Most bingo disputes result from players not having their ‘house’ call heard before the next number is drawn. The general rules of bingo state that failing to make an audible call before the next number is drawn invalidates the claim.
Some bingo clubs have recording equipment in place that might be able to offer evidence of whether a call has been made but missed by bingo hall employees. Most bingo disputes rely on the statements made by the player and the staff members on duty.
For this reason it is relatively difficult for the Panel to uphold a customer dispute where they are adamant that they have made a claim which has not been heard, however many witnesses are willing to support the customer’s testimony. The rules of the game make the player responsible for attracting the attention of bingo hall staff and we tend to agree that this approach is a reasonable one, particularly as the bingo club itself will still have to pay the prize to another player. If the staff on duty did not hear a call at the time, it is hard to prove subsequently that they should have heard it.
We strongly encourage bingo players to take whatever measures you think might be necessary to attract the attention of the caller when you have a claim. If you are a regular bingo player but you have concerns that your voice may not be loud enough to always be heard then think about taking alternative measures. Arrange with another player to sit nearby and call for you, or find another way of attracting the attention of a spotter.
If you believe that someone responsible for listening for calls has been negligent in their duty, use your statement to IBAS to set out exactly why.