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How to Do a Bingo Night Fundraiser

Bingo Night Fundraiser
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Whether it’s played online, in bingo halls or at charity events, bingo is one of the most popular games in the UK.

Organising a bingo event can be a great fundraiser for charity, or for groups like youth sports teams and other non-profit organisations.

If you’re planning a bingo fundraiser, check out our blog for everything you need to know – from where it can take place to what you’ll need to organise.


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Rules and Regulations for Hosting a Bingo Fundraiser

Organising a bingo fundraising event is pretty straightforward, but there are a few rules that you’ll need to follow to make sure you’re not breaking any laws.

Choosing a venue

In a nutshell, you can host your bingo fundraiser anywhere that doesn’t have a gambling premises licence (this rules out bingo halls and casinos, for example). 

School halls, church halls and community centres are well-suited to hosting events like bingo fundraisers. You must make sure that the bingo games are played at a non-commercial event - one where all proceeds from the event are used for fundraising and the reasonable costs of organising the event.

Unlike traditional games in bingo halls, under 18s are allowed to participate in bingo fundraiser events.

Things you must do

There are a couple of things you must do to ensure that you don’t fall foul of the law. The first is that you must ensure the game is played as an equal chance game, meaning that all players have the same chance of winning.

Secondly, you must tell the players in advance what you are raising money for. This could take the form of a short welcome and announcement that you are raising money for your chosen charity, for example Cancer Research UK.

What you can’t do

This probably goes without saying, but if you’re hosting a bingo fundraising event you can’t keep any of the profits for yourself. We’ll explain a little more about this in the next section.

You’re also not allowed to host an online bingo fundraising event, since this requires a licence.

Profits

We mentioned this above, but it’s important so it bears repeating! You cannot make money for yourself or your business from a fundraising event.

You can only use the profits raised from the event to give money to the charity or good cause that you advertised. You may only deduct money from the profits to pay for reasonable costs associated with running the event, such as the cost of prizes or printing bingo tickets.

Tips for a Great Bingo Fundraiser

In the list below we share a few of our top tips to make sure your bingo event is a success:

Create a plan

Although it’s tempting to get swept away in the more exciting elements of the event, it’s important to create a plan first. Figure out who will be able to help on the night, what your budget is, how much money you want to raise, and how you will promote the event.

Pick a theme

It’s not necessary to choose a theme for your bingo event, but it can be a fun way to drum up interest. Try to make the theme easy to join in with and relevant to the cause if possible - for example, you could ask everyone to wear pink at a bingo fundraiser that is raising money for Breast Cancer Now.

Decide on a location

As we mentioned earlier, school halls, church halls and community centres are great for hosting events like bingo fundraisers. Ask around in your local community to see if any spaces like this are available, and choose somewhere that is easily accessible.

You’ll need to think about how many people you expect to attend and choose a venue of a suitable size. You’ll also need to consider your budget and how much the venue costs to hire.

Determine the prizes and how they will be won

The law states that the total value of all prizes paid out in a bingo fundraising event should not exceed £600. With this in mind, decide on the prizes you will offer and how they can be won. For example, traditional bingo games offer a small prize for completing one line, a slightly bigger one for two lines, and a jackpot prize for a full house.

However, you may decide to only have one prize for a full house. Prizes could be things like hampers donated by local businesses, or cash prizes.

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