Blooming Eccles – Defibrillators In Bingo Halls?

We recently published an article about some bingo clubs trying to ditch their ‘blue rinse’ image and attracting younger players. As noted, the public perception of bingo being a pastime for the elderly is probably a bigger barrier than anything else. However, there is one further facet that needs to be considered.

Maybe in some cases the perception is based on an element of ‘truth’, and perhaps some clubs do belong to the realm of the ‘blue rinse brigade’. A recent move by Cosmo Bingo would appear to confirm what many people suspect.

Cosmo Bingo who have clubs in Eccles and Stalybridge are supplying their staff with defibrillators to help them revive heart attack victims! As noted by Keith Lee the Stalybridge manager, “…a lot of our customers are a bit older.” The whole premise behind the move would appear to be that bingo players are from the older portion of the population, and if they hit that jackpot are more likely to suffer a heart attack as a result of the shock or exhilaration.

While we applaud this move, it doesn’t do much good for clubs trying to attract a younger audience. But, as noted, perhaps there are clubs that quite simply do have a lot of older patrons. And, if that is the case then installing defibrillators is a great idea. Staff have been trained on usage of the machines, as well as CPR, and identifying signs of cardiac arrest.

Luckily for staff, the machines are very user friendly, and do most of the job automatically as they have ‘onboard diagnostics’ which will test for irregular beats, and shock automatically, so at least staff won’t have to make ‘life and death’ type decisions. Even so, anyone applying for a job at either of the halls will have a bit of a surprise when it comes to the job description.

On a lighter note, in the article in the Manchester Evening News which originally covered the story there were four comments which we are assuming were from players at the club, and two of those were from the ‘under thirties’, so it’s not all bad news.

Anyway, none of this is very scientific, but, if you could do us a small favour: next time you are playing bingo, take a look around, and make a mental note of the rough ages of the players, and let us know what you saw in your club via our comments box below.

2 thoughts on “Blooming Eccles – Defibrillators In Bingo Halls?

  1. Hello Gareth,

    It just goes to show you can’t believe what you read in the papers…..!I take no offence by your comments but would like, albeit belatedly, to put the record straight.

    As noted by Keith Lee the Stalybridge manager, “…a lot of our customers are a bit older.”

    I didn’t say this. I was as horrified as you to read the quote.
    Unfortunately, because some people do have the opinion that the blue rinse brigade frequent bingo clubs and especially those who write in newspapers, they choose to write what they want to fit their story.

    It was particularly annoying because I gave a long and thorough interview barely any of which appeared.

    For the record, the club in Stalybridge has a very large number of younger people and many thousands of active members. The largest percentage of our membership are in the age range 18 to 35 and this group continues to expand.

    However, I am more concerned about your perception that defibs are for saving the lives of old people -this in itself is equally misguided.

    Note that all primary schools in Liverpool have recently been fitted with them to ensure that in those vital seconds (that are the difference between life and death) help can be administered that could save the life of a child. The North West Ambulance Service will tell you of many unnecessary deaths among people of every age group and it is their hope that defibs are available in as many public buildings as possible.

    My point is that you have jumped to conclusions in the same way as the newspaper.

    I have worked in the bingo industry for some 29 years. I have been very involved with many of the games’ developments and would strongly urge you to ensure your facts are correct before intentionally or otherwise tainting my name.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

    Keith Lee

    1. Hi Keith. Thanks for setting the record straight. I am very pleased that your club’s demographic is younger than reported as that bodes well for the future of bingo. Apologies for any offense, but like yourself, I fell victim to mis-reporting, and over such a relatively benign issue I wouldn’t have gone to the lengths of contacting your club to verify the ages of attendees (Personally, I would take this up with the newspaper itself, and request a retraction, misquoting is common in the press, however, it should not be tolerated). I think to some extent we’ve both been ‘taken in’, but I doubt anyone reading the post would see your club in a bad light, as the post was slightly tongue in cheek which I think does come across. We are bingo players ourselves, and if you read some of our other posts, you will see that we are actually committed to furthering land based clubs’ interests, and also report on how the industry is doing its best to alter age based perceptions. We wish only the best for you and your club.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

      Gareth Whieldon

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