How Important are Bingo Callers ?

The job of a bingo caller is not easy especially in brick and mortar bingo halls. He, or she, may be subject to insults from disgruntled players who are angry that their numbers were not called.  If a caller should happen to make a simple mistake bingo players will clearly demonstrate their wrath. On occasion it would seem that bingo callers should wear bulletproof vests. Just how important is a bingo caller?

In some brick and mortar bingo halls there has been talk of eliminating live bingo callers in favor of automated callers. A few halls have already introduced automated callers and the reception has been mixed. For decades there has been lively interaction between callers and players most of it good natured fun. Some live bingo callers have a following and some players will only play when a certain caller is on duty. In the UK bingo calling is a fine art and the gam has a language all its own. Over the decades a sort of ‘bingo lingo’ has developed. Callers must memorize hundreds of unique bingo calls such as ‘Kelly’s eye for the number 1 or the controversial ‘two fat ladies’ for the number 88. In some halls the caller will say the rhyme and the players will chant the number. This unique language adds to the entertainment value of bingo.

When the first online bingo sites appeared around 1996 most used automated callers. At the time many players considered automated callers part of the tradeoff for the convenience of online bingo. Most players found the calls mechanical and unentertaining. Today most of the major online bingo sites have switched to live callers. There are probably some pros to automated callers. Without a live bingo caller there are no human errors. When players are at a bingo hall daubing several cards there is no room for mistakes on the part of the caller or player. One player told of an experience at a bingo hall where the caller made three mistakes per game. The response from players was ‘brutal’ according to the report. Players shouted insults like “c’mon it’s your only job,”  “get your eyes checked” and worse.

Bingo callers must have a thick skin. Many people take the games very seriously and with large cash prizes at stake tempers can flare. The bingo world is divides; some players prefer automated callers while others prefer the entertainment provided by live callers.

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