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Just got off the Star, and noticed something very disturbing about the Bingo games. It appears the payoffs are not based on a percentage of sales, but are instead fixed at an extremely low amount, independent of actual ticket sales revenue. My quick order of magnitude guess (based on attendance observations and estimates) for our 10 day cruise was that Princess sold about $50,000 worth of tickets, and gave away about $5,000 total in prizes. What's worse is that if they managed to sell $100,000 in tickets, they would still only payout $5,000! Every ticket sold after the first 200 or so is 100% profit for the cruiseline! I'm sure most people assume that the bingo offered is the traditional scheme where the more people play, the bigger the jackpot, but it does not appear to be the case. Even if the house kept 50 cents of every dollar I could still enjoy a game, but the fixed payout model is so outrageously unfair it almost seems borderline unethical to me... any other thoughts?
Haven't played bingo onboard a ship in years. Ever since they changed the pay out, it no longer interested me. Should have asked before you left, we could have given you the scoop so you didn't waste your money.
Kingfoot how right you are, I just dont play anymore but my DW enjoys it, I hear now they are selling electronic boards at $70.00 a session all you do is just sit there? it gives you all kinds of chances but it is just another scam to increase the profits. Good Post.CUDDER
Easy... Don't play
I just got off the Star this morning and saw that there was standing room only playing Bingo so I guess other people don't mind the payout..
Greetings fellow traveler. I must say overall it was actually a great cruise.
Fortunately, I have an advanced math degree and can easily smell a rip off by thinking about the basic gaming economics. Clearly, I won't be playing cruise line bingo any more. However, I feel sick to my stomach for other travelers many of which are seniors and may not understand exactly why the Princess bingo structure is such a rip off for them. Since cruise ship gaming is essentially unregulated, there are no state gaming commissions to enforce disclosure or reasonable protections for consumers. I can pretty much guarantee that such a gaming structure would not survive any reasonable fairness test.
Sure, there is a "high" to participating in a jackpot bingo game in a crowded cruise ship lounge, but for me that benefit does not mean I'm willing to give away money. On top of that is the sinking feeling that most of the room has no idea how badly their being taken. I can guarantee you that if the pot actually got bigger with ticket sales, the customer satisfaction with bingo would actually increase.
It would be one thing if the cruise ships take were merely an obscenely large percentage (like 90 percent), but its another thing entirely when the passenger's upside is completely limited. No matter how many tickets Princess sells, that first game is worth -- $100 dollars. (that's about a sofa or two worth of ticket sales). I even witnessed a $125 dollar pot split six ways! This means even the winners lost money!
Finally, it's fine to say -- its your choice, don't participate. But don't forget that there is a finite amount of space and time on any voyage. Every vista-lounge-hour spent swindling passengers out of bingo money, is another hour lost for things like cultural lectures, cooking demos, and other forms of non-revenue entertainment.
More generally, I would almost rather pay a little more $$ for my cruise on a truly all inclusive cruise line than spend the entire cruise feeling that the cruise line is trying to maximize its revenue from me with bogus bingo games, art auctions, jewelry sales, shore excursions (aka more jewelry sales), internet charges, etc... I fear that cruising will eventually turn into the vacation equivalent of a 10 day "time share" sales pitch.
</ end rant>
The only time I ever played bingo (at least for money; not counting when a kid) was on my first cruise, and that was because we were taking part in as many activities as possible. But since I'm not that lucky at bingo and gambling (and just don't find those things fun), I usually stay away from the bingo matches and the casino. But I do love participating in the trivia matches. To each his own.
If someone doesn't mind the odds, they have that choice.
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')
Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!
Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii
Maybe the "seniors" just enjoy playing - or the "youngins" for that matter. I don't think they are all "high" and don't understand the payouts. To each their own, its their money, their time, their vacation. BTW, we have been known to play Bingo a time or two and I never got high doing it.
Besides the Bingo, how was the rest of your cruise?
"Mother, Mother Ocean, I have heard you call..."
- Jimmy Buffett -
Future cruises - Coral Princess - Ft Lauderdale-SF 05/04/2011, Coral Princess Alaska 9/10, 9/17, 9/24/2011, Star Princess 4/28/20012 SF/Hawaii/SF Past Cruises -Golden Princess (1), Star Princess (2), Coral Princess (6), Sapphire Princess (2), Diamond Princess( 1), Island Princess (1), Sun Princess (3), Dawn Princess (2), Regal Princess (1), (old)Crown Princess (1), Cyrstal Harmony (1), Celebrity Mercury (1), HAL Noordam (1), Sky Princess (1), Sitmar Fairsky (1), Sitmar Fairwind (2), Dolphin Seabreeze (1), Bon Vivant (1)
Last edited by SFParrtHd; November 1st, 2008 at 01:42 AM.
I am sorry that you did not understand before your first cruise the difference between playing a game of bingo on a cruiseship and going to a bingo hall to enjoy an evening of bingo.
I don't find the prizes awarded for playing bingo on a cruise ship disturbing or a rip off. It is simply an activity where some passengers find a few minutes fun if they choose to participate. The prize to be awarded at each session is announced in the daily Patter so everyone knows before they attend what they might win should they choose to participate. Its pretty easy to see that the prizes are of a set nature and not associated with actual ticket sales. In most cases its a single game of chance and not anything similiar to an evening at a bingo hall. Of coarse it's a money maker for cruiselines as are all activities that have a price attached to them when on a cruise.
It sounds great to hear of an all inclusive cruise but in reality I don't think I'd be happy paying for so many activities that I'd never participate in so I guess I'm better off on a cruise where I can enjoy all that is inclusive and choose where I want to spend my extra money and keep my funds from being spent on activities that I neither enjoy nor want to do.
"its your choice, don't participate. But don't forget that there is a finite amount of space and time on any voyage. Every vista-lounge-hour spent swindling passengers out of bingo money, is another hour lost for things like cultural lectures, cooking demos, and other forms of non-revenue entertainment."
It's all about the On-Board Revenue. What a waste of time.
I would rather throw my money at the shore excursions, boutiques, spa, and scholarship@sea classes.
It's like many other things on a cruise these days. it goes towards keeping down cruise prices. If they dropped this and many other money making activities on the ship the cost of a cruise would double.
I am quiet happy for people to book the ship excursions, buy in the shops, purchase photos, play bingo. I don't want to do any of these things and it lowers what I have to pay to be on the ship.