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Bingo has been growing in popularity over the last several years. It is a fun game for anyone 18 and over and a great fundraiser for licensed charities. Bingo is a game of chance in which prizes are awarded on the basis of bingo numbers being randomly selected. Players mark off bingo card numbers and attempt to match a previously announced pattern. The player must make his or her bingo known to a worker or caller before the next number is completely called. There are many different ways to play bingo. A large annual bingo license allows for total prizes (donated, retail, cash) of up to $1,100 per game and $3,500 per session. The Michigan Progressive Jackpot Game can be played only under a large annual bingo license and allows for additional prizes. Charity game tickets can also be sold during a licensed bingo event adding revenue, prizes, and entertainment to your bingo.
Check Special Bingo License Application Status
Hold a Special Bingo
|Non-profits have been innovative, seeking creative ways to raise money through outdoor events. Growing in popularity is Car Bingo. Like drive-in movies, Car Bingo allows players to be entertained from the comfort of their vehicle. Car Bingo eliminates the need for tables and chairs, making set-up for this type of event easy. In some locations, food, drink, and other entertainment is available on site.|
|Themed bingo events, such as "Purse Bingo" or "Designer Bag Bingo" have gained popularity throughout Michigan. Each player attending is charged a set fee to participate. For example, a fee of $30-$50 could include 7 to 10 bingo games and a small meal or snacks.|
Carnival style or 50/50 bingo is used at venues where the crowd continuously changes, such as at fairgrounds and festivals. Fifty percent of each game's sales is paid out in cash prizes. Players can come and go at their leisure, purchasing one game at a time.
|Where the bingo is not a 50/50, prizes can be merchandise. Get creative in determining prizes your crowd might really enjoy such as gift cards, themed gift baskets, or tickets to the drive-in! When prizes are donated to an organization from members or local businesses, it reduces expenses and increases profit for the event. The total retail value of all prizes donated or purchased are included in the prize limits of $3,500 for a large license and $300 for a small bingo license.|
Sell charity game tickets at your bingo to add entertainment value, increase player prizes, and increase profit without the need of an additional license. Various game styles are available to fit the crowd and type of venue. Your licensed supplier can collaborate with you in determining the best tickets for your event.
If your organization has not yet been qualified for a charitable gaming license, review the qualification requirements to get qualified.
A Special Bingo License costs $25 and is good for up to seven consecutive days.
Special Bingo License Application (for one-time events)
Special Bingo Guide (for one-time events)
Weekly (Large or Small) Bingo
A regularly scheduled weekly bingo game can be a steady fundraiser for your organization. While the basics of a bingo night are universal, there are many different types of games that can be played that add excitement to the event. Additionally, Car Bingo has been popular and has the ability to extend into the cold months when FM radio frequencies are used.
RETHINK your bingo. If you have an existing weekly bingo consider this opportunity to change your program with two objectives: shorten the longer bingo sessions and eliminate games that are not profitable. When reducing bingo number of games, add one or two speedball games using only bingo-interactive charity game tickets. This will maximize profit and give your licensees additional opportunities to win prizes.
If you have a well-established bingo, you might want to consider linking your bingo with other bingos in your hall or area of town. Talk to your inspector and read through the three directives for the Michigan Progressive Jackpot Bingo game.
If your organization has never applied for a gaming license from Charitable Gaming, your organization is required to go through the qualification process before a license can be issued. Print the two-part application and review the game instructions and bingo guide. Learn More About Bingo
Keeping Bingo Successful
In order to make a profit, bingo licensees must develop smart game programs and exercise control over expenses. Bingo event profitability can be analyzed using an interactive Excel spreadsheet called the Bingo Profitability Tool. Each quarter the health of a bingo can be determined by the net profit or loss indicated on the financial statement. Entering individual stats into the bingo profitability tool will allow you to identify problem areas.
Charitable Gaming Rule 105 prohibits the profits from a gaming event to be used for the benefit of any individuals except to directly further the lawful purposes of the organization. Worker compensation should always be necessary and reasonable. The Reasonable Worker Pay Guide was developed as a tool to assist licensees in determining the maximum amount of worker pay considered reasonable for their bingo event based on the size of the crowd and the maximum pay allowed by the Worker Compensation Schedule.
If you have questions, need additional training, or would like more suggestions on how to change your game program using the results from your analysis, please contact your inspector. Statewide and virtual trainings can be found under Training Resources.
Selling Charity Game Tickets
Bingo has been a popular pastime far before it became legal in 1972. The introduction of charity game tickets quickly added extra revenue to the bingo fundraisers.
Over the years more and more of the charity game ticket sales at bingo is for the seal card and bingo-interactive games. Bingo players like to buy the bingo-interactive games that are offered to play along with a bingo game because even if they don't win the bingo prize, they have a chance at winning a large charity game ticket prize.
In FY 2019 bingo licensees made $10.4 million from the sale of charity game tickets alone. Check out the available games and contact your licensed supplier to order your Charity Game Tickets.
Act and Rules
Acts and Rules
Service Compensation Schedule
This schedule indicates the maximum amount that can be paid to a chairperson, recordkeeper, person preparing the financial statement, or other workers.
Organizations that sell charity game tickets should be aware of their federal tax responsibilities. Organizations that award a raffle prize greater than $599 or a bingo prize greater than $1,199 should be aware of player withholding responsibilities. These obligations are described in these links.
Licensing a Bingo Hall
A location owner wishing to charge a licensed organization for the rental or lease of a building space to conduct bingo must obtain a Hall License.
Traditionally bingo halls are banquet-style locations, complete with bingo equipment. Oftentimes veteran and fraternal clubs hold bingo at their facilities, sometimes charging other organizations to use their facilities to conduct bingo.