Gala Bingo Review:

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Overview

  • BONUSES & PROMOTIONS
  • GAME VARIETY
  • DEPOSITS & WITHDRAWALS
  • CUSTOMER SUPPORT
  • DESIGN & USABILITY

Gala Bingo is Britain’s biggest bingo operator, with more than 140 bingo halls up and down the UK, 80+ more than its much older rival, Mecca. It’s also part of the newly-created Ladbrokes Coral Group, which counts nearly 2,000 high street betting shops among its portfolio.

Since 2006 the online operation has been the crown jewel of Playtech’s industry-leading Virtue Fusion bingo Network, boasting the latest software version and exclusive rooms and games. All this is to say that we expect great things from Gala Bingo. After all, it has the resources, experience and brand image to put any of its rivals in the shade.

Soft providers
  • Software Providers

Safety and Trustworthiness

Gala Bingo’s website is all about happy faces and cosy atmosphere. It plays up to Gala’s roots running bingo halls where real people go to socialise and indulge in their favourite pastime. It also does a pretty good job of putting new players at ease, emphasising the brand’s community-focused image.

Most of us would trust Gala without much reservation, but anyway, it holds licenses from the Government of Gibraltar and the UK Gambling Commission, which requires it to uphold certain responsibilities regarding player funds, dispute resolution (it’s a member of the Independent Betting Adjudication Service), and player fairness.

Speaking of which, the Fair Gaming section on the Gala website is well worth a read. It provides a clear and easy-to-understand overview of what’s required of Gala as a licensed bingo operator, and the importance of independent Random Number Generator (RNG) and Return-to-Player (RTP) testing. It also provides links to the third-party test certificates issued to Virtue Fusion/Playtech for bingo and casino games, which are provided by SQS and GLI Europe respectively.

Although there’s no requirement, we’d prefer that these were more recent, as they date back to 2012 and 2014. It’s a small quibble, but when everything is handled to such a high standard, it stands out.

Player reviews online are about average for a site of this size, and, as always, tend to the extremes. Once all the “rigged games” complaints are filtered out, most concern bonus restrictions and withdrawal delays, although several complaints about unanswered customer service emails might indicate a trend.

However, the overall picture is much the same as the other “big name” bingo sites, and it doesn’t change the fact that Gala Bingo easily meets our standards for safety and trustworthiness.

Deposits & Withdrawals

Gala supports a wide variety of popular payment methods, with numerous e-wallet options with instant withdrawals. Transactions are secured by Verisign.

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Withdrawals
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Bonuses and Promotions

New players can enjoy a variety of promotional offers including deposit bonuses and free games. The best way to get started is with PlayRight’s exclusive welcome bonus, which rewards you with a £40 bonus as soon as you deposit and spend £10 on bingo tickets. The bonus amount is subject to a four-times (4x) wagering requirement before you can withdraw bonus winnings as cash. That’s about average for the industry, but the seven-day time limit to meet the playthrough requirements doesn’t compare well to rivals, many of which offer up to 30 days for wagering.

As a new player, you’ll also get a week’s worth of free bingo in the Newbie Room, with £25 of bingo bonuses to be won in each game.

Once you’ve taken advantage of the new player promos there’s still plenty of interesting offers available on bingo and slots. It doesn’t quite match Sun Bingo’s incredible range of promotions, but it’s among the best selections we’ve come across. There’s a lot of money up for grabs here, much of it in the Gala-only rooms. During March and April, Gala claimed to be giving away £100,000 in guaranteed jackpot prizes every day in its exclusive rooms.

Gala’s VIP program is also a top choice for high-volume players, with tangible benefits, even at the lowest of the four levels. So, expect lots of reload bonuses, cashback offers and exclusive rooms. Gala’s size, and its experience in bricks-and-mortar clubs, means it can also offer some great events and prizes, from celebrity meet-and-greets to organised trips.There are plenty more offers too, including one or two aimed at slots fans. Loyal members can also get free bingo sessions and cash prizes, as well as up to two free scratchcards per day.

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Game Selection

There’s definitely something about the design of the Gala website that inspires confidence. It just feels more like a mainstream entertainment site than its rivals. It’s colourful and attractively designed, with a chunky grid layout that makes all the familiar games look somehow more appealing.

