Founded in 1961, Mecca Bingo is an instantly recognizable name thanks to its chain of bingo halls. Its network of 85 bingo clubs nationwide employs some 11,000 people, cementing Mecca’s position as one of the leading names in the UK market. In 2003, the firm launched their online operation, and after a facelift in 2015, their website now represents one of the most compelling offers available for UK players. Very much a household name, Mecca sits alongside Gala Bingo as the leading brand names in the UK. But in the competitive online bingo space, does Mecca still warrant top billing?
Safety and Trustworthiness
Owned and operated by The Rank Group, which runs a number of casino and gambling brands in the UK and Europe, Mecca Bingo generates over £220 million in revenues each year – a good indicator that Mecca is a brand you rely on.
It’s always comforting to know you’re dealing with a big company, in terms of trust. If all else fails, at least you know you can head down to your local bingo hall – extra peace of mind, perhaps, over exclusively online operators.
Mecca Bingo online is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, as you’d expect from any legitimate corporate operator. There’s also a secondary license here from the Alderney Gambling Control Commission – although this doesn’t apply to UK players directly, it’s another layer of scrutiny, and another independent regulator Mecca Bingo has to satisfy when it comes to providing a fair, honest gaming experience.
Mecca Bingo is a multi-award winning operator, regularly scooping industry accolades for their online and mobile platforms. These include the EGR Operators Award 2017 for Best Mobile Bingo Product, the International Gaming Awards Best Online Bingo Operator 2016, and the WhichBingo Most Socially Responsible Operator award in 2017. Given the levels of competition in the online bingo space, these are all further testament to the legitimate way Mecca operates.
In terms of security, the site deploys state of the art SSL encryption, with payments processed independently by some of the leading names in online payments. This combination ensures the utmost security for your account and your funds, so there should be no concerns about safety here, either.
Mecca Bingo is obviously doing something right, with players flooding into their bingo halls each and every week, not to mention the legions of happy online players. There are some complaints online, as you would expect from one of the country’s busiest bingo operators, but these are mostly down to players having bad experiences at Mecca Bingo clubs, or players who didn’t read the terms and conditions before claiming their welcome bonus. Worth taking note of these, but there’s nothing here that would suggest Mecca is anything other than a standup operator, and arguably one of the most authentic operators in the market, on account of their decades of experience online and off.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Mecca supports a range of deposit and withdrawal methods – there’s something for everyone. PayPal support is an added bonus here for extra convenience. The minimum withdrawal is just £5, but processing can take from 3-7 days depending upon the specific payment method chosen which is on the longer side of the industry average. In addition, the minimum deposit for bingo is just £5.
Bonuses and Promotions
Mecca entices new players with their welcome bonus: spend £10, play with £40. This breaks down into £30 to play online, plus £10 to play in one of their bingo clubs, so it’s a sort of hybrid online/offline bonus. For the online part, terms and conditions apply, and it’s definitely worth familiarising yourself with these ahead of time to avoid any surprises later down the line.
The bonus is open to eligible players aged 18+, and you must be signing up for your first account with Mecca Bingo in order to qualify. This term extends to other casinos in the Rank Group, such as Grosvenor Casinos and Bluesquare.com, so it’s worth making sure you don’t have an account with any other related site before trying to claim the bonus.
Wagering requirements are in place for the online bonus portion, which stands at 2x. However, you’ll need to have spent a minimum of £80 before you’re eligible to withdraw from the bonus, which is in effect like an enhanced wagering requirement. You need to deposit and spend £10 to qualify for the bonus within 60 days, and the bonus will then be credited to your account within an hour of meeting this requirement.
You have 7 days to use the bonus and to meet the wagering requirements. It’s also worth noting that deposits through Skrill and Neteller do not qualify for the bonus offer.
As bonuses go, this is fairly middle of the road. The amount is OK, and the wagering requirement is ok compared to other bingo sites. However, the £80 minimum spend is a little confusing, and feels like it should just be built into the wagering requirement – it has the effect of being a 2x wagering requirement on deposit + bonus including the Mecca club voucher portion, but the terms could be much clearer on this point, which would help avoid unnecessary confusion.
On balance, the terms and conditions here are quite tight, but we’ve seen bonuses that are far worse. When you consider that Mecca is such a trusted brand anyway, that’s probably enough to bring this bonus into acceptable territory, although the terms and conditions could be a bit more generous.
It probably comes as no surprise that the selection of online bingo games on offer at Mecca is second to none. You’ll find all the usual bingo variants, like 90 ball, 80 ball and 75 ball, as well as a host of specials like Linka-Balls, Cash Cube Bingo, Rainbow Riches Bingo and the exclusive Emoji Bingo – a great, fun variant for all you emoji fans out there. Powered by Playtech’s industry leading bingo software (Virtue Fusion) , the software and games here have a premium feel – exactly as you’d expect from Mecca.
The games are all multi-stake, so there are five different price levels you can choose per game. The graphics and performance are top notch too, loading quickly and without the degree of lag you’ll find at some other bingo sites.
This is carried forward in the selection of other games, including slots, where the likes of Cleopatra and Rainbow Riches are standout titles. The software feels solid, even during busy periods, with new games starting every couple of minutes pretty much around the clock.
Mecca does mobile incredibly well – as good as, if not better, than anyone else in the market. Their website is fully responsive, delivering a native experience on any handset or device – perfect for playing in browser. But for the vast majority of players, while the website is perfectly usable, the apps have the edge here, in terms of convenience and functionality.
Mecca Bingo offers bingo apps for iOS and Android platforms, available for download from each respective app store. The apps are award-winning in their own right. While they only allow landscape play, this is a worthwhile trade-off for the fantastic graphics, and the solid platform that very rarely, if ever, crashes or lags.
The design of the apps is easy to follow, and both platforms benefit from a feeling of top-notch quality, from the graphics through to the gameplay. It’s hard to fault the mobile offering at Mecca – full marks here, no question.