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Gala Bingo Review
Gala Bingo is one of the most popular bingo sites in the UK. The website launched back in 2006 but has a rather long history as the brand first started out as a real-life bingo club operator in the 1990s.
In addition to the bingo, Gala Bingo also offers a great range of casino games including slots, table and live casino games. It possesses a license from the UK Gambling Commission (License #39069) and has partnered with several gambling charities including BeGambleAware, GamStop and GamCare in order to promote responsible gambling and protect those at risk.
Now, the main question is whether Gala Bingo worth joining? Let’s find out.
Pros & Cons
- Great selection of bingo and casino games
- Lots of regular bonuses and promotions
- Accepts numerous payment options
- Payouts can be slow
- No contact phone number
- Lack of live casino games
Gala Bingo Online
Gala Bingo is most famous for providing a wide selection of bingo games. Players who register at the site will be able to play at various bingo rooms, each inspired by a unique theme and featuring a different number of balls.
The bingo rooms offered at Gala Bingo are split into several categories:
- 90-Ball Bingo
- 80-Ball Bingo
- 75-Ball Bingo
- 50-Ball Bingo
- 40-Ball Bingo
While all bingo games follow similar rules there are some slight differences between them all. For example, 90 ball bingo is mostly played in the UK and is comprised of three rounds. The first player to win must cover their first row of numbers, the second player to win must cover the first and second row and the third player to win must cover all three rows for a full house. 90 ball bingo tickets display 15 numbers organised in a 9×3 grid.
75 ball bingo is popular in America and requires players to create specific shapes by marking off numbers in order to win. The ticket card in this variation displays 25 boxes in a 5×5 grid. There are 24 numbers present and the 25th box is marked ‘free’ for all players.
80 ball bingo is a unique take on the ordinary bingo games. The first thing you’ll notice is that the bingo ticket displays 16 boxes in a 4×4 grid. Each column randomly selects four numbers. For example, the first column contains numbers between 1 and 20, the second column contains numbers between 21 and 40, the third column contains numbers between 41 and 60 and the fourth column contains numbers between 61 and 80. Players win 80 ball bingo by completing a single line diagonally, horizontally or vertically, marking off the four corners in your grid or landing a full house.
50 ball bingo is a completely different experience. The tickets in this variation only display 10 numbers between 1 and 50. There are two winners in 50 ball bingo; the first person to fill a single row of numbers and the first person to land a full house.
40 ball bingo first launched in 2015 and is based on the popular slot Rainbow Riches. This variation is much faster than the two above and the ticket cards come in the form of two clovers. Filling one will earn you a prize and filling both earns you a full house.
In addition to that, the ‘special’ games listed on Gala Bingo are all unique variations of bingo and feature different rules. It’s important you read through the rules and understand them before playing these variations.
After successfully signing up, you’ll be able to the Gala Bingo prices for each game. The prices can be seen by clicking on the ‘Bingo’ section of the main site. Doing so will take you a new page displaying all of the scheduled bingo games.
Each bingo game will display a ticket price, how many users are playing and what the prize is for winning the game. This makes it easy for you to find games with mechanics you enjoy or prizes you want to play for.
Gala Bingo was founded in the early 1990s when Bass Leisure after the firm bought Granada plc’s chain of bingo clubs. At the time, Bass Leisure was already operating numerous bingo clubs under the Coral brand and a man named John Murphy decided to merge the two chains together under one brand name; Gala, which used letters from both Granada and Coral.
Gala officially launched on October 17, 1991, when 17 existing bingo clubs re-branded under the name and launched with a new image. Over the next few decades, Gala grew in popularity and acquired several other bingo chains.
Then, in October 2005, Gala acquired Coral Eurobet for £2.18 billion and changed its name to Gala Coral Group, becoming the third largest bookmaker and largest bingo operator in the UK. In July 2007, the firm launched Gala TV, a satellite television channel which aired bingo games. Sadly, the channel shut down in 2011. During this time, the firm continued to grow and peaked at around 174 clubs in 2007.
Most recently, the Gala Coral Group was acquired by Ladbrokes. However, its bingo clubs were not part of the merger and were instead sold to Caledonia Investments in December 2015 for a whopping £241 million. The Gala Coral and Ladbrokes merger completed in November 2016 and the companies relaunched as Ladbrokes Coral, which they’re known as to this day.
The Gala Bingo casino site, operated by Coral Group Trading Limited, first launched in 2006. It’s been hugely successful over the years, allowing registered users to play casino and bingo games whenever they want.
Gala Bingo Clubs
We’ve already mentioned that Gala Bingo runs real-life bingo clubs around the country, allowing people to come together to play games, just like they do online. You can enjoy drinks and food at the clubs and they host events to keep players excited.
Since 2007, the number of Gala Bingo Clubs have been dwindling, but many are still incredibly active. According to Gala Bingo’s website, however, there are only a total of 24 Gala Bingo Clubs.
