Did you know that in the past ten years, the number of online bingo sites has increased from 20, to an estimated 400? The number of brands is growing at an alarming rate, with new names entering the affray on an almost daily basis. With so much choice though, how do you decide where to play? You could of course stick to the same old names, the trusted brands that have been around for years, but what if this means you are missing out on a real gem? Don’t panic though, because we have decided to do the hard work and share with you our opinion as to what makes a good bingo site?
For a start let’s look at the name, because surely this is the first thing that grabs our attention, if the name does not appeal, we are unlikely to press that all important link and check it out. Over the past few years we have seen some truly awful names come and go including the likes of 50 Shades of Bingo, BJ’s Bingo, Dolly Parton Bingo, Goldfish Bingo and Up Your Bingo. Okay a couple of these may bring a smile to the face but they are unlikely to have staying power, especially when they are combined with poorly designed sites.
One of the keys to success is to come up with a name that is going to be as relevant in twelve months time as it is now. If site owners take a bit of time and effort to produce a nice looking site that builds upon the name then their chances of sticking around are greatly improved. The Mandalay Group are fast becoming experts at this, and over the past few months we have seen them add Angry Bingo, Rio Bingo, Treasure Bingo and Wish Bingo to their line-up, all of which use the same layout but look fantastic thanks to the use of cartoon graphics and themed rooms and promotions to further emphasise the name.
Once they have you on the site, operators tend to use the lure of bingo welcome bonuses to encourage you to sign up. This may sound all well and good but there is a catch – wagering requirements. A wagering requirement is basically the minimum amount of money you will need to spend before you can withdraw any winnings, so for example say you deposit £20 and receive a 200% bonus (£40) with a 3 x wagering requirement. You would need to spend 3 x (£20 + £40) which is £180 to clear your wagering requirements. We prefer to see brands offering a no deposit bonus and a lower first deposit bonus, this way you can sample everything they have to offer without risking any of your own hard earned cash.
When it comes to promotions, it used to be the case that the standalone sites could offer a little more, because the networked sites, shared all of the same offers and promotions as all of their stable mates. Recently though we have seen a change in his philosophy and several networked sites are showing that with a little hard work and imagination, they can complete with the big boys. Tidy Bingo for instance has only been open a little over twelve months, but they have built up a loyal following by making their players feel really special. They achieved this by giving their players access to the sites owners through an exclusive room and offering plenty of exclusive promotions above and beyond those offered by their network.
We don’t all play for the jackpots and prizes though, as for many of us it’s the social side of the game that is the main draw. Having the ability to log on and make friends whilst enjoying your favourite game is a wonderful thing. Having a software that allows you to create a profile and add friends to a buddy list makes this so much easier, it makes the whole experience more like a social networking site. The really clever sites out there work just as hard on the community side of the business as they do the games and promotions, and some such as Foxy Bingo even arrange special events where they can meet in person.
If you don’t have time to try all of the sites for yourself (and who does?), then chat with your friends. Word of mouth is more important than any flashy television advert. Players tend to be members of a few different sites and they will gladly tell you the ones to avoid and the ones that are worth signing up for. This is why we make sure we include a player review facility on all of the reviews carried out here at Ballsup Bingo. We always make sure we respond to our readers comments, and if a player is mistreated or we believe a site is acting in a underhand way, then rest assured we will chase them and get to the bottom of it, so please feel free to contact us at any time.