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Gala Review

Gala Coral is the UK's third biggest bookmaker and is split into a number of divisions, including the Gala Bingo clubs and land based casinos, plus the Coral betting shops. Although based in Nottingham, the online division has, since 2011, operated out of Gibraltar. In total, the group has over 14,000 employees, with over 30 casinos and 144 bingo halls that have around 5 million members.

The history of the Gala brand is relatively short, with the first bingo clubs being launched in 1991 following the purchase of Granada Theatres' clubs by Bass plc. The first online site was started in 2006 and there is now a main bingo site, an online casino and a sub-section of the casino dedicated to poker. Additionally, visitors to Gala will see mobile versions of bingo and the casino, a live casino and whole areas given over to slots, scratch cards, instant win games and more. Gala's betting websites are well presented using quality software platforms, while bonuses and promotions tend to be better than average in order to let players' money go further.

Casino

Being one of the biggest operators of land based casinos has given Gala years of experience in providing what their customers want, so it should be no surprise that the online casino is a top notch site that was recently re-launched with Playtech software. Playtech are a highly regarded online casino games developer, who produce over 300 titles that feature top quality graphics and by far the biggest range of movie-themed slots.

The homepage is attractively designed, with details of the latest new player bonus offers prominently displayed, and a selection of the most popular listed below them. Invitations to visit the Mobile, Live and Poker sections are also featured. Many of the games can be played without downloading any software but, to get the full range, the download version can be chosen.

Once the quick registration process is completed, new customers can claim a range of frequently updated bonuses, which tend to include a generous deposit match offer and a small no-deposit bonus which lets people test out and win real money before they even need to pay in any of their own funds.

With over 300 games provided, Gala Casino players will always find a title to suit their mood. All of the classic casino tables like Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack and Craps are here, with several versions of the most popular ones. Video poker types include Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, Deuces Wild and Aces and Faces among others, while a particular feature here is the impressive range of slots. These include film and TV based titles like King Kong, Rocky, Monty Pythons' Spamalot, Gladiator, The Six Million Dollar Man, Baywatch and many more. The popular Marvel themed slots, like Thor, The Avengers, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk are all included in Gala Casino's line-up, and big progressive jackpot prizes can also be found, with games like Gold Rally and Beach Life having jackpots that can well exceed £1 million. All Marvel slots have a four stage progressive jackpot that ranges from a few £10s to a few £100,000s.

Bingo

Gala was originally set up to provide bingo at numerous clubs and halls and, as it is still one of the biggest operators, the company has ensured that players who visit these bricks and mortar sites can carry on playing at home via their online site. Helped by extensive TV advertising, the Gala Bingo website has proved to be highly successful and, since their adoption of Playtech/Virtue Fusion software in 2012, it has improved even further. Although using an established software platform, Gala Bingo looks quite different to most sites that share it and has a number of innovative features to make it stand out. These include quick links to Slots, Vegas and Mobile parts of the site, where players will find around 200 extra games from various different suppliers.

Bingo includes 75, 80 and 90 ball variants presented in 17 rooms. Specials include Ant and Decs' Saturday Night Takeaway, Deal or No Deal and Lucky Numbers bingo, while rooms like Metropolis, Castle and Amazon each have their own unique features, guaranteed jackpots and Buy One Get One Free games. Gala Live is an interactive room where players can view the bingo action online and meet other players.

Bonuses and promotions are mainly focused on new players, who will be able to claim a deposit match bonus equal to several times the amount of their first payment. Loyal players collect Buzz Points each time they buy tickets, which can be converted into bonus cash to play more bingo with. Extra benefits of the loyalty club include daily free plays, seasonal bonuses and, for higher level members, Double Points Sundays and VIP exclusive benefits like cashback, weekly bonuses and access to special events.

Poker

Part of the iPoker network, Gala Poker is unusual in that it is presented as a sub-section of the online casino site. This could put some potential players off but it shouldn't, as it is a good quality place to play, benefiting from the fact that, like the casino and bingo parts, it uses Playtech software to power its site. The poker games are downloaded separately from the casino and customers can claim different bonuses on signing up, plus they become members of a unique loyalty scheme unrelated to the casino. New customers can also get treated to deposit match bonuses and exclusive freeroll tables, while regular players get a birthday freeroll, access to guaranteed jackpot tournaments with $1 million+ prizes and special promotions each month.

The games at Gala Poker include all of the most popular types such as Texas Holdem, Omaha and 5 and 7-Card Stud, as well as Razz, where the lowest hand wins, and Speed Poker, where players change tables with each hand. The new Anonymous Tables feature, where no-one knows who they are playing against or how experienced they are, has proved very popular.

Banking

There are multiple ways of paying funds into, and withdrawing money from, a Gala account. The most popular methods include credit and debit cards, e-wallets, direct bank transfers and online money transfer systems, as well as some of the more widely available pre-paid cards and vouchers. As Gala is mainly used by players from the UK and Ireland, play is in British Pounds - with the exception of poker which, in common with most poker sites, uses US Dollars as their currency of choice.

Conclusion

The wagering opportunities offered by Gala are many and varied, with a huge range of casino games, bingo varieties and poker types available for customers to enjoy. It does not, however, have a sports betting service; although, the sister site, Coral, does have one.

By mainly using Playtech, Gala have chosen to feature some of the best quality software, while certain parts of the site have plenty of offerings from other developers too, giving players an even greater choice. The bingo and poker networks are among the biggest; although, in the case of bingo, this can lead to the games becoming somewhat crowded, which some people like and others do not.

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