tombola is a family run business, proud of their roots in Sunderland in the North-East of England, with a history dating back to the 1950s when it printed bingo tickets. It’s a company with the community at its heart – many local charitable organisations are testament to that.
The business has grown to become one of the largest employers of game and web developers in the region. Their commitment to nurture the next generation of hi-tech employees was clearly demonstrated when in 2014 their Talent Academy opened their doors to its first batch of students.
The tombola we recognise today took its first tentative steps in 2006 with tombola arcade launching in July 2016. This venture into the world of arcade games offers players something different – games you won’t find anywhere else. Another important element of the ‘tombola experience’ is their award winning chat room where players meet to talk bingo and anything else that takes their fancy. Keeping a watchful eye on proceedings are the Chat Room Moderators.
tombola is Britain’s biggest bingo site and is different in that they use their own unique software platform to power an ever-developing range of exciting and popular bingo games. In 2021, the company was bought by industry behemoths Flutter.
- 2022 EGR Awards: Bingo Operator of the Year, Customer Services Operator and Safer Gambling Operator Winner
- 2018 EGR Awards: Bingo Operator of the Year and Marketing Campaign
- 2017 EGR Awards: Socially Responsible Operator and Bingo Operator of the Year
- 2016 Bingo Operator of the Year
- 2015 Customer Service Operator
- 2014 Bingo Operator of the Year
- 2013 Bingo Operator of the Year
- 2013 Socially Responsible Operator
- 2012 Bingo Operator of the Year
- 2012 Best Bingo Chat Hosts
- 2012 Best Overall Bingo Operator
- 2012 Best Bingo TV Commercial
- 2011 Most Popular Online Bingo Site
- 2011 Best Chat Host Team
- 2010 Online Bingo Operator of the Year
- 2010 Most Popular Online Bingo Site
- 2010 Best Online Game Innovation
- 2010 Most Online Bingo Prizes Won
- 2009 Most Online Bingo Prizes Won
- 2009 Best Chat Host Team
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Each game has its own room. Simply choose the game you want to play, enter the lobby and select the room. Some games, like Bingo 90 for example also have clubs with their own wagering requirements and rooms within that club.
tombola bingo Games
- tombola bingo 90 is one of the original classic offline games which you can now play online or on your mobile or tablet. Choose one of seven Bingo 90 clubs – Mosaic Club, Spectrum Club or one of the others, then the room you want to play in. Each has three chat rooms, although if you’re not feeling talkative just select ‘no chat’. The choice is yours. Tickets prices start at 10p rising to a max of £2. Play for one or two lines and full house prizes as well as the jackpot. Providing you have the funds you can buy up to four tickets or four strips of six. All bingo clubs will link together every 30 minutes to create one larger prize fund.
Each game offers four prizes:
- the first to complete one line
- the first to complete two lines
- the first to complete a full house
- a progressive jackpot is won if a full house is reached in 40 numbers or less.
The Return to Player (RTP) will always be more than 80%. Click the How to Play tab for more detailed instructions.
- tombola cinco, in the words of tombola, is a, “no skills card game” which means it’s a great choice for the ‘newbie’ and the ‘old hand.’ Although it’s played with cards they are called in traditional bingo fashion. The game can be played in 20 different clubs, although some are only open in the evening. Ticket prices vary depending which club you enter but are between 5p and 40p each. The game can be played in either auto or manual mode and you can buy up to five hands per game. The value of Cinco prizes are dependent on the number of players and a number of other factors which are clearly laid out in the rules. For lucky jackpot winners the amount is dependent on the number of cards it takes to win and the amount of the wager.
- with a five card win in 40p rooms the jackpot is £20,000
- with a six card win in a 20p room the jackpot is £1,000
- with a five card win in a 5p room the jackpot is £125
The Return to Player (RTP) for Cinco will always be more than 80%. Click the How to Play tab for more detailed instructions.
- For 10p tickets, the prize is £2,000, if won in 10 spins or less, but falls to £200 if won in 11 or 12 spins.
- For 50p tickets, the prize is £10,000, if won in 10 spins or less, or £1,000 if won in 11 or 12 spins.
Click the How to Play tab for more detailed instructions.
Slots and Casino Games
Unlike many other gaming companies, tombola doesn’t have slots and only a handful of casino games in their portfolio.
However for something a little different, their sister site the tombola arcade has a great range of low cost arcade games to enjoy.
Promotions change regularly – the website Current Promotions page is the best place for up-to-date information. The Promotional Rules lay out the Terms and Conditions in more detail.
There are always some exciting promotions on offer. For example it might include:
- an offer to triple your first deposit
- free Pulse BBQ party
- 10k jackpot drop
- Cinco Nights with guaranteed prizes in every game
There are also other smaller but fun bonuses and quirky promotions on offer – some are on tombola’s social media sites, so check them out too.
tombola bingo has a strong social media presence. The Which Bingo Online annual Report for 2017 says that tombola continues to excel in social media, particularly important as the same report quite clearly states that the average online player is getting younger.
