888 Update The Costa Bingo Stable
Article Updated On 15th September 2021
A few years ago Costa Bingo and it's sister sites like Sing, City and Fancy were riding high. Costa were well known for using Mel B in their advertising and pretty much all the brands offered no deposit welcome bonuses. During 2015/16 the stable rapidly expanded with the likes of Angry, Dino, Monkey and Treasure. However changes in taxation, UKGC regulations and ultimately a sale to 888 saw a change in fortunes. Costa Bingo stayed pretty much as it was but others switched to no wagering sites. Roll forward to today and things have changed yet again.
Deposit Bonus Changes
As of this week pretty much all the sites that made up the Ignite/Manadalay Media Group - now owened by 888 - have undergone changes. The biggest change comes in the form of the welcome bonus. The deposit £10 for 120 bingo tickets in exclusive rooms such as Ticket To Ride, Just The Ticket, Golden Ticket and Choo Choo has been dropped. In it's place players depositing at Treasure, Angry, Bringo and Giant will all be offered a 300% bonus up to £200 plus 30 free spins. The bonus attracts a x4 deposit + bonus wagering term but wins from the spins will be paid as real cash (capped at 10p per spin). This offer matches the one which has been available at Costa, City and Sing in recent times.
Free Friday £7K
The change in offer means that the no wagering on bingo bonuses is no longer part of the group's make-up. It also means that the exclusive rooms have now closed. Other closures include jackpot games including The Friday Big 5. The good news is that there are some new rooms. The biggest of which is The Free Friday £7K which comprises of 7 x £1000 games that take place on the hour every hour between 5pm and 11pm. We're a little confused by the name of this promo though because when we checked in to see the rooms they had ticket prices of 1p. However you can only access with a voucher so we're assuming it's a rewards based game. Also joining the fun are the £1K Hello Monday and £250 Sunday Fun Day - both free games but these are part of the Dragonfish Network set-up.
Winners & Losers
These changes homogenise all the brands within this network but that does mean there are winners and losers. The biggest loser is actually Costa Bingo because for years it's been numero uno with exclusive promotions and reload bonuses via Catching Rays and Top Up Treats. These have now gone - at least for the time being making it the same as all of it's siblings! In contrast the lesser known brands now can "compete" against their bigger sister. Another loser is the Diamonds rewards programme. This has now been dropped in favour of Reward Coins and a Rewards Shop. Coins are granted for every £1 real money wagered in Bingo Rooms and/or £10 real money wagered on Instant Games, or via promotions.
No Wagering Bingo
Another loser is no wagering bingo. Back in 2017 we saw a number of brands move to dropping wagering terms on bonuses. However the likes of Bgo.com, Zinger (now closed and moved to Bonnie), Hunky etc have changed tack. Fewer sites are launching on the Real Money Network and with this move it means almost 16 sites have switched from no wagering terms to wagering terms overnight. This either tells us that players are more than happy with wagering terms or that smaller sites just haven't been able to attract the numbers in order to make it work. We suspect that the answer may well lie somewhere between the two. We have no issues with wagering terms provided that they are clear and fair!
What Now For Costa Bingo
So what does the future hold for Costa Bingo? For a brief moment a year or so ago we thought 888 were going to push the brand back up the ladder. There was a TV ad campaign and daily holiday giveaway. However that brief flurry didn't spark anything exciting and then worldwide health issues probably scuppered any further marketing. We're not sure what to make of the recent changes. It does feel like a good move for the lesser brands but not such a good one for Costa which now feels diluted. In our view this should be up there with Wink and 888 Ladies. Hopefully the changes are a catalyst for good with better games, promotions and offers running across all brands. It's just a shame it has to be at the expense of uniqueness and exclusivity.
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