Several months ago, I ran a letter
from a player asking about the correct amount to tip a
Bingo worker. The player had won $800 and tipped $20,
which I said seemed low to me. A number of readers wrote
in with strong opinions on this subject, and their
letters follow. (Some assumed this was a not-for-profit
charity Bingo with volunteer workers, which was not the
case. Tipping obviously is not permitted at charity
I hope to hear from a few Bingo workers on
the topic of tipping for a future column.
I just got home from Bingo and read
your column, since I’m a fan. I had to write to disagree
with your advice to “Upset Player,” who won an $800
Bingo game and was criticized by a Bingo attendant for
tipping “only” $20.
You wrote, “Tipping is an
established part of the service profession.” Yes, that
is basically true, except Bingo is not a “service
profession” like a restaurant, hair salon, or vacation
resort! Do these Bingo attendants take your order, serve
you food and drinks, and remove your plates? Do they
wash, cut, blow dry and style your hair? Do they carry
your heavy suitcases to your hotel room?
plenty of money going to Bingo, trying repeatedly to
win. Once I’m lucky enough to win, I prefer to “share
the joy” with my family, who truly helps me all the
time, not strangers who never have! Why should I be
obligated to tip anyone who didn’t provide a personal
service to me?
If you have a good job and can throw
money around, fine. But if you’re unemployed, or on a
fixed income, that $20 tip (that was not appreciated)
could buy that nice lady food for the week!
folks, winning that game can be the lucky break they
needed, to pay their bills and buy their family
necessities. The mindset that “tipping is part of the
winning experience” is absurd. When you pay your hard
earned money to play Bingo, sometimes for many games
before you win, why should you “owe” anyone who works
there anything? Prizes are gifts, with no strings
You said “brow beating a player is
unprofessional.” I call it being rude, disrespectful and
selfish. At age 88, Upset Player doesn’t need a lecture
on tipping, either. Someone that age knows more than
most people already. Besides that fact, I was raised to
respect my elders. —DPK, San Francisco Bay
Dear Aunt Bingo,
I disagree with your answer to the 88-year-old Bingo
player whose $20 tip you said seemed pretty low. I think
$20 is fine. If the place isn’t paying its employees an
adequate wage, it’s not up to me to make up for
it—especially when I pay a premium price to buy in. No
one compensates me when I don’t win.
I don’t mind
sharing when I feel I can but no one should be made to
feel cheap and there is no way I am giving $80 out of a
jackpot unless the worker was daubing my card while I
was in the bathroom snorting coke! —KP, via
Dear Aunt Bingo,
I frequently read your column and have never replied
until I read the letter from the Bingo player who wrote
in regarding her $800 Bingo win and a complaint
regarding her tip to the volunteer paying her out.
do not agree with your advice at all. Firstly,
volunteers don’t expect to be paid. You’re encouraging
bad behavior and selfishness. No one compensates players
if they lose. By the time we actually win, it’s like
getting our own money back! Wait staff and hairdressers
are employed; gainfully so, not volunteers. Tipping is
really called gratuity, or “that which is freely given.”
How rude of that person to complain about the amount!
Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.