They can be found in Basildon, Bexleyheath, Bradford City, Brighton, Bristol Fishponds, Castleford, Colchester, Coventry Walsgrave, Derby City, Enfield, Feltham, Gloucester, Ipswich, Leicester, Medway, Metro Centre, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Top Valley, Peterborough Westfield, Plymouth Charles Cross, Poole, Sheffield Parkway, Stoke On Trent Fenton and Tooting.
Gala Bingo offers well over 250 different casino games and to provide them, Gala Casino has teamed up with several popular game developers including Big Time Gaming, IGT, Playtech and Quickspin. However, you’ll also find games from EyeCon, CR Games, Blueprint Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Red Tiger, BetDigital, Scientific Games, Virtue Fusion and many more.
The variety of game developers means that you have a wider range of games to try out and will be less likely to become bored in the long-term. In addition, Gala Bingo regularly offers the latest games so there’s always something new to play!
Gala Bingo’s online casino offers a great selection of games including slots, table and live casino games. Users who register can play popular slots including Big Banker Slot, Fluffy Favourites, It’s Magic, Primal Megaways, Cleopatra, The Goonies, Big Bad Wold, Dwarfs Gone Wild, Fantastic Works!, Hot Sync, Top Cat, Ted, Bonanza, Chilli Fiesta, Coronation Street, Slots of Money, Cros Around The Slock, Esqueleto Mariachi, Tiki Tastic and many more.
The slots don’t stop there, however, as Gala Bingo also offers jackpot games, allowing players to win larger sums of money. The games offered include Puss’n Boots, Merlin, Mystery Reels, The Winnings of Oz, Fireworks Bliz, Stage 888, Pirates’ Plenty The Sunken Treasure, Bouncy Balls, Masquerade, Winstar, Mafia Millions and others.
For those of you bored with slots, Gala Bingo offers several table games including Premium Blackjack, Aces and Faces, Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, American Video Poker, Roulette Deluxe, Cashback Blackjack, European Roulette, Casino Hold’em, Premium French Roulette and other variations too.
Gala Bingo also offers a range of live games where real-life dealers are streamed directly to you, allowing you to interact with them and other players. The games here include Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and French Roulette.
Promotions and Bonuses
Like all other online casinos, Gala Bingo is offering a generous welcome bonus to newly registered users. First-time players can claim a £30 bingo bonus after depositing and spending £10 on bingo games.
According to Gala Bingo’s terms and conditions, the bonus funds must be wagered 4x before anything can be withdrawn. It must also be used within seven days or its forfeited.
In addition to the welcome bonus above, new users will have the opportunity to play free bingo games for three days in the Newbie bingo room. According to Gala Bingo’s terms and conditions, the Newbie bingo room can only be accessed between the hours of 12 PM to 2 PM and 6 PM to 8 PM every day.
In addition, you can only win a maximum of £250 daily when playing in the Newbie bingo room. The prizes are made up of 10 daily games with a £25 cash prize.
While many online casino and bingo sites require you to enter a promo code in order to claim a bonus, Gala Bingo does not. All promotions are automatically credited to your account after you’ve filled the specified requirements, such as depositing or wagering a specific amount.
Gala Bingo also offers several other promotions. At the time of writing, Gala Bingo is running a Bargain Bingo promotion where you can buy bingo tickets for as low as 1p and win up to £1,000 in prizes! The promotion runs for the entire month of January and users can only at specific times of the day.
Another popular promotion is Gala Bingo’s Saturday Night Games where you can win £10,000 in cash. There are five bingo games paying out £1,000 and one bingo game paying out £5,000. Tickets cost 5-10p and each game will provide different rewards for completing rows and full houses.
Throughout January, Gala Bingo is giving players a chance to win tickets to Las Vegas, cash prizes of up to £2,000 and seven £250 holiday vouchers. To win, you must collect points and climb the Vegas Leaderboard before January 31st. For every £1 wagered, you earn £1 and users will be rewarded accordingly depending on where they place on the leaderboard.
One of the reasons Gala Bingo is so popular is that it accepts several major payment options, allowing you to deposit in the method you prefer. At the time of writing, Gala Bingo accepts the following payment methods:
- VISA / MasterCard: Available instantly
- PayPal: Available instantly
- Skrill: Available instantly
- Neteller: Available instantly
- EcoCard: Available instantly
- Paysafecard: Available instantly
All of the deposit options are completely free as Gala Bingo will not charge you additional fees. However, each method will have a minimum deposit amount. For example, VISA, MasterCard and all eWallet methods require a minimum deposit of £5 while PayPal requires a minimum deposit of £10.
To make a deposit, all you need to do is log-in and click the ‘Deposit’ button at the top of the screen. You’ll need to select your preferred payment option, provide any required information and then enter how much you want to deposit. When that’s done, you confirm the transaction and begin playing!
