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Betfair needs little introduction. It’s one of the most famous sports betting companies in the world thanks to its pioneering role in the development of exchange betting, and one of the leaders in the online gambling industry in general.
Betfair Bingo is one of the more recent additions to its bulging portfolio of online gambling products. The site was launched in 2013, and is based on the industry-leading Virtue Fusion bingo platform. It features a range of exciting bingo games, along with slots and other games to divert you when there are no bingo games running.
Betfair has an excellent reputation with punters, who expect quality and innovation from its products. So, does Betfair Bingo deliver, or is it just another box ticked for an online gambling behemoth?
Betfair Bingo’s parent company, Paddy Power Betfair, is on its way to becoming the dominant force in the UK betting market, and has an excellent reputation for trustworthiness, despite Paddy Power’s laddish brand image and marketing missteps. The fact that it’s listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a FTSE-100 constituent member, gives it the kind of public standing that most bingo operators could only dream of.
Bingo at Betfair is licensed by the highly-regarded Alderney Gambling Control Commission through its deal with platform provider Virtue Fusion. It also has the green light to accept British players via a UK Gambling Commission license issued to Paddy Power Betfair.
Betfair takes player safety and security very seriously, which is why you can be sure that your funds are being well looked after, along with your personal information. All of this is well protected by the industry-standard 128-bit SSL encryption, and it’s all signed off by Norton Secured.
Betfair Bingo also utilises two-step authentication, with new members required to enter a code received by SMS before they can access the site. We’d like to see more providers take this level of precaution.
Betfair is also a member of alternative dispute resolution service, IBAS (The Independent Betting Adjudication Service), so there’s always a third-party to turn to if anything untoward happens.
When it comes to payment methods, Betfair Bingo offers fewer methods than other brand products, but the most popular ones, such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and debit cards are all available. Deposits are processed instantly, while withdrawals take a few days at most.
Kick things off at Betfair bingo with PlayRight’s exclusive welcome bonus. It’s a particularly tasty one too, even if we do say so ourselves.
To qualify you need to deposit and stake £10 on any bingo game. Once that’s taken care of, your account will be credited with a £50 bonus, which like some of Betfair Bingo’s competitors, is split into a £30 bingo bonus component and £20 games bonus, which can be used on slots and other casino games.
Both bonuses come with “one calendar month” to meet the wagering requirements. In the case of the bingo bonus you need to wager the amount of the bonus four times (4x), which is average for the industry. The games bonus has a 25x wagering requirement, which, given the 30ish-day timeframe, is well ahead of the competition. By contrast, 888Ladies has a 50x wagering requirement on its game bonus, and gives you just seven days to meet it. On top of those bonuses, Betfair also offers an additional £10 bonus that can be used on Betfair Casino.
If you’re still on the fence about joining Betfair Bingo, you could always plump for the generous no-deposit bonus of £10 just for creating your account. The £10 needs to be wagered fully four times (4x) before you can withdraw the amount, or any of your winnings from it, but that really shouldn’t be too difficult.
It also runs a ‘Stakeback’ promotion for existing customers, where you can get 10% of your stakes returned up to a value of £20. This is another decent offer from Betfair, giving you the chance to reclaim a share of any losses so you can play even more bingo for your buck. The 5x playthrough is also pretty decent for a “retention” promotion.
Beyond that there isn’t much to get excited about on the promotions front. This is where the feeling starts to creep in that this is just a secondary product as far as Betfair is concerned. Where dedicated sites feature full-to-bursting promo pages, there just isn’t the variety here.
Betfair Bingo Club is a loyalty/VIP scheme that rewards players with points for every pound they wager. As always, the number of points you get per pound increases as you move up the five levels, from Bingo Rookie to High Striker. Points can be redeemed for bonus money at a rate of 1,000 points per £1 bonus. That’s it. No exclusive tournaments, club shops or prize draws.
That deposit bonus is a great way to start at Betfair Bingo, but there’s little to match it among Betfair Bingo’s regular promotions. It all feels a bit half-hearted.
Betfair Bingo is very much meant to be part of a larger whole that includes the famous betting exchange, betfair sportsbook, casino and poker products, and the design of the site reflects that.
That means you get the usual Betfair header, with the various products available via tabs on the upper navigation. Bingo’s standing in the Betfair universe is reflected in the fact that it makes it into the tenth out of twelve product slots, just ahead of pools betting and virtual sports in terms of prominence.
It really feels more like a bingo micro-site than its own thing. It’s a bit busy, with the links to all of the other products, banners, and a homepage takeover promoting the Stakeback offer. It may be ugly but it’ still functional. A few clicks will get you to any of the site’s areas as you switch between bingo games, slots or even turn to other Betfair products.
Betfair Bingo features two of the most common bingo games, the 75- and 90-ball versions. No matter what time of day you log in to the Betfair Bingo site, there is likely to be a bingo game starting, which is what you’d expect from a Virtue Fusion room.
The non-bingo game selection is pretty small, with fewer than 60 slots and 17 scratchcards. You won’t find many casino games here, either, with just one version of roulette and one of blackjack.
Despite its small size, with games like Rainbow Riches and Fluffy Favourites available around the clock, players can are unlikely to be bored for long with the games selection.
The addition of themed bingo games like Deal or No Deal, Lucky Numbers and Cash Cubes makes Betfair Bingo a versatile bingo site, while the slots on offer are always there to fill the downtime in between the bingo games. The problem is, it isn’t anything you won’t find at any other Virtue Fusion site, with no exclusive games or jackpots, and not enough slots to make up for the slim bingo offering.
The real benefit of playing at Betfair Bingo is the immediate access you get to the company’s core products, its sports betting site, exchange and casino. Viewed from that perspective, it makes sense that bingo doesn’t have its own site. It’s better seen as a nice-to-have extra than a must-join site. However, it’s worth pointing out that although you can use the same sign-in for all products, there’s no universal wallet. You’ll have to manually transfer funds between wallets on the various sites.
The Betfair bingo app is available for download on Android and iOS devices, and allows real money bingo only. If you’re just playing for fun, you won’t be able to do this on the app, which is slightly limiting.
However, the app itself is easy to find, quick to download and install, and faithful to the branding, layout and style of the Betfair bingo site. There are also plenty of side games in the app to keep you occupied, so you’re certain never to get bored with what’s on offer.
Unfortunately, just like the full site, Betfair’s multi-product approach makes the app cluttered and off-putting. You’ll be able to find your way around, you just might not enjoy it. If mobile bingo is your thing then are better alternatives to choose from.
Betfair’s customer support department is among the finest in the industry, and can be reached by all of the usual methods.
Bingo is one of the UK’s most popular pastimes, and while it may have taken a while, Betfair has recognized the need to provide bingo players with a Betfair-branded product. Or perhaps it simply realised that it was leaving money on the table by not throwing something together. The product is fine, thanks to Betfair’s experience in the gambling market and the stability of Virtue Fusion’s bingo platform. The problem though is that there isn’t really much that stands out. There are, after all, other very good Virtue Fusion sites to choose from. It also feels a little too formal for a bingo room with Betfair’s very corporate yellow and black color scheme.
Still there’s three good reasons to give it a go. Firstly, there’s Betfair’s good name and solid track record. Second, there’s that exclusive bonus, which provides good player value. The best reason, however, is if you see bingo as a diversion from the serious business of betting and casino gambling. If that’s you, Betfair’s one-account set-up could make it the perfect choice.