Bingo a Way of Life For 36 Year Bingo Hall Worker

For a fortunate few bingo is a way of life. Just ask 66 year old Marci Popp Gibson who has been working at Palace Station in Las Vegas since 1977. 36 years later bingo has become a bigger part of her life than she could have imagined. Gibson told reporters “First you work five years, then 10, next thing it’s 20 and then 25. You just don’t think about it.” Bingo is a game that just about everyone has played at least once in their lives. Most are introduced to the game via bingo game sets sold at toy stores.

In 1977 a friend offered Gibson a job at Palace Station and Gibson has been there ever since. Gibson’s day at the bingo hall usually begins at 8:30 AM when players line up to purchase their bingo cards. The first game begins at 9:00 AM and there is a new game every odd hour throughout the day. Gibson’s responsibilities include calling the numbers, checking player’s bingo cards and handing out cash to winners. Gibson says that her favorite part of the job is on the floor interacting with players. Many players are regulars and Gibson has developed genuine friendships with them. Gibson said she knows all about their heir grandchildren, spouses and even gossip.

Gibson often waves to players across the 8,000-square-foot room when she is calling the game numbers. When Gibson is on the floor she is often seen high fiving with players and hugging players that have become friends. Gibson believes that one on one interaction is an essential part of the live bingo experience. Gibson stated “My customers are important to me. They not only bring in revenue, but I feel like I bring some joy to them.” Iva Stegich has played bingo at the hall for two years and says Gibson has made playing bingo a pleasant experience. Stegich stated “She’s just very friendly and always there to help if you need something. Makes you feel like you want to come back all the time.”

Gibson’s personality has helped some players to develop a level of comfort with her. Sometimes they catch Gibson by surprise. She remembered sitting in a restaurant having dinner with her husband. They were sitting next to each other in a booth when a stranger suddenly joined them. The stranger said to Gibson “Marci, I needed B3, you know that I needed it, and you called B4.” Gibson said she has run into players all over Las Vegas and once at Disneyland. Gibson was close with the Fertittas who started Station Casinos. Gibson said “They are just remarkable people. They’re genuine, they’re caring, they’re giving. They raised my family. The Fertittas have made it a wonderful company to work for.”

Currently Gibson shows no signs of slowing down and continues to work at the bingo hall. She has made an impact on the lives of many players over the years.