With the exception of Paysafecard, most of the above methods can be used for withdrawals. However, the time it takes for them to process and reach your account can differ depending on the amount of money and method used. Take a look below for more information:
- VISA / MasterCard: Two to five business days
- PayPal: Available instantly
- Skrill: Available instantly
- Neteller: Available instantly
- Eco: Available instantly
- Bank Transfer: Two to five business days
According to Gala Bingo, the firm will not charge you for requesting any withdrawals, however, your bank may do so. It’s import to check with your bank before requesting any withdrawals. In addition to this, withdrawals are not processed on Bank Holidays as they are non-bank working days.
To request a withdrawal, you should log-in and navigate towards your account. Once there, click the ‘Withdraw’ button and select how much you want to withdraw. Since Gala Bingo uses the same method you used to deposit for withdrawals, you cannot select a payment option. After confirming the transaction, you just need to wait for it to reach your account.
Source of Funds
Following rules by the UK Gambling Commission, Gala Bingo will require you to verify your identity after requesting your first withdrawal or depositing over a specific amount of money.
When this happens, you may need to provide Gala Bingo with the following:
- Proof of earnings: Payslips, dividends or pension
- Photographic ID: Passport, driver’s license or national citizenship card
- Payment methods: Images or screenshots of the card or e-wallet you used to deposit
- Address: Recent utility bill, bank statement or mortgage statement
Verifying your identity can take a long time and slow down the time it takes for you to receive your withdrawal, so we suggest you speak to customer support and begin the process as soon as you can. This will help speed up your withdrawal.
When you run into a problem at an online casino or bingo site, it’s important the firm provides you with several ways to contact customer support. Gala Bingo does that, allowing you to either email the support team through a form on their website or launch the site’s live chat service.
When we launched Gala Bingo’s live chat service, we were told we were number one in the queue but were greeted instantly by a support agent. We found that the agent was quick to respond but their answers rarely made sense. We also felt that the first agent we spoke to didn’t know the answers to our questions. The second and third agents we spoke to took much longer to reply, leaving us to wait for several minutes at a time. The second agent never replied to us and the third provided us with wrong answers before explaining they didn’t know the answer to the question.
We were somewhat disappointed with our Gala Bingo live chat experience as we expected better. Most of the agents were unhelpful, didn’t know the answers to our questions and were slow to reply. One even ignored us completely. It was a frustrating experience, though live chat seems to be the best option to contact the support team as they don’t offer a phone line to call.
Smartphone Browser Vs App
Gala Bingo can be played through both your smartphone’s internet browser and a dedicated smartphone app, but which is better?
Gala Bingo App
There are two different mobile apps you can download either via the Apple or Google Play stores. The apps all offer different games and experiences, though it can be somewhat confusing to understand what is offered on the apps:
- Gala Bingo: This app allows you to play bingo games and a selection of slots, scratch cards and table games
- Gala Games by Gala Bingo: This app only offers slot and casino games but features a more attractive design. You cannot play bingo games with this app
You don’t need to download both apps and can just download the app which offers the games you prefer to play. However, downloading the apps does take up additional storage on your smartphone device and the apps may not feature the most recent releases, so playing in-browser may be a better idea.
Gala Bingo is an extremely mobile-friendly website. Users can load up the website through their smartphone browser and begin playing their favourite games without a problem. The website design is easy to use and browse around in, which is perfect for that are on-the-go.
Since some games at Gala Bingo require Flash Player to work, they are not compatible on smartphone devices. This can be frustrating if it’s a game you enjoy. However, the fact that you don’t need to download a casino app that takes up additional storage is a huge benefit. In addition, you’ll have access to all of the latest games when playing through your smartphone browser.
It’s entirely up to your personal preference whether you want to play through an app or your smartphone browser. Take a look at the apps yourself and try the site through your browser to help make a decision.
Gala Bingo is owned by Gala Interactive (Gibraltar) Limited, a firm which also owns several other popular online casinos. Gala’s sister sites include Gala Spins and Gala Casino, both of which focus more on providing you with table casino and slot games. It’s important to understand that, even though they’re sister sites, all three casinos require separate registrations.
Gala Bingo is known for being one of the biggest and best bingo operators in the world and it’s easy to see why. The site’s bingo collection is impressive as well as its selection of casino games. What makes the site even more impressive is the accepted payment options, promotions and mobile-friendliness.
However, we felt that Gala Bingo’s customer support was disappointing. The agents were unhelpful and couldn’t provide answers to our questions, this is something we’d love to see improved in the future. In addition, withdrawals take longer to process than most casinos which we thought was disappointing.
If that doesn’t both you in any way, then we suggest you give Gala Bingo a go. It offers a wide range of games, runs fun and exciting promotions and will keep you interested for a long time. Why not give it a go today?