Wayne's Gala Bingo Review

What can I say about Gala Bingo?

It's probably the most well known bingo brand in the UK (along with Mecca Bingo) as for many years it had a huge presence on the UK high street. The Gala Bingo clubs are no more, but the website is still going strong under new owners GVC and a new site redesign in 2020 has taken the site to a new level.

They certainly know how to run an exciting bingo site with loads of promotions going on all of the time and fair wagering means it gets #4 position in my Best Bingo Sites list for 2020.

Bingo Rooms

Gala Bingo is part of the Playtech bingo network meaning it has all of the most popular bingo variants such as Deal or No Deal Bingo and Fluffy Favourites Bingo. It also has a bunch of it's own exclusive bingo games, developed in partnership with Playtech such as the TV soap tie-ins Coronation Street and Emmerdale Bingo.

Gala Exclusive Jackpots

Gala has a special jackpot feature called Gala Exclusive Jackpots that is available in most of the bingo rooms that are exclusive to them. Basically it consists of five different fixed and progressive jackpots that can be triggered on any game in any room. It works in pretty much the same way as Premiere Bingo Jackpots over on rival site Mecca, but Gala's prize money is much bigger with less frequency of being won.

Each jackpot is guaranteed to pay out at different times:

  • Hourly Jackpot: £20 fixed prize - won on average once per hour.
  • Daily Jackpot: £100 fixed prize - won on average once a day.
  • Weekly Jackpot: £250 fixed prize - won on average twice a week.
  • Monthly Jackpot: Progressive from £25k - won on average once a month.
  • Bingo Boss Jackpot: Progressive from £50k - won on average once every 6 months.

If you're in a room with these jackpots it will pop up on screen to tell you, plus you click on each one to see when it was last won, meaning you have a rough idea of when it could potentially pay out again. Look for the J icon and tap it to bring up this info.

"Gala Bingo may no longer have their bingo halls, but it means they have their whole attention on the online experience. Great promotions, celebrity events and massive jackpots are all part of the Gala mix these days."

How to join Gala Bingo

To join Gala Bingo first click on the 'Join Now' button that should appear in the top right. A registration form will appear, but unlike almost every other registration form I have ever seen, this one asks you for one or two bits of information at a time before you can move to the next step. It does make it feel like a longer process than most, but the info asked for is just the same as any other bingo site.

Follow the instructions to set up your account. A verification check will take place before you are allowed to deposit and play. Usually I would expect this to be approved automatically, but if there are any problems there is a live help on the registration form you can speak to.

Gala Bingo Login

Once you're a member you can login to Gala Bingo just by clicking on the yellow Log In button up at the top right.

You can use either your email address or username, along with a password to login. If you're using the Gala Bingo mobile app, depending on your phone you can also use fingerprint recognition or FaceID to login.

How to find the bingo games

The simplest way to find all of the bingo games is to click on the main 'Play Bingo Now' button you can see on the homepage once you are logged in. All of the individual bingo rooms you see on the homepage have a play button that takes you directly to that room, but the first button opens up the bingo lobby instead where all rooms are shown.

All of the upcoming bingo rooms are also available on the bingo section of the Gala site, which you can select from the main menu.

Once you are in the lobby the layout may be familiar if you've played at any of the other Playtech sites. On desktop you have options down the left hand side to filter the rooms from Bingo Beats, 90 Ball, 40/50 Ball, 75/80 Ball, TV Specials and games. The TV Specials tab is also where you will find the session bingo room, Main Event.

Club Bingo (aka Session Bingo)

If you look on the main Gala Bingo navigation bar, you'll see 'Club' is one of the options. This has nothing to do with the land based Gala clubs, which have long since been sold off and rebranded to Buzz Bingo, but rather it refers to Gala's version of Session Bingo.

Session bingo is when you pay for a whole block of bingo games (in this case 75 minutes worth) for one price. It's a little confusing why they don't just call this page 'Session Bingo' but I guess they still have some people visiting the site who aren't aware the bingo clubs were sold off, so if they call the page 'Club' it can still rank for this in Google.

Unlike other sites with session bingo who usually have four per day, at Gala there is only one in the evening from 7.30pm - 8.50pm. However, they do try to at least mix it up every day, with different promotions depending on what day of the week it is:

  • Everyone Wins Monday: An extra £60 prize pot per game that is shared by all losing players.
  • Nifty Fiftys Tuesday: £50 prize for every 1L, 2L and FH.
  • Double Up Wednesday: If you call full house on a double number (e.g. 11, 22) your prize is doubled.
  • Ton Up Thursday: £100 FH prize guaranteed on every game.
  • Big Money Friday: £1,000 FH prize on the final game of the session.
  • High Five Saturday: £100 progressive jackpot won if you call FH on a number ending in 5.
  • Double Ton Up Sunday: £200 FH prize guaranteed on every game.

T&Cs apply to all these events and are subject to change, so check the Club page on Gala for all the details.

