Updated: 05 Feb 2018
Champers Bingo Casino Review
The name ‘Champers Bingo Casino’ needs some explanation. ‘Champers’ stands for champagne, while ‘Bingo Casino’ stands for another Cozy Games’ crossbreeding experiment where the casino part looks like a cow’s udder attached to a crocodile. That said, the bingo part of Champers is really cool. It is the other side that troubles us. The casino software that Cozy Games uses is mostly of their own development, save for a few popular NetEnt titles. It’s sparse, it’s average, and it lacks live games.
The site itself isn’t great, either, though the mobile version solves some of its problems. As for the welcome bonus… Imagine a free week of bingo with 12 bonus tickets for every game before you even wager anything, followed by three consecutive deposit bonuses of 300%, 150%, and 100%, yielding up to £210 in total, with a 20x bonus+deposit wager requirement for slots or 4x for bingo. Not bad, right? Well, we have a big ugly surprise for you in the bonus section. Or you may just take a sneak peek in the pros’n’cons box. Anyway, before we start the surgery, let’s look our patient in the face first.
- Bingo galore! Lots of rooms and games;
- A strong bingo community;
- UKGC & Isle of Man licenses, eCOGRA as ADR.
- Few casino games overall, no live games;
- Two software suppliers;
- Lousy design;
- Oppressive withdrawal terms;
- Sleazy bonuses, ugly cousins of the sticky ones.
Champers Bingo is a part of the huge Cozy Games family. Launched in 2015, the platform has sprouted a solid community in less than two years. Its reputation hasn’t spread outside the bingo circles, however: Champers was never intended to reach for the stars. As a casino focused primarily, but not solely, on UK market, Champers Bingo operates under two licenses, UKGC and the Isle of Man Gaming Commission, and works with eCOGRA as its ADR. Obviously, the platform complies with the latest security standards like SSL encryption and independent RNG testing (iTechLabs, approved by eCOGRA).
Unfortunately, the sweet summer-of-love first impression that the website makes, fades in a matter of seconds. Firstly, the site lacks a single design code: sometimes there are more fonts on a page than neon signs on a Tokyo street. Secondly, there is an abundance of small but stupid UI mistakes: from heaps of useless text on the homepage (thank you for the bingo history lesson, Champers!) to a ridiculous hover image that resembles a laundry wash basin rather than a glass of sparkling wine.
The choice of bingo rooms is impressive, while the choice of everything else is predictably scarce for a bingo casino; most of the software is second-rate, especially Cozy Games’ own titles. Without an integrated lobby, every game opens in a new window, which certainly doesn’t add up to the overall user experience. Put short, the site looks and feels neglected.
“The choice of bingo rooms is impressive, while the choice of everything else is way smaller.”
Customer Support. Everything’s okay here. Email and live chat both work 24/7, but require login. The FAQ section is also very explicit, so you might not even have to refrain to CS.
Banking. Champers offers a good set of banking options, but the numerous limitations and regulations, typical to Cozy Games casinos, make you feel caged. Deposits and withdrawals are made via Skrill, Neteller, Paysafecard, Paypal (for the UK only), Ukash, Boku, bank or card transfer. Withdrawal request usually takes about a day to process with e-wallets, up to 5 days with cards, and up to a week with wire. Champers Bingo accepts payments in EUR, USD, and GBP, but mentions that the account balance should never exceed £500. The minimum deposit is £5, and the minimum withdrawal is £10. The crappy part is that there are also daily, weekly, and monthly withdrawal caps of £1000, £3000, and £5000, respectively. Winnings on progressive jackpots are paid in weekly increments of £5000, until they are exhausted – or until you are. Thankfully, Champers does not charge any commission for transactions.
Software and Game Variety
Aside from bingo, the game variety here is poor. Paraphrasing the typo from Champers mobile page, we can say that as a casion, it looks pretty casioff. There are less than 170 games overall, and most of them are Cozy slots. Other than that, Champers Bingo offers 9 casino games (games! not types: four kinds of video poker, four variations of roulette, and a keno), and 13 scratch games (why?).
- Slots: Starburst, Stampede, Twinkle, Brittonaire
- Table Games: Roulette, Keno
- Video Poker: Aces and Faces, Jacks or Better, 10s or Better, Deuces Wild
- Scratch Games: Cold Cash, Go Bananas, Kittenball, Bargainista
Mobile and Live Gaming
Though the mobile version of Champers Bingo messes up margins sometimes and takes a bit longer to load than its older sister, it does hide much of the useless shite that the desktop site proudly puts on the front page, and it generally feels more straight-to-the point.
As we’ve mentioned above, the platform doesn’t feature a live casino, focusing on bingo and slots instead. Punters looking for realthrill should look elsewhere.
Bonuses and Promotions
This part is always the ultimate pain in the ass when it comes to bingo casinos. Looks like crossover platforms hold some sort of unspoken competition to find out whose set of bonus rules is the most devious and mind-twisting.
The reason we’ve postponed our verdict for promotions lies in the currency system, a crutch that the whole bonus structure leans upon. In addition to the two basic account currencies, Cash and Winnings, every bonus you get at Champers Bingo belongs to one of the four bonus currencies – Bingo Bonus, for wagering on bingo and buying tickets; Cash Bonus, for wagering on slots; Free Tickets for bingo; and Free Spins for slots. Freebies are too obvious to bother. Bonuses, on the other hand, despite their seemingly different applications, have some particularly suspicious common properties, which leads us to think that this is actually the same dude wearing different hats. Here’s the catch: this type of bonus CANNOT be withdrawn or otherwise converted into cash. We call it sleazy bonus, nodding at its notorious sticky bonuscousin. They bear a certain resemblance, but there’s a fundamental difference in how they handle currencies, and we cannot say for certain which one is potentially more detrimental.
“Champers Bingo’s Welcome Bonus is weird, and it’s way more interesting to figure out what it is than actually to claim it.”
Unlike the sticky bonus, which acts like a good law-abiding promotion until you request withdrawal, Sleazy will always avoid putting itself on the line, until the balance is exhausted, firston the Cashaccountandthenon Winnings. Since the bonus itself counts as a separate currency, it does not subtract its face value from your cash balance upon expiry/withdrawal like cousin Sticky does. Similarly, though, it may be used for further wagering until you make a withdrawal.
Oh, thank funk and jazz that bonuses are optional.