We all know that bingo players are pretty serious about the game, but when disaster strikes in the bingo hall, should the game always go on? I think most of us would agree that an explosion or fire should halt the game, but when exactly should a game be stopped? In the last month there have been two stories in the news of bingo hall patrons falling ill during a game, and both times the game has continued.
There’s a saying that goes ‘It’s not life or death, it’s far more important than that.’ And while that saying is usually reserved for football, it seems that it may be more apt when discussing bingo given the nature of these two events.
Back in April it was reported that a game in the Mecca Bingo Hall in Burton-on-Trent continued for thirty minutes, despite the fact that one of the patrons was fighting for his life after having a cardiac arrest on the premises. Mecca defended the action saying they were following recommended advice and that they stopped play once the game was finished.
It seemed that the story was a one off incident, but then last week the press reported again that a Gala Bingo in Derby continued a game when an 87 year old woman suffered a fatal heart attack on the premises. Again Gala Bingo staff fell back on protocol and said they had followed advice from the emergency services.
While bingo halls may be following advice, it seems the incidents have left a bad taste in the mouths of customers. For years jokes have been based around how seriously players take their bingo game, but is it really more important than life or death?