Usually bingo halls are peaceful and devoid of violence. Although there have been a few armed robberies of bingo halls in the last two years most bingo players feel perfectly safe at their favorite bingo spots. Most bingo players adhere to an unwritten code of conduct that is based on mutual player respect and common sense. Most players know it is time to quiet down when the caller gets down to business. Talking during games can be distracting and prevent other players from hearing the numbers being called.
In many bingo halls regular players often have ‘lucky’ seats. If asked to move it is usually a good idea to comply. In most cases the player will explain that this is their ‘lucky seat’ and will politely ask the other player to move. New players at bingo halls should keep their eyes open and observe the behavior of other players. The code of conduct is obvious and easy to learn from observation.
Occasionally problems occur. Recently in Milton Keynes, Bucks, in the United Kingdom police were called to remove a disabled bingo player accused of maltreating hall employees. On May 31st the staff at the local Gala bingo hall called 999 (The UK equivalent of 911 in the States) Officers arrived and escorted Kevin Thomas, 47, out of the hall. Thomas had been playing with friends when a dispute erupted and the hall employees claimed that Thomas abused them over the quality of the food.
The ejection of the disabled bingo players hit the media including the Sun which is circulated nationwide in the UK. Reports in the Sun have not really mentioned what was said and how the dispute started. Some think the reports make the Gala bingo halls look bad and feel the matter could have been handles more discreetly. The bingo hall says that this was not the first time this particular player abused the staff. In a statement Gala said “What happened was not a one off. There has been unacceptable behavior towards our staff and management over a prolonged period of time.”
Kevin suggested that he did nothing wrong and believes the staff has it in for him because of previous complaints about the food. Kevin told reporters “I have never abused a member of staff. I think some of the managers got their knuckles rapped over the food.” He also feels that calling armed police and removing him from the hall carried things way too far. Kevin said “I’m disabled and the bingo was the only place I went to meet my friends and others, but now they have taken my pleasure away. Armed police turned up and I thought that things had gone a bit too far.” Hopefully Kevin and the Gala bingo hall can iron out their differences.