What is Remote Caller Bingo (RCB)?
Remote Caller Bingo is a new way to play traditional bingo. RCB is many bingo sites geographically separated but linked via a two-way connection on the Internet.
All these sites are simultaneously playing the same bingo game that is broadcast from a studio in Ontario, California.
How does my organization benefit from Remote Caller Bingo?
By linking multiple locations of an organization, remote caller bingo allows larger participation and larger prize pools ($100’s of thousands of dollars!). Additionally, by offering larger prize pools, each individual location should maximize occupancy. Furthermore, there is intrinsic value to building communities among players, and this increases the support for other programs that you may offer within your organization.
How much can we make for our charity with Remote Caller Bingo?
The obvious question asked by our charity partners is “how much can we make for our charity?” Much of that can be answered by the charity themselves. We help provide the technology, we broadcast the game and provide insight and marketing support but in the end the charity is responsible for the their local advertising and for hosting the bingo game. The more players a charity can attract and the more games those players play, the more money the charity makes for itself. No less than 43% goes to the charity, up to 37% goes to the prize money. To see a scenario of what your possibilities are depending on the number of players at your location please use our Fundraising Calculator.
How do I get started or Join a Game?
The sponsoring organization must be an existing 501(c)3 (charitable/not-for-profit) organization, one which does not have for its sole purpose the playing of bingo. The charitable organization must secure a license from its own city jurisdiction and then be cleared by the Department of Justice in Sacramento. Staff at Bingo Innovations of California, Inc. (RCB parent company) will happily assist any qualifying organization in getting properly set up. Additionally, organizations can sign-up as “Affiliates” for any RCB site, holding fundraising events on any RCB night for an agreed upon share of the profits. Simply talk to the site RCB manager for details and setup.
Eligibility & Compliance
Which non-profit organizations are eligible to conduct remote caller bingo?
The types of nonprofit organizations which may conduct remote caller bingo are described in detail in Penal Code 326.3(b) (1) (effective 01-01-09), which should be reviewed for specific information. The following is a partial summary of these legal provisions:
- A mobile home park association
- A senior citizen organization
- A charitable organization affiliated with a school district
- An organization that is exempted from the payment of the bank and corporation tax by the Revenue and Taxation (R&T) Code:
- A labor organization, agricultural or horticultural organization (R&T Code sec. 23701a)
- A fraternal order (R&T Code sec. 23701b)
- A corporation, community chest or trust, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, amateur sports competition, etc. (R&T Code sec. 23701d)
- A business league, Chamber of Commerce, Real Estate Board or Board of Trade (R&T Code 23701w)
- A social organization (R&T Code sec. 23701g)
- A Religious or Apostolic Corporation (R&T Code sec. 23701k)
- A domestic, fraternal society (R&T Code sec. 23701l)
- A Veteran’s organization (R&T Code 23701w)
Non-profit organizations falling into one of the above types must, in addition, satisfy the following requirements (Penal Code section 326.3(b)(2)-(4) (effective 1-1-2009)):
- Have been in existence for three years or more;
- Be licensed by the California Gambling Control Commission
- Be licensed by the local jurisdiction (city or county)
- Receipts of the game used only for charitable purposes; and
- Operation of bingo may not be the primary purpose for which the organization is formed.
What is the process for applying to participate in Remote Caller Bingo?
Information on how to include your charity and join a game is available at www.remotecallerbingo.com/join or by phoning BICI at (909) 948-2033. We have everything to help you get started. We request a lead time in order to get the necessary approvals, your communication lines installed and all equipment delivered and operational.
What about local ordinances? Permits? Licensing?
BICI has a Government Relations Liaison to ensure that you are in compliance with local legislation. Should the local ordinances need to be changed, our liaison will work in conjunction with your organization to do so.
Revenues & Expenses
Who will cover overhead costs?
Of the gross receipts from the sale on bingo cards, 43% will go to the local charity, up to 37% to the prize money and 20% to the game overhead. All monies (43%) raised from the sale of bingo cards used during the game must be used for charity purposes. BICI will absorb the cost of the bingo paper/game cards. All other overhead costs to your organization should be covered through funds brought in by food and beverage sales, pull-tabs, etc.
How much does it cost an organization to join a game?
The State of California requires a small application fee to participate in Remote Caller Bingo. Bingo Innovations of California, Inc. (BICI) offers organizations all the requisite infrastructure and supplies to participate in a game for a small management fee. However, BICI does not charge any upfront fees. Each participating location need only having sufficient broadband internet to receive the game broadcast. This is usually a reliable download speed of 5 mbps and an upload speed close to or more than 1 mbps . We will be glad to discuss all options with you.
Are there any other costs involved for the organization?
The organization will be responsible for providing the location, utilities, tables, chairs, volunteers and monitors for viewing the game.
Once I join a game, am I always required to play?
No. It is up to each individual church, post, lodge or chapter to determine whether they will participate or not. Should you opt to not participate in a game night, we will require 24 hours notice. Additionally, each organization can decide to carry on with their pre-exisiting bingo games on nights that Remote Caller Bingo games are not offered. There is not a minimum number of players required to play.
Can we still use pull-tabs?
Yes. BICI allows individual locations to continue to raise funds through food & beverage and pull-tab sales.
What time does the game begin?
Currently the games are played on Tuesday Nights. Doors open at 3:30pm and first session games begin at 4:30 pm., Second session games at 6:30 pm ,Third session games at 8:30 pm. As locations increase will announce additional nights.
What is the pace of play?
Due to the nature of remote caller bingo and the large number of players, individual bingo games will move at a pretty quick pace. Final time has yet to be determined but will balls will be called generally between every 10 and 20 seconds. 8 games of bingo (1-session) will generally take about 1 hour to play. BII plans on offering organizations 3-sessions per night.
How do I advertise the game?
As your Charity Bingo management company, we are working to provide you the necessary tools for getting the word out to your community. We will have available on our website, for participating charities and non-profit organizations, materials that can be customized and printed locally for your advertising purposes. Additionally, we will provide a website that interested players may access to find information on bingo and your location. We expect that your organization will advertise the games with your database of supporters and have the support of your community and key people involved. For example for churches, we expect that games be promoted to the community, have the support of the pastors and financial managers and finance councils, without their support by exeperience we know locations will not succeed as expected.
How much will the prize money be?
The amount of prize money is determined by the number of players. Up to 37% or the gross bingo card sales goes toward the prize money. The more players, statewide, the larger the prize. After sales have ended, and before the session has begins, the amount of prize money that is being awarded will be announced. The more participants, the larger the prizes!
How are people paid for winning RCB games?
Because the jackpots in RCB are parimutuel (i.e. formed by a portion of the purchases made by players throughout the RCB system), winnings are NOT paid on-site. Players winning jackpots give their name and mailing address, and within five days receive a check for the certified amount of the jackpot they won. By law, only when winnings for one game exceed $1,199, must a report of earnings be made to the IRS.
What ID will players need present to collect their prize money?
Our on-site personnel will need to verify the winners name, address and when prize money exceeds $1200, a social security number and such other information on which may be mandated for local, state and federal tax reporting.
What about taxes?
BII will prepare and provide all Internal Revenue and California tax forms required for winners of the Game.
Which Organizations/Locations are currently Playing Linked Bingo?
To view the current locations please click here.
More information about Remote Caller Bingo may be obtained from the California State Gaming Control Board website at http://www.cgcc.ca.gov/?pageID=bingo&pageName=bingo