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.
Traditionally, bingo players come for the duration of the event, paying a cost that allows them to participate in all the regular games that will be played.
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, fun 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.
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.
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.
Valuable Resources for New Bingos
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.