for a reason. It is just like Leonardo DiCaprio winning his Oscar. The same is valid for the gambling awards; operators work very hard to achieve recognition of this kind. eGR Award is the Oscar of the gambling industry. There are two events connected to this award. The biggest names among best bingo sites are competing for the eGR Operator Award on a special ceremony. The second one is for the B2B sector which is about innovation in the sector. Both ceremonies are annual. Winners of the eGR B2B prize have some of the biggest software providers in the industry like Dragonfish – the provider behind giants in the online gambling market like Wink, 888 Ladies and Posh. PayPal was the recent winner for the Innovation in Payment Solutions, which is a well-deserved one. The best Operator Award was given to Tombola. The judges on both events are experts in the field like CEOs, entrepreneurs, board directors, who are specially chosen to avoid conflict of interest. The judges come from different backgrounds like media, supply, operations and consulting so that the voting is fair and transparent.
eGR is not the only important ceremony that evaluates the best sites. Another important annual event is the iGaming Awards. The winners from the last edition of the event were Mecca awarded with the Online Operator of the Year, Paddy Power, and Rank Group grabbed a prize for Socially Responsible Operator. There two more ceremonies worth mentioning – the Which Bingo Awards and the Bingoport People’s Choice Awards. These two are not as elite as the previous we mentioned, but they give a good idea if the choice of the judges is also the one of the people. These two awards are given based on the votes of real players. And in the most cases, the choices match. Paddy Power was the winner for the Most Socially Responsible Site at the Which Bingo Awards too. However, there are some differences when it comes to the Best Online Bingo Site, which according to the players is Jackpotjoy, which did not even make it in the other two award ceremonies.
It is important to be responsible and take care of each other. All gambling brands have a section on their site dedicated to helping problematic players. This is the art of the corporate social responsibility programs of operators and helps them build their reputation. Most reputable operators cooperate with NGOs to promote responsible playing. The information should be easily accessible, structured and full enough and it should contain advice, support, useful software that helps family members and friends of the players. Another important thing is the age verification system, which needs to be reliable and also mechanisms for self-limitation and exclusion.
The social aspect of gambling
The community and social aspect of bingo operators are not a vital factor, but they do matter. Playing online is much more than just a game or a thrill to win the prize. It is about interaction. You can combine the fame with joining social media pages, which usually brings additional bonuses and freebies. You can also follow a blog or a forum discussion and become part of a community in which you can share tips, gossip, make friends and have fun. The best part of being part of such a community is that some sites have great buddy and team initiatives where you can win more if you play with a team. Being part of the conversation helps you find the best team players and play for a bigger prize.
Finally! Our top 3 ranked bingo sites are here!
We would like to stress once again that while ranking the best bingo sites we have considered much more than just the welcome offers, but we looked at many other features like security, trustworthiness, customer support, payment methods, the social aspect, etc. All the operators that failed to prove they are legitimate were left out of the ranking.
One of the most important characteristics of a good website is the bonuses it gives. First-time visitors are attracted by the welcome offers, but it is important to know if the site cares for its loyal visitors. You would most probably like to play not just once or twice, so the site has to keep you engaged with a variety of promotional offers all the time. In our ranking, we gave points to sites which do not have an impressive welcome offer but have regular and very generous promotions.
Here are the two most generous bingo sites we could find:
- Wink – Wink has an attractive welcome bonus and an option for additional offers, freebies, and promotions for those who enter promo codes.
- Foxy – Another excellent offer. This is one of the biggest UK operators and one of the most liked ones. Their advertisements are quite famous too. Apart from the cute fox mascot, the website is very attractive with a great welcome bonus and regular promotions. Check their review, there are a lot of goodies in store for you.
New Bingo Operators and the rising stars in the industry
After announcing the top bingo sites in the UK according to our ranking, it is time to look at the future of bingo sites and the rising stars in this industry. Developing a website and presence online takes time, money and effort. Some sites cannot yet offer a full site, a flawless mobile platform or a large variety of games, but they have the potential to become part of the best bingo sites on the market. Some of them attracted our attention with generous promos. New bingo operators offer special bonuses to build a loyal following and a big community.
They launch with an offer which is much better compared to the standard ones to attract users. Then they do their best to prove worthy of your attention and continuously improve their offer and add new features. If you are one of the first players to try them out you will benefit from the perks offered only to loyal players.
In conclusion, we would like to recommend the sites in our ranking as top bingo sites, which we have carefully checked on all the listed criteria. Before we recommend any site, we check its legality and security, so you can enjoy the game without any worries. This is what we advise you to do too when choosing a bingo site. Do not register anywhere without making sure the operator has a valid license.
We have put a lot of time, effort, and research into checking and ranking the best bingo sites in the UK. We hope our research is helpful to all new and experienced players out there.
More Bingo Topics
- House Advantage (The Psychology of Playing Bingo)
- Superstitions among Bingo Players (The Synopsis Project 2005)
- The Sociology of Risk and Gambling Reader (Social Science Studies 2006)
- Bingo Laws Regulating the Game (Gambling business in Texas 2013)
- The Rise of Bingo Infographic (Changes in the Industry)