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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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,
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.