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How to Choose between the Bingo Networks
When you’re looking around for a bingo site to join, there are several points that you might want to note. The first thing is that the promotions and the bonuses are usually the same across a network. This tends to result in some special deals that are very lucrative. In addition to this, you may want to look at the freebies on offer, especially those for new members. Probably the most important of the considerations, however, is the size of the jackpots that are on offer.
When you sign up to a particular syndicate, the number of people participating affects the overall amount that is available to win. At a basic level, when there are more players taking part, the prize fund on offer will be higher. Naturally, the flip side of this is that there are more people trying to win it, and so the odds of you getting lucky are reduced. Nevertheless, for many, this is one of the most attractive features of the online networks.
Which Bingo Networks Are Dominating the Market?
A recent report revealed that there were 421 online bingo sites that were active in 2017, and only four of these use their own proprietary software. The majority of the others are linked to one of the top networks. Out of the providers, the front-runner in the field is Dragonfish, which is a part of Cassava Enterprises that is behind industry giants like Wink Bingo. This company has 192 websites using its software at last count, although it has to be noted that this has decreased slightly from the previous year. Dragonfish’s main rival is Cozy Games, whose share of the market expanded to 106 websites in the same year.
Some way behind in terms of numbers are Jumpman Gaming, and also Virtue Fusion, who are a subsidiary of Playtech. These two companies hold the middle ground, by catering for 42 and 31 sites respectively. The remaining names on the list are all in single figures. Somewhat surprisingly, Microgaming falls into this category, although it has to be said that bingo isn’t the main focus of its business. The future isn’t looking overly bright for the smaller providers, whose presence in the scene continues to diminish. At best, they can expect to hold their own, but the experts predict that they will continue to drop away.
Leading Bingo Networks
How the White Label Bingo Sites Are Structured
Many of the websites are described as ‘bingo skins’ or ‘white label’. This means that the site is run by an independent operator who uses a complete software package from one of the licensed providers. This package integrates the entire operation, and so everything to do with the process, from the registration to the customer support, is unified. The sites that use this kind of system are linked to the provider’s network, and their members will have access to all the facilities that are on offer there.
Although much of the content is shared, the operators can put their own themes onto the websites, and so each of them retains its individuality. Once again, the three main providers for this kind of service are Dragonfish, Cozy Games, and Jumpman Gaming. The fourth name in this leading group, Virtue Fusion, has taken a different approach to this aspect of its operation, and provides a more bespoke service for its clients, among which big names like bet365 Bingo.
The Variety of Games Found on the Bingo Networks
The standard bingo choices can be found on all of the online networks, and so you won’t have any difficulty finding the 90-ball option, which has its roots in the UK. Its American cousin, the 75-ball game, is the other mainstay. You are also likely to see the 80-ball version as this is listed on many of the provider’s sites. In addition to the three standard games, there are some other alternatives on offer, and these provide some quirky variations to the regular format.The Variations of Bingo on the Networks
- Candylicious is provided by Dragonfish. This innovative game involves drawing candies instead of numbers and a win involves matching 5 of them.
- Cozy Games has produced a 30-ball version, which is also known as speed bingo. This off-shoot is popular because it provides a faster pace of play.
- Flash Fives is another variant produced by Dragonfish. In this unusual offering, you’ll be using playing cards, which are drawn out of a 52-card deck.
- Virtue Fusion has linked one of Playtech’s top slots. This is Rainbow Riches Bingo, and the 42-ball game features the iconic leprechaun.
- The 5-line game is also referred to as Swedish bingo, and this can be found on the Dragonfish network. There are 5 ways of winning in this version.
The Networked Games with the Large Jackpots
Probably the best thing about joining one of the online bingo networks is that you’ll be given access to some of the larger prize funds. These are generally divided into two types. There are those with fixed awards, and then others that have pooled winnings. In this case, the prize fund is relative to the number of participants. Some of the versions have sliding jackpots. In this situation, the amount that is paid out is dependent on the time that it takes to win. For instance, if you achieve bingo within 44 calls, you will receive a bigger sum than you would for being within 48. If you would like to take part in one of the big money sessions, the advice is to pre-buy your tickets. Many players don’t realise that there are limited places for some of the rounds, and it is all too easy to miss out on the opportunity to take part.
The Possibility of Integrated Bonuses and Promotions
A quick glance at some of the recent bingo sites that share the same provider will soon reveal that the welcome bonuses and many of the other promotions are all the same. This can be one of the most positive aspects of the networks for online players as it sometimes means that the sums on offer are far larger. The wagering requirements are also standardised in this situation. At Dragonfish, these are referred to as ‘shared games’ in the terms and conditions, and the members from several venues will all be playing for the same jackpot. It’s a similar case with Cozy Games and Jumpman Gaming, who both run collective games across their networks.
The Benefits of Joining the Networked Loyalty Clubs
Each of the bingo networks takes a different approach when it comes to the loyalty or VIP schemes. Some don’t link them at all, preferring to leave the websites to decide for themselves whether to run them and the structure that they should take. Others run linked schemes that can be customized. The Daub network, for instance, has 6 levels, in which players start as newbies and work up to emerald. At each of the stages, there are various rewards, and every site puts its own spin on these. It’s probably Dragonfish that runs the most coordinated loyalty programme out of them all. The Joy Gem Club has members from what they describe as ‘the whole family of sites’ including leading names like 888Ladies. This allows members of one website to access the VIP rooms in several others too.
If the site belongs to one of the online networks that has a loyalty scheme in place, there may be some exclusive games for VIP members. These can be very lucrative as the top prizes are generally bigger and the ticket prices are lower. In addition, these rooms often have additional giveaways, such as extra loyalty points or one-off treats. Some of the bingo rooms are for players at all levels of the schemes, but others are targeted at those on a specific tier. If this is the case, the rewards tend to be more generous for those who have reached the upper ranks of the programmes.
Some Final Considerations When Choosing a Network
There are some key considerations that should be taken into account when you’re choosing which of the online bingo networks to join. As always, the value attributed to each of these will very much depend on which of the factors are most important to you.
- The Shared Licensing. The network holds the licence and is responsible for regulating the websites under its patronage. Ultimately, this provides players with a greater degree of protection.
- The social elements. Are the chat room hosts directly employed or provided by a subsidiary company? For example, both Virtue Fusion and Dragonfish provide experienced hosts for their sites.
- Customer Services. This is another centralised aspect, so you can explore the provision on offer. Jumpman Gaming, for instance, states that its customer service team is based in the UK.
- Banking Services. There tends to be more payment options on some networks than others, so check that there is a suitable method for you listed.
The Future Prospects for the Bingo Networks
There have been many recent changes in the bingo world, and more are expected in the coming year. Although these are unlikely to affect players directly, they are still interesting to note. Cozy Games was acquired by GVC Holdings late in 2017, and the sites that are on this platform now hold a licence under ElectraWorks Limited. This network is now expected to expand its provision. A new platform has been touted by the mysterious ‘Mr Q’. This has yet to materialise though, and there is very little information available about it. The other games provider who is joining the arena is Yggdrasil Gaming. This company has plans to launch its bingo software within the coming months.