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Bingo Caller Profile

 
Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Bingo Caller. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Bingo Caller
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Bingo Caller Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

A bingo caller is responsible for randomly selecting and calling numbers during each game, ensuring the players are constantly entertained. The workload is varied, and they need good organisational skills and a clear understanding of the rules. There can be many different games running in a short time frame.

A bingo caller may work:

• for one of the large bingo chains
• at an independent bingo club
• at a holiday camp
• on a cruise ship.

Bingo callers will usually work an afternoon or evening shift. Flexible hours are a feature of the job. As bingo is a leisure activity, clubs are open every day, except for Christmas day. Callers need to be prepared to work during weekends and national holidays. Bingo callers should be:

• confident, with a natural stage presence
• happy interacting with people from different backgrounds
• clear speakers with numerical skills
• observant and reliable.

Opportunities exist throughout the country. There is likely to be an increase in careers for skilled bingo callers, with large entertainment venues opening nationwide, and other gambling venues like casinos expanding to include bingo.

It is possible for bingo callers to be under 18 years of age, although gambling and licensing laws can restrict opportunities. Most start work on the hospitality side, progressing into calling once they have gained experience. Many employers offer in-house training.

There is no upper age limit. People skills, authority and reliability are valued by employers.

Large clubs and bingo chains offer good prospects. Advancement to senior positions depends on experience and commitment. A clean criminal record is required if callers want to move into club management.

What does the role encounter?

Bingo callers are a key part of any bingo club team, with the responsibility of running most of the games. They must ensure that each game runs smoothly - calling the numbers generated randomly by computer, handling any winning claims, providing banter and amusing players between games. The pace can be quite fast, with a bingo caller calling on average 15 to 20 games during a one-hour slot.

As well as calling games in their own club, the main caller may be responsible for calling linked games. This is where a number of bingo clubs from around the country link together by computer to play one large game; the numbers are called from one club, with the sound being relayed to all the other participating clubs.

The National Bingo Game, which is played in most venues, is a linked game involving all of the clubs in the country. Participants join in one game of bingo every night, playing for substantial sums of money. This game is played slightly differently and the caller in each club will be required to learn the rules. The National Bingo Game runs an annual competition to find Britain’s best bingo caller, a prize in the industry that is well respected.

Bingo callers work with ushers, bar and hospitality employees, who all report to a floor/club manager. During quiet times, they may be expected to carry out other tasks, such as preparing tickets and promotional materials. It is the responsibility of the caller to build a rapport with the audience, providing entertaining commentary and creating a lively, sociable atmosphere. A talent for comedy is a real asset. They need to think fast and improvise, occasionally making reference to special groups in the house.

Bingo callers could work:

• for one of the large bingo chains
• at an independent bingo club
• at a holiday camp
• on a cruise ship.

What type of hours will I have to work?

A full-time bingo caller will usually work 40 hours a week. The opening times of bingo clubs vary, but most operate a split-shift system. Callers are required seven days a week, from 11am until the last game, usually at 10pm. Bingo callers mostly work an afternoon or evening shift, but must be prepared to take on a varied workload. The flexible working hours suit employees with other commitments.

Most clubs are open every day of the year, except for Christmas day. As a result, callers have to work during the evenings and at weekends. Depending on the employer, work may be seasonal. For clubs centred in holiday destinations, there may be concentrated periods of employment, with more hours available during the summer months.

Bingo callers operate from a stage and are expected to stand for long periods. Many clubs can get very busy and conditions can be crowded, noisy and hot. Callers are expected to be smart and well groomed. Employers may provide uniforms.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• Trainee bingo callers earn around £8,000 a year.
• With experience, they can earn £12,000.
• An experienced bingo caller can earn up to £18,000 a year.

An allowance for unsociable hours may be provided. Food and drink is often available, sometimes at subsidised rates. Bingo callers working on a cruise ship, or in a holiday park, could be provided with accommodation. Larger employers offer holiday entitlement, pension, employee share schemes and sometimes annual bonuses.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• be lively, outgoing and confident
• enjoy teamwork
• have clear pronunciation
• be confident using computers
• be a natural presenter, delivering polished, witty performances
• be able to engage very large audiences
• be observant, continuously scanning the room for winners
• remain calm under pressure
• have a clear understanding of all the rules and working practices relating to each game
• be trustworthy and responsible
• understand the alcohol and gaming licensing laws.

What type of training will I receive?

Many employers offer comprehensive in-house training programmes, focusing on customer service. In most cases, entrants learn from practical experience under the supervision of skilled bingo callers and floor managers. A few large employers have caller schools, where trainees can master skills and practice in a safe environment.

The SVQ in Bingo Operations Level 2, available in Scotland, is the only professional qualification for this industry. It includes four mandatory units, including customer service, health and safety, running bingo games and working as a team. In addition, there are three optional units. Funding for this course is usually arranged through the employer or local enterprise company.

Career Progression:

Internal promotion is usually on merit. Once experienced, the most talented bingo callers can become regulars on the national game links. They can also move into floor management, and potentially senior club management. Those who want to progress to club manager will need a clean criminal record for obtaining an alcohol and gambling license.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Betting Shop Cashier
Catering/Restaurant Manager
Entertainer
Entertainment Manager
Holiday Centre Worker
Leisure Centre Assistant
Leisure Centre Manager.

Where can I find further information?

Bingo Association, Lexham House, 75 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1JF. 01582 860921. Website: www.bingo-association.co.uk.

Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM), ILAM House, Lower Basildon, Reading, Berkshire RG8 9NE. 01491 874800. Website www.ilam.co.uk

Hospitality Training Foundation for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, 28 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HT. 0131 624 4040. Website: www.htf.org.uk

The National Bingo Game Association, Lexham House, 75 High Street North, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 1JF. 01582 860900. Website: www.nationalbingo.co.uk

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

Bingo Link
Leisure and hospitality business
Leisure Opportunities
Leisure News
The Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

Is There Another Name For This Role?

Yes. Sometimes job roles attract similar titles. Another term or title for this job might be:

Main Stage Caller
Stage Caller


Other Useful Bingo Caller Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Bingo Caller job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

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Details of other Bingo Caller Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.


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