Charitable Bingo in Texas
In Texas, Charitable Bingo is defined as a game of chance where random numbers are called out to coincide with the numbers on Bingo cards. Bingo is also called “Lotto.” Authorized commercial lessor means a person is eligible for a license that will be used to lease a Bingo Hall property. Likewise, the person is also an Authorized organization that holds a license for Bingo. The licensed person will seek an Automated Bingo service, which is a computer program used for accounting and required reports for the gaming commission. Temporary licenses are also available, and are subject to taxes and fees. Only six temporary licenses are granted per year.
Bingo equipment by law, includes a machine that generates the balls or letters, an electronic device or mechanical device, a pull-tab feed, Bingo card or ball, or any other device that is used for Bingo games. Children’s Bingo games and parts of a Bingo machine are not classified as Bingo equipment, according to the Charitable Bingo law.
Charitable Bingo is operated by nonprofit organizations that are unincorporated or corporations certified by the state’s nonprofit law, and are classified as a 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code. Members and officers of the nonprofits should not benefit from the Bingo proceeds. Texas law will license nonprofits that operate with a board of directors in which votes are taken to elect officers. It will also license volunteer fire departments, organizations for veterans, fraternal clubs and religious societies.
Charitable Bingo in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania expands its law as compared to Texas. It also licenses county fair boards, agricultural associations, auxiliaries and their charter groups, elderly residents (age 62 and over) in senior housing and various civic organizations. Members are declared “Bona fide” by law, and are the only persons allowed to operate Bingo events.
Bingo in Pennsylvania is discussed in a lengthy definition because the Charitable Bingo law describes every aspect of the game from how the cards are laid out to the free space and synopsis of how the numbers play out to constitute a Bingo. Equipment is referred to as a wheel or any mechanical device, and is vague compared to the Texas definition. The equipment must be owned by the organization that is licensed. If two or more organizations own the equipment, all organizations must be licensed. Prizes are also mentioned in the definition.
The state groups licensing and operation regulations together, which includes accounting and finance. Pennsylvania is very specific in its licensing regulations. If somebody other than the organizations own the property where Bingo is held, then the leasing costs cannot be based on how many people are playing or the amount of the proceeds. Organizations are not allowed to lease property from anyone convicted of violating Charitable Bingo laws.
Fees run at levels to suit every organization. Nonprofits pay $100, but senior citizens who hold a Bingo event for members only, pay a $50 fee. The county fair is charged $100. Those playing just once a year are responsible for a $15 fee. Fees are paid to the county in which the Bingo event is held. Organizations may not hold Bingo events more than two times per week, unless they are hosting a carnival or fair. Then, the game is permitted for 10 consecutive days.