Gala Casino Review
Gala is a name well known to pretty much everyone born before 2005 as a high street bingo brand. Their bingo hall days might be behind them but the brand itself is still going strong online, with their famous bingo offering still chugging along plus a popular online casino that has been keeping customers happy since 2011.
The casino is incredibly easy to get to grips with and has a product range that is all about quality over quantity. We are still talking about hundreds upon hundreds of games here, and from multiple industry leading providers too, but Gala only want the crème of the crop.
Banking and support may be less sexy topics to discuss, but Gala understand their importance in keeping customers coming back time and time again, which is why 24 hour support and 2 hour withdrawal processing times are in effect. The numerous promotions and the reward points scheme are two other reasons to give this great online casino some serious consideration.
- Trusted Brand – Decades of experience and a solid reputation.
- Offers & Rewards – Plenty of reasons to keep coming back.
- User Friendly – Excellent for new players and those who know what they are doing.
Software & Games
Gala is a multi-provider casino, meaning you can get access to games from many different game studios all in the same place. This has obvious benefits in terms of game variety as each developer tends to have their own style, and what works for one player may not work for another.
They are a selective bunch at Gala though, so you won’t find every game ever developed in here, instead what you will get is an expertly curated list of around 400 slots, 80+ jackpots, and 20+ table games all hand picked for their respective providers. It’s a fabulous range providing plenty of options for players of all persuasions, and it won’t be a nightmare to browse through them all either.
NetEnt have a good number of their products on the shelves at Gala, and BTG are well represented too with a dedicated category for their popular Megaways games. Playtech are responsible for a lot of the jackpots and branded titles and there are other hits from the likes of IGT, Thunderkick, Blueprint, and more.
There are a handful of slingo and scratch games available for when you want to wind down, and even some exclusive titles you will only find at Gala and their associated brands, so they are able to offer something a little different too.
It is Playtech who power the live casino, so you know you are in good hands with a company that dominates the online game industry.
They take a more traditional approach to their live casino at Gala, with the majority of tables dedicated to Roulette, Blackjack, and other card games like 3 Card Brag, Hold’em, Baccarat, and Hi-Lo.
There is a wheel of fortune style game as well to break things up, but this is a place aimed mostly at the more serious casino players. There are various tables with different staking limits so you should easily find somewhere to suit your pocket, but just like the casino section of the site, the choice here is plentiful without being expansive.
As for the feeds themselves, well it’s Playtech so you can be sure of high quality visuals and professional, polite, and good humoured dealers and hosts.
Banking & Finance
You certainly won’t struggle for options when it comes to funding your account, and as you can see, withdrawal time frames are round about the industry norm. This is because Gala have a maximum processing time of just two hours.
This is phenomenally quick and a great big tick in the box on any player’s checklist.
The deposit protection level is on basic at Gala though, so in the event of insolvency any funds left in your account would be considered company assets. Although highly unlikely, it is still safest not to leave funds resting in your account unnecessarily, so withdraw your winnings often.
About the Brand
Mention the name Gala and most people will think of bingo. For decades their bingo halls populated our high streets up and down the country, with the brand being launched in 1991 and their property portfolio growing to 174 at their peak.
The brand was initially launched when Bass plc purchased Granada’s 74 bingo clubs and added them to their own, but 6 years later a management buy in paid £235 million for the 130 bingo clubs and took them off Bass’s hands.
This led to a period of acquisitions including a number of land based casinos from Ladbrokes, and this marked the company’s first foray into the world of casino which would eventually become such a big part of their business.
The business changed hands a number of times from 2003 onwards, and it was by that point valued at over £1 billion. The smoking ban had a huge effect on the profitability of high street bingo clubs though, and eventually the company sold their remaining 126 clubs to Caledonia Investments in 2015 who rebranded as Buzz Bingo.
However, Gala retained the rights to the online Gala Bingo brand. They had also by now launched Gala Online Casino, a little late to the party in 2011 but it quickly grew in popularity nonetheless. The strong brand association proving extremely important here. 2015 also saw Gala acquired by Ladbrokes as part of their merger with Coral.