These club bingo sessions take place in the Main Event bingo room, which you can find in the lobby. Tickets for will cost you £2 each, with a maximum of 12 tickets per player. Total cost if you max out is £12. The room also has the regular 5 Gala Bingo Jackpots (more info further in this review) that can be triggered on any game.

How to deposit at Gala Bingo

To make a deposit the best way is to click on the account icon in the top right and then select 'Deposit' from the list of options. There is a yellow 'deposit' button you could use, but this is designed mainly for redeposits and only gives you the option of the same payment method you recently used.

Once in the deposit screen you can choose from the following options:

  • PayPal
  • Debit Card
  • Paysafecard
  • Skrill
  • Trustly

Select your preferred method, enter the amount you wish to deposit and hit the deposit button. The minimum deposit amount at Gala Bingo is £5, except for PayPal which has a £10 minimum.

If you have any issues there is a live help button on the deposit page so you can talk to an advisor.

How to make a withdrawal

If you want to take out any winnings, you get to the withdrawal screen by clicking on your account icon (top right) and then selecting 'Withdrawals'. You will be asked to choose which withdrawal method you wish to use, but typically the requirement these days is that you can only withdraw to the same method which you used to deposit.

Click on your chosen method and it will display how much withdrawable balance you have. Restricted balance will show anything that you may have received as bonus funds and still has wagering requirements attached.

Here the minimum withdrawal amount is £5 for all methods including PayPal. Typically bank transfers can take a few days to process, but any of the e-wallets suchh as PayPal, Skrill and Paysafecard are same day.

Free Bingo at Gala

Gala Bingo regularly has free bingo games connected to some kind of promotion, so our first advice is to check out their promotions page. Sometimes free tickets are given as rewards for bingo play but you may have to opt-in first.

Recently I spent some money on bingo tickets and a message popped up to say I had won free tickets to a game on Sunday at 2.30pm in the 'Gala Rewards' room. This room is not one I could see on the main lobby, so it must be hidden until you trigger the special promo. Visit the Gala Rewards page on the main nav to find out more.

There is also an 80 ball room called All Sorts that occasionally has 'Free or Superbooks' games in it. This means the tickets are free for that game, but you also have the option to buy tickets instead. If you buy tickets, you still have the same chance of winning as free players, but your prize money will be significantly bigger.

The best way to check when the next free or superbooks game is being played is to open the room and then press 'schedule' in the menu and scroll through until you find when it is on next.  

Bingo Games Available

Bingo Games Available

Gala Live Events

Gala has recently introduced regular live-streamed events with celebrity guests such as Stephen Mulhern and the cast of Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

At first these games were a bit complicated, with players having to choose numbers in advance of the game and then tuning in via Facebook or YouTube. However, they're slowly improving the shows and now they can take place completely within the TV Specials room using the normal bingo software.

Skip ahead in this video to 31 minutes in to see one of the previous live shows with Stephen Mulhern.

Does Gala Bingo have an app?

Yes. Gala does have a dedicated app for both Android and iOS available from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

I use the Android app and I have to say it isn't very reliable. It appears to crash with 'web page not available' every time I load it up, so I tend to just use the mobile web browser instead. It is far more reliable and there isn't really anything the app can do that you can't do just by using the browser.

Who owns Gala Bingo?

Gala Bingo is currently owned by GVC Holdings Plc who are one of the biggest betting and gaming companies in the world. In addition to Gala they also operate Foxy Bingo, Ladbrokes Bingo, Cheeky Bingo and Coral Bingo.

Gala originally started out as a division of Bass Plc in 1991. It then became it's own company which was renamed to Gala Coral Group after it aquired Coral in 2005. In 2015 the company sold it's 126 retail bingo clubs but allowed the new owners, Caledonia Investments, to continue using the Gala Bingo name until 2018 when they were rebranded as Buzz Bingo.

Gala Coral continued to run the Gala Bingo website and in 2016 the company was bought by Ladbrokes, becoming Ladbrokes Coral. Then finally in 2018 it was bought by GVC Holdings who are the current owners.

If you look at the footer of the Gala Bingo website you will also see it is operated by LC International, who hold the UK gambling license. On your bank statement any deposits or withdrawals may appear as Gala Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd.

How to contact Gala Bingo

Gala Bingo have a contact us page that you can find in the footer. Since COVID they've stripped this page back and are encouraging players to use the FAQ to solve their issues or to message their customer support on Facebook messenger.

However, if you click through any of the FAQs it will eventually ask if you need any more help. If you select yes it then does give you a few more options including live chat and an email form.

Gala Bingo TV Ads

There have been loads of Gala Bingo adverts over the years but the latest ones have been part of their relaunch campaign, titled 'Bingo Like A Boss'.

There have been a number of different adverts featuring 'Gloria' aka Paisley Billings from Tattoo Fixers. The video review below is the first I ever did for my YouTube channel, taking a look at the advert as well as parts of the newly redesigned Gala Bingo website.

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