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Workers Respond
More on tipping at Bingo

Dear Readers:
Comments are still coming in on the topic of tipping at Bingo. Following are two letters from Bingo workers who were good enough to share their side of the story. —Aunt Bingo

Dear Aunt Bingo,
As a respected Bingo agent and longtime Bingo player, I speak for many of us in the “service industry.” We were thrilled someone finally spoke up about tipping as we are never to tell or hint to a guest/player how to tip. Your initial column was outstanding and accurate. Many guests are ill informed, have no clue, or simply have never been accustomed to tipping in general.
Bingo agents are paid minimum wage or right above it and those wages will never change, period. Can you live on minimum wage alone? Show us how first, and then deny our tips. The tips made are combined and split among all agents at the gaming establishment. Those tips pay our bills, our children’s education and, if we are lucky enough to be full-time, possibly a vacation.
It was stated in one of your letters that we aren’t in a service profession. Well, we may not be hairdressers or cocktail waitresses, but we are in the service industry. We take your order, assist and provide information, deliver outstanding customer service, pay you your winnings, and daub your cards and watch your machines when you need to step away. We are the sounding board for your complaining and blaming for all of your losses and numbers that weren’t called.
It is not the Bingo agent’s fault that a guest/player is on a losing streak, is unemployed and gambling their only money or has overspent their budget. So when the guest/player “finally” wins, as it was stated, and gets their money back, the Bingo agent who provided service should not be tipped? Please, now that’s malarkey.
It is time to inform the entire Bingo community that tipping is customary and, yes, it should be 10%. It is quite discouraging to go above and beyond to assist Bingo players/guests, pay them repeatedly and be tipped next to nothing. 90% of all Bingo agents tip 10% themselves when playing. Just ask one. Maybe you can’t tip 10%, but be fair. You win $10,000 and tip $20? Really?? Had it not been for the Bingo agent that sold you that winner or one that called you that winner, you would not have been that winner.
When you choose to gamble, it is your own decision how much you decide to lose or tip once winning. Don’t blame the Bingo agents for your losses and take all of the credit for your wins. Bingo agents are not responsible to make up for your losses for the day, month, year, or past 10 years. Gambling is day by day, as tipping should be win by win. You may never get even, but at least be fair.
I’d like to thank every one of those guest/players that have tipped the Bingo agents. We truly have a group of outstanding tippers in the Bingo community. They are consistent and understand we are in a “service industry.” Some tip 10%, 5% or maybe 2%, but they tip. We are grateful.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t apologize to all of the guest/players that have dealt with rude or brow-beating Bingo agents. It is inappropriate and, unfortunately, they ruin it for those of us that love what we do. —A Dedicated Bingo Agent, via email

Dear Aunt Bingo,
I am writing in response to your column on tipping and the responses you received. I am a Bingo agent in Nevada and I see all the different perspectives of all players. All areas of the different states may share different policies on tipping. While it is understandable that charity Bingo workers are not compensated due to it being a charitable game, in non-charity gaming it is very much appreciated.
I personally, and most agents I know, would never make anyone feel bad or less of a person for how little they were to tip or even if they didn’t tip at all. I work hard to bring joy and luck to every person who walks through our doors.
I found it rude of some of your readers saying that a Bingo agent doesn’t provide a service as others in the service industry do. If there were no services provided (i.e.: selling the winning cards, having an enjoyable time, paying out for the winning cards), Bingo rooms would not exist.
I grew up in Las Vegas and around the tipping culture and as in all tipping jobs some people tip better than others but all is greatly appreciated. Most of us in tipping jobs make minimum wage and the tips are a wonderful plus. Sure, I could go and find a job that paid more than minimum wage; however, I really enjoy what I do and I hope to bring the same fun and excitement to people when they come to play.
Some players may visit an eating establishment daily and take care of their waitresses and then come to their favorite Bingo hall and treat us the same in the daily routine they have. Some people are new to the game and we are here to show them the ropes and hopefully show them the money!
Don’t let one bad apple of an agent ruin it for all of those out there who treat players as family. Please remember that all is appreciated and every customer that comes through our doors will be treated with the same respect, regardless. —A Bingo Agent in Nevada, via email


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.

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