The explosion in the online bingo industry has seen a particular increase in sites targeted at British bingo players. There are now around 70 UK targeted online bingo halls. These sites are not necessarily UK owned, based or licensed, but they are designed specifically to appeal to British bingo players and capture the UK online bingo market.
So what’s the difference between a UK site and any other? Well there are a number of significant features that can set them apart, but there is no consistency in this and any given site may actually have very few of these features. Here’s my summary of what you might find:
1. They are marketed as UK sites, aimed at UK players. And because they are billed as UK sites, of course most of the players are from the UK! So you’ll be playing against, and more importantly chatting to, fellow Brits.
2. Game play is in £. That is, the prizes, card prices, bonuses and so on are shown in pounds and pence, rather than dollars and cents.
3. Banking transactions are usually in pounds. You can purchase using £ and your payments will be made in £. Sites may also offer the option of using US Dollars or Euros, but the default will usually be Sterling.
4. They tend to accept the common UK payment options; Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Delta, Solo, Switch.
5. The sites may have British chat masters, recruited and living in Britain. This means that the chat and general culture in the chat rooms is geared to British players.
6. The branding on many of the sites has a deliberately British feel. For instance, site names include Bingo England, Bingo Ireland and Bingo Scotland, you’ll often see pictures of Big Ben, red buses, Union Jacks, bulldogs, or maybe Scottish or Irish symbols. Plus the site often has a .co.uk address.
7. They may offer UK style 90-ball bingo games.Most online bingo is the 75-ball version, using 5×5 cards, whereas the game traditionally played in the UK has 90 balls and the cards have only 15 numbers.Some online bingo sites are now able to offer 90-ball games, depending on what type of gaming software they run on. At the moment only about a quarter of the UK targeted sites offer 90-ball games. (If you want that version, look for sites running on Parlay, Playtech or Virtue Fusion software).
8. If you’re lucky the customer support service will be in the UK. However, this is not always the case, and many only have an email address – so their service staff could be anywhere.
9. The site’s owners may be a UK company.The owners are responsible for branding and marketing of their bingo site. They are very rarely directly involved in running the actual bingo games. The ‘Operators’ do this job, and they could be located anywhere. In fact I’ve only been able to find ONE site which actually operates its bingo games within the UK (Bingo England).
10. A small number of bingo sites are licensed in the UK or a country governed by UK laws such as Gibraltar. But most of the UK bingo halls are actually licensed in countries unrelated to Britain.
Of all these features, the only ones you will be guaranteed are the first two; marketing that says they are a UK Bingo Hall – and so attracts UK players – and the fact that pounds are used on the site. All the other features are very hit and miss, so if any of them are particularly important to you as a player you’ll need to check out the bingo hall to make sure you’re going to get them.
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