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All About Charity Bingo
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All About Charity Bingo

Where Does the Bingo Money Go?

There are over 180,000 registered charities in the UK. According to statistics published by gov.uk, 69% of these charities currently receive an annual income of OVER £5,000,000. Not to mention, at least half of all adults in the country regularly donate to any given charity. Clearly us Brits place a lot of importance on giving back. However, how much of the money we give to charity, actually goes to charity?

A History of Charity BingoRehab Bingo cloud logo

Before we get into the nitty-gritty finances, we should first explore a bit behind the origins of charity bingo. It all began with a Virtue Fusion website brought to us from Ireland in 2005: Rehab Bingo, which was first run by a non-profit organisation called the Rehab Group.

They raised thousand of pounds a month for volunteer charitable activities working with the disabled and socially marginalised. Proceeds from Rehab Bingo contributed to the duties of over 50,000 volunteers in 200 centres all across the world. Plus, members of Rehab Bingo were still able to enjoy cash prizes and generous promotions alongside giving to a good cause.

The Bad Eggs

Bad egg

On the other hand, we’re sad to say that a lot of money for some supposedly charitable sites goes straight into company pockets, rather then the pockets of those who actually need it. In fact, only a very small percentage of the money goes to charity. First of all, it’s important to understand that there is a big difference between donating a percentage of profits and a percentage of deposits.

For instance, the website Charity Bingo donates a percentage of deposits, which puts them in a slightly more generous position. Even if they are particularly unlucky in terms of bingo winnings, they are still obliged to give the same lump sum to charity. However, it is important to point out that the percentage they pledge is so miniscule it hardly matters at only 10%. You’d think a brand should be donating at least half its profits before being allowed to call itself ‘Charity’.

Next let’s take a look at the Dragonfish site Pink Ribbon Bingo. They are run in partnership with Daily Mail Bingo and support Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Despite the pink ribbon branding, it is not directly a part of the charity, but is instead an official corporate partner donating 15% of gross profits. Not deposits – profits, meaning they keep a huge slice of the pie for themselves by changing just that one word. Besides, 15% is hardly better then the 10% outlined above.

We digress, there are some charity sites that just don’t bother at all; Bingo Giving is one example. Run on the Dragonfish network, this site operates on a consistent ‘Charity of the Month’ basis. Their mascot, Gus the Gorilla, can be seen on the homepage advertising whichever charity is currently supported. Unfortunately, the charity of the month seems to accumulate barely any donations.

For example, this January just £12 out of the low £200 goal has been raised for FireFighters. That’s worth barely four cups of Starbucks coffee. This is especially tiny when considering charity bingo sites will usually donate a reasonable percentage of their profits, which can sometimes reach up to SIX FIGURES. There have been some months where Bingo Giving raised absolutely £0, which at one point continued for about half a year. In fact, many times they have not even bothered to change their apparently monthly charity. It’s safe to say that Bingo Giving should be low on your list if in the giving mood.

The Good Apples

But don’t despair, it’s not all scams and hold-backs. There are still some sites which focus on giving most, if not ALL, of their profits to good causes. For example, Tickety Boo Games is owned by Marie Curie Charity Care. This charity provides care and emotional support for patients with terminal cancer and their families, at home and in hospices. All net profits from Tickety Boo Games go to the charity, a rare thing in the bingo world, making it WDW’s No.1 recommended charity site!

Good Apples With Hearts

Charitable Promotions and Sponsorships

Even sites that don’t directly support a charity can be far more generous then those that do. This is all thanks to promotions and sponsorships!  Just take Foxy Bingo’s affiliation with the Charity Dream Girls, who have for eight years supported smaller, lesser known charities close to communities.

Gala Bingo even ran special Royal Voluntary Service promotional games this last Christmas (2014), raising money to make a happier Christmas time for thousands of lonely older people across Britain! We hate to say it, but this is a case where the bigger brands may indeed be better, or at least more trustworthy.


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