The brand is now owned by Entain plc (formerly GVC Holdings) bought Ladbrokes Coral (and therefore Gala) in 2018, although the brand still runs as its own entity underneath the Entain umbrella.
Desktop Website Usability
There is nothing special about the desktop website in terms of visual design; it’s a very simple black and white colour scheme with a minimalist approach to further options and advert banners. In fact it is so plain that it feels pretty echoey in there. It seems to be designed with easy transition to mobile use in mind and is reminiscent of an app.
The nuts and bolts are much more impressive though, and the site almost eliminates page loads once you are logged in as most options are built into the interface. Jumping from the Casino to the Live Casino will need a page load, for example, but everything contained within each section transitions pretty smoothly.
A few useful filtering options are available to break the game list down into categories, but these are limited to game genres, so anything further is a case of scrolling until you find something you like the look of. There is a search option for finding specific games you already know about thank goodness, but nothing further. This is one thing they could improve upon.
For players who want nothing more than to get online and dive straight into their favourite game, this site is perfect, but for anyone who likes to invest in the ‘world’ of their online casino Gala won’t really fulfil that. It’s a perfect place to start for new players though, as it is practically impossible to get lost on this powerful, clean, user friendly site.
It is more of the same from the mobile app and the mobile website – which for all intents and purposes are exactly the same – but the smaller screen does make the interface feel a little more interesting as there is less empty space here than on the desktop site.
A sliding menu bar and a footer menu with nicely detailed icons provide easy access to the various game categories and useful links to the live casino, promotions, support, etc. and the game tiles are nice and big and also scroll sideways meaning you can browse more titles than the screen would otherwise allow.
It isn’t the fastest app on the market but neither could it be accused of being slow, it certainly won’t cause frustration for 99% of players but if patience is not one of your virtues it might tick you off now and again.
Account management is hidden away in the top corner and will expand to take up the full screen when selected so this is not really built for multi-tasking, but it will open in front of whatever you were previously doing so you don’t need to down tools to check on your reward points or your inbox, etc.
This is a solid effort from Gala.
It delivers the products smartly and does not throw any barriers up to the user, nor will it be an effort to navigate as the build and design compliment each other perfectly.
Help & Support
The support access at this casino is great, and although it funnels customers through the self help FAQ first before giving you contact options, the process is very well designed.
After selecting the broad area in which your issue lies, you are given further options as a drop down, and you can then select one of these to hone in on the information you need. At this point you are given access to live help if you still need it.
This sort of thing can be irksome, but it is handled so sensibly and succinctly in Gala’s case that it really isn’t a problem.
Contact options are good, with email, a free phone number, and live chat all being available as a 24/7 service. There is an online contact form as well if that is easier, and although social media accounts exist they are not really there for support purposes.
This all makes finding help when you need it a hassle free experience that is convenient and easy to access. The chat agents on live chat, on the other hand, can be a bit useless if you are asking more complex questions, and they have a tendency to assume they have helped and close chat before you have finished. More training is needed here.
Rewards & Offers
Gala Casino offer both regular customer promotions and a reward point scheme, so there is quite a lot of emphasis put on customer loyalty and retention which is good news for you.
The promotions are always changing and being updated, and they claim to be personalised as well so as time goes on and the algorithm (this is what counts as personalisation nowadays) learns more about you as a player the offers will hopefully be more relevant and attractive to you.
The rewards program is tiered like so many others, with the player progressing through the various tiers – neatly named Spades, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds, and Aces – the more they use the casino.
These work on a monthly basis so the faster you hit the threshold the longer you have to enjoy that tier’s benefits, and there are four different types of points than you can acquire taking into account things like length of membership, money deposited, and the types of games played.
UK Gambling License: 54743
- Name: Gala Casino
- Licensed Name: LC International Limited
- URL: https://www.galacasino.com/
- Phone: 0800 294 7294
- Twitter: @GalaCasinoCom
- Address: Suite 6, Atlantic Suites, Gibraltar, GX11 1AA