The new Virtue Fusion bingo client also looks great. The main grid shows information boxes for all the upcoming games, and you can filter for specific game types using the icons along the left-hand side.

The selection on offer is second-to-none, with up to 20 well-populated bingo games starting every minute or so. The largest part of the collection is made up of traditional 90-ball bingo, although exclusive themed rooms, like the popular Coronation Street and Emmerdale rooms, add some extra excitement, featuring bespoke graphics and callers. There’s also 40- and 50-ball bingo in the Rainbow RichesBingo Lotto and Coconut Island rooms, and a smattering of 75- and 80- ball games, including Deal or No Deal Bingo.

As the premier site on the standard-setting Virtue Fusion network, the slot and casino game collection is also great. In the Slots & Games section you’ll find 237 slots!21 scratchcards, and more than 50 progressive jackpots to be won. The catalogue is stuffed with exclusives, as well, so you’ll get to play some games you won’t find on any other VF Network sites.

The new bingo software features a massive chat box, which you’ll find is generally much busier and better moderated than on most other sites, so expect some fun chat games with spot prizes.

The slots come from IGTNextGenPlaytech and Quickspin and while well suited to the site’s audience, there’s a little more variety than the other major Virtue Fusion room, Sun Bingo. There are exclusive Coronation Street and Emmerdale slots, as well as a variety of titles based on popular reality show franchises. You will also find more of Playtech’s most popular slots, including Monty Python’s Spamalot.

The Casino section (which is not the same as the separate GalaCasino.com brand) contains even more slots, but in this area the slots are more like the ones on a typical casino site.

Here you’ll find all of Playtech’s hottest games, including the new Batman and Superman progressive jackpots, Jackpot GiantGladiator, and more. The collection is smaller but offers a sharply-defined alternative to what’s on offer elsewhere on the site. There’s also a selection of table games that would put many big-name casino sites to shame, including live casino versions of roulette, blackjack and baccarat

Bingo Games

90-ball

75-ball

80-ball

30-ball

40-ball

50-ball

Themed Games

49-ball

5-Line

Other Games

Slots

Progressives

Chat games

Table games

Mobile App

Given the thought that Gala has put into its online product, it’s no surprise that it offers full mobile apps for both iOS and Android phones. The Apple version is available for free download via the Gala site, or from the App Store, where is has a four-and-a-half star rating from nearly 6,000 reviews.

Downloading Android bingo apps will always be slightly more complicated, at least until Google opens the doors of the Play Store to bingo apps. In the case of Gala, it’s the same old story. You can grab the download by visiting the Gala site on your phone. And just in case you’ve never downloaded an app this way, Gala has gone the extra step by providing a video guide on the download page.

Once you have the app installed, you’ll find an experience that matches well to playing on desktop. The slots category is slightly smaller, as only HTML5 games make it across, but still offers 187 slots available. There’s also ore than a few progressive jackpots among them, Playtech’s Age of the Gods included, you’re unlikely to ever be stumped for something to play.

If you prefer not to cram your phone with apps, you can also access Gala Bingo on the move using the mobile site. Just visit the usual address from your phone’s browser.

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Mobile

Tablet

Instant Play

iOS App

Android App

Support

There’s an extensive support section on the Gala website and you can also contact the support team using the built-in web contact form, but they make it too hard to find an email address or freephone number, though they do exist.

Support

There’s an extensive support section on the Gala website and you can also contact the support team using the built-in web contact form, but they make it too hard to find an email address or freephone number, though they do exist.

Review Summary

Whether you’re looking for the widest variety of bingo games, the largest and most varied collection of slots, or the biggest exclusive jackpots, you’ll struggle to beat Gala Bingo. The recent move to Virtue Fusion’s newest platform has just cemented its top dog status even further.

As with Sun Bingo, which is another of our favourite sites, the only thing we really don’t like is that seven-day time limit to meet bonus wagering requirements. We hate to end on a sour note, though. So, while it might be a bit boring to conclude that the biggest, richest bingo brand, with the best version of the leading software probably has the best bingo site for most players, there you have it.

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