- Facebook: tombola’s Facebook page (bingo and arcade) is mostly about promotion with the chance to take part in some weird and wonderful competitions to win prizes. It’s a fun and popular way of getting people involved – a thumbs up for the tombola creative team for designing some of the zany graphics. The message feature shows a 96% response rate with a reply, “typically within minutes.” Their Facebook URL is https://www.facebook.com/tombola/ or search for @tombola
- Instagram: tombola’s Instagram platform has much of the same news and promotions carried on Facebook although the Instagram format makes it less cluttered than Facebook. It’s a popular and straightforward way of keeping in touch with all things Tombola. You will find the page at https://www.instagram.com/tombola_uk/ or search @tombola_uk
- YouTube: tombola also has a YouTube channel featuring promotional material, how to play videos and other company news. Some of the videos are only viewed a few times others have attracted hundreds of thousands of views. Lots to learn about the company and its games if you have some time to spare.
tombola on Mobile and Tablet
On tombola’s fully responsive site it’s a straightforward process to enjoy all the games in the portfolio on both mobile and tablet – so you can easily play on the go. Thoughtfully laid out menus and well sized buttons make it easy to select your game. Just tap and you are in, then choose the room you want to play in, buy your ticket and start playing. If you don’t want others to hear what you’re doing, the Settings tab let’s you turn the sound off.
All the other important stuff is also at your fingertips – account information, promotions, terms and conditions, entry to the chat rooms or if you fancy a job at tombola the careers button is right there too. If you need a little help along the way, live help, free phone and email support is close at hand.
When you’re done, there’s no need to search for the logout button, the big red button at the bottom lets you do just that.
Download the App
Play all your favourite games in one app is tombola’s proud boast. The website has clear step by step instructions on how to download and install the app for iPhone and iPad or an Android device. The app allows a quick login and will remember, should you want it to, the details for the next time. It has the same functionality as the website with a scrollable menu giving you access to the games, rooms, prizes with chat rooms also connected.
- The Android app which can be downloaded directly from tombola was last updated in February 2017 and for the techies among you it’s compatible with Version 2.3 (Gingerbread) and above.
- The iPhone app (also designed for and iPad) which was most recently updated in April 2017, is downloaded from ITunes in the same way as any other iOS app. Currently you need need iOS 5.1.1 or later.
- An app for tombola Arcade is also available.
One of the really good features of the app is that if you need to put your mobile device down to do other things the game will automatically complete with any winnings being credited to your account.
There’s very little not to like about the app and should you be signing up to tombola as a new customer the same welcome bonuses and offers apply.
Potential problems installing the app
Most users will find the download procedure going without a hitch but there are a number of potential issues to be aware of.
- Because Android phones are generally set to download from the Google Play Store and the tombola app comes directly from the website you must remember to click “Unknown Sources” which lets you download from other sources.
There are another couple of areas of possible concern highlighted by tombola, however an easy to understand video tutorial takes you through the process. It only takes a few minutes to be up and running.
tombola Usability and Registration
The Which Bingo Online Bingo Annual Report for 2017 looks at the issue of usability in some depth. In their survey of the Top 10 Most Accessible Online Bingo Sites, tombola features in second place with 13 known problems. They are described as minimal issues.
tombola’s registration process only takes a few minutes. You must be at least 18 years old. The Join Now banner is the first thing you see on the site’s home page. One click takes you to a form where you fill in your details. Complete this, choose a user name and go through some security questions and you’re directed to a page, which will guide you through the process of depositing funds in your new account. The Customer Service team is always on hand, should there be any problems.
tombola Final Thoughts
tombola Bingo is one the UK’s biggest bingo sites and has remained popular with players of all ages. Its bespoke software offers something different, which in the increasingly crowded world of online bingo is refreshing. Its broad range of games and selection of rooms offers something for everyone. Its increasing advertising budget makes tombola one of the best-known online bingo brands. Unsurprisingly it is also one of the most searched bingo brands in Google in the UK.
The rules of individual games can be picked up quickly and easily, although the company might consider introducing a ‘newbie’ room just to ease the concerns of first time players. Wagering limits are generally fairly low, which ensures the games are within everybody’s reach but winnings, with progressive jackpots on some games, can be substantial.
There’s a decent welcome bonus and to keep the site fresh, an ever-changing range of promotions. The company make good use of social media for promotional information and company news. For many, the award winning chat rooms are the icing on the cake.
There are some issues which the company need to work on. For example the Which Bingo Online Bingo Annual Report for 2017, highlights some cross platform compatibility issues. On the plus side the report also says that tombola is one of the fastest sites to load.
Many, particularly if they live in the North East of England, will appreciate and applaud the company’s community involvement. We’d rate this site as 8/10.
- tombola uses its own bespoke software.
- For customers accessing www.tombola.co.uk from Great Britain, the service is regulated and licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
- tombola Ltd 2005-2017 operated by Tombola International is licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gaming Commission.
- Help and support is offered from the Customer Service Team, which operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call free on 0800 29 888 73 or Email [email protected]. They aim to answer all queries within 12 hours.