Will Live Bingo Callers Become a Thing of the Past ?

Recently some land based bingo halls have switched from live bingo callers to automated voice systems that use a pre-recorded voice stored in a computer. Many players object to the move and traditionally there has been a friendly relationship between bingo callers and players. Some bingo callers have achieved cult status and some players will only attend certain bingo games where their favorite caller is presiding. Bingo callers are an integral part of any bingo game. Some people think that all bingo callers do is call the numbers during a bingo game but there is much more involved. Bingo callers decide what card patterns will be used in specific bingo games. Bingo callers must have an intimate knowledge of how the bingo hall is operated and must be able to answer questions from bingo players. Most importantly, bingo callers must memorize the ‘bingo lingo’ used during games and use the various calls in an entertaining and amusing manner.

A live bingo caller adds a personal touch to the free bingo games. There is usually a lot of interaction between players and bingo callers that a computerized caller cannot provide. Most players have their favorite caller and some players actually believe that some callers bring more ‘luck’ than others. Some players are bound to resent the switch from live callers to computerized callers. Years ago internet bingo sites switched to live bingo callers and the move was highly successful and well received by players. Players had complained about the monotonous and mechanical computerized callers at most bingo sites.

Some major bingo operators plan to switch to computerized callers as a cost cutting measure. Sources say that later this year Gala bingo plans to switch from live callers to computerized callers. Although computerized callers do not have to be trains and in theory will make no mistakes it is difficult to predict whether players will view the switch as beneficial. By introducing the new technology at live bingo clubs the difference between live bingo and online bingo games at internet bingo sites is reduced. Some experts say that if many bingo traditions are abandoned at live bingo halls many players would switch to playing at bingo sites.

Managers of rival bingo halls say that they welcome the switch at Gala because they believe most players will not like the change and will switch to bingo halls with live callers. One unnamed club manager stated “that’s another 100 customers we will get each week, we have purposely stuck to traditional methods of running our club over the years and this not only keeps our customers happy but brings disgruntled bingo players from the local Gala Bingo club. We understand that in some ways the club could make a few pound more with electronic bingo but then our club is built on traditional bingo tickets and we would no doubt lose many of our customers if we changed this.”