What is Remote Caller Bingo?
A remote caller bingo game is a game of bingo in which the numbers or symbols on randomly drawn plastic balls are announced by a natural person present at the site at which the live game is conducted, and the organization conducting the bingo game uses audio and video technology to link any of its facilities for the purpose of transmitting the remote calling of a live bingo game from a single location to multiple locations owned, leased or rented by that organization.
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.
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.
Can my organization join any Remote Caller Bingo games?
No. Organizations must be of the same genre (i.e.: Catholic Church, American Legion, Elks, Knights of Columbus, etc.) to connect and join a Remote Caller Bingo game. For example, a Catholic Church and an Elks Lodge cannot participate in the same game. Like charities will play on the same night, determined by a majority vote of those organizations that have signed contracts prior to start-up.
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? What is the pace of play?
BICI is in the process of scheduling times and days and are looking forward to resuming games early 2014.
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.
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 soon will the winner receive his/her prize money?
Once the required documentation has been provided to our operations department, the check to the player should be mailed almost immediately. The check will be mailed via USPS mail. They can expect to receive their check in approximately 5 business days.
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.
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