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Administrative FAQ’s

  1. Does an organization need a 501(c) status in order to conduct bingo activities?

    In general most organizations that conduct charitable gaming must have a 501(c) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, there are a few exceptions that don't require an organization to acquire a 501(c) status. The exceptions are:
    1. A Mardi Gras carnival organization that has a parade permit.
    2. A civic or service association that derives less than $5,000 in gross proceeds from gaming.
    3. A booster club or parent-teacher assocation for a public or private nonprofit school.
    (LRS 4:707.C)


  2. How can my organization verify its 501(c) status (IRS non-profit status)?

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a toll free number (1-877-829-5500) that you may call to verify an organization's 501(c) status.
    You can also go to the IRS web page. You will need your organization's Federal Tax ID number.


  3. What can the proceeds of a charitable gaming activity be used for?

    Proceeds from any charitable gaming activity (including bingos, raffles, pulltabs, etc.) can only be used for one of the five allowed uses as set by Law. The entire net proceeds from all games of chance must be devoted to purposes that are:
    1. educational
    2. charitable
    3. patriotic
    4. religious
    5. public spirited
    (LRS 4:707.B)


  4. Can someone under the age of 18 play bingo?

    Yes. The law does not prohibit persons under the age of 18 from playing charitable gaming activities. However persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to play electronic video bingo devices.
    (LAC 1911.B.13)


  5. Can someone under the age of 18 work at a bingo game?

    No. The Law requires all workers to be at least 18 years old in order to assist in the conducting of any games of chance.
    (LRS 4:714.F.)


  6. Can someone work for more than one organization?

    There is no limit to the number of organizations. However, persons assisting organizations with their charitable gaming activities must be on file with the Office as an active, approved member of a licensed organization.
    (LRS 4:715.A(1))


  7. Can I work for an organization that I am not a member of?

    Yes, as long as you are an active, approved member of at least one licensed organization and are on file with the Office. The organization that you are working for must list you on their worker log as a member of another licensed organization.
    However you would only be allowed to assist in selling of paper or pulltabs and with calling; you couldn't act in a managerial capacity. Only members of the licensed organization are allowed to act in a managerial capacity during their own sessions.
    (LRS 4:715.A(1))


  8. Can I work bingo for an organization and be employed by a commercial hall?

    No, employees of a commercial hall cannot take part in holding any game of chance, regardless of location.
    (LRS 4:715(A)(3))


  9. Can I work bingo for an organization and also be employed with a licensed distributor or a licensed manufacturer?

    No, an employee of a distributor or a manufacturer cannot take part in holding any game of chance.
    (LRS 4:715(A)(3))


  10. Commercial Halls

  11. Is a commercial hall or non-commercial hall held responsible for ensuring that organizations leasing their hall have a current license for a particular session?

    Yes. Hall owners are responsible for ascertaining that all sessions are properly licensed with the Office. Anyone allowing unauthorized sessions to be conducted can be subject to fines and penalties, as well as anyone conducting unauthorized sessions.


  12. Can an employee of a Commercial Lessor help the organization in conducting games of chance?

    No commercial lessor, employee, or agent thereof, shall take part in or assist with the holding, operating, or conducting of a game of chance. (LRS 4:715(A)(3))


  13. Distributors

  14. As a distributor, is it my responsibility to ensure that an organization is licensed with the Office of Charitable Gaming?

    Yes, licensed distributors are only allowed to sell gaming supplies to a licensed organization. It is the responsibility of the distributor to verify that an organization has a valid and current license with the Office before any gaming supplies are sold to that organization
    (LRS 4:726.B)


  15. Can I be employed with a licensed distributor and also work bingo for an organization?

    No, an employee of a distributor cannot take part in holding any game of chance.
    (LRS 4:715(A)(3))


  16. Manufacturers

  17. As a manufacturer, is it my responsibility to ensure that a distributor is licensed with the Office of Charitable Gaming?

    Yes, licensed manufacturers are only allowed to sell gaming supplies to a licensed distributor. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to verify that a distributor has a valid and current license with the Office before any gaming supplies are sold to that distributor.
    (LRS 4:726.A(2))


  18. Can I be employed with a licensed manufacturer and also work bingo for an organization?

    No, employees of a manufacturer cannot take part in holding any game of chance.
    (LRS 4:715(A)(3))


  19. What is a stockholder?

    A stockholder is a person or entity that owns stock in a corporation. A shareholder owning more than 5% of the outstanding stock of a corporation must meet suitability with the Office.
    (LAC: 42:2203 (B)(2))


  20. If there is a change in stockholders, what are the reporting requirements?

    A company is required to report all major stockholder changes to the Office within 10 days of the change. If, due to the stockholder change, a new individual acquires more than 5% of the outstanding stock, that individual would be required to submit "Personal History" and "Personal Financial Data" forms in order to meet suitability.
    (LRS 4:718.E) and (LAC 42:2203(B))



  21. Auditing FAQ’s

  22. Who should attend training classes?


    1. Anyone applying for a charitable gaming license to play bingo must attend a training class before acquiring a license.
    2. It is recommended that individuals acting in the following positions attend: Member-in-Charge, President, person(s) responsible for reporting and any person(s) acting in a managerial capacity. However, all members are welcome.
    3. When an organization is mandated to attend training, a minimum of five (5) members must be present.


  23. Where and when are training classes?

    Training sessions are usually held twice a month in Baton Rouge at the Office of Charitable Gaming. Please review the Training Sessions link on our home page for the actual dates and times.
    Anyone wanting to attend a training session needs to call our office to make arrangements.


  24. What will I learn at a training class?

    Because charitable gaming is mostly a cash business, there are certain controls that must be maintained. You will learn the following at a training session:

    1. Louisiana laws and rules pertaining to gaming.
    2. How to account for and maintain control over all cash and other activities at your gaming session.
    3. How to summarize your paper work to compile quarterly reports.
    4. How to maintain control of gaming supplies.
    5. How to document bank deposits and disbursements.
    6. What information is needed from workers at gaming sessions.
    7. How your charitable gaming money may be used.


  25. Do all bingo games need to be reported?


  26. Yes, all bingo games are to be reported on line 2 of the quarterly report, regardless of the name of the game, such as "money jar","winner-take-all", etc. As well as being reported, all bingo prize payouts are included in the $4,500 payout limit and $25,000 for a super session.

  27. Where is the fee charged for hand held devices and fixed base units shown on the quarterly report?

    All purchases of gaming supplies from a licensed distributor are to be reported on line 9 of the quarterly report.


  28. If a raffle is held in conjunction with a bingo game, should the raffle be counted as a separate session?

    A raffle held in conjunction with your bingo game is not counted as a separate session.


  29. What type of schedule should be attached to line 14 of the quarterly report when paying bingo workers?

    A schedule showing the name of the worker, the number of sessions and hours worked, along with the gross pay, net pay, and all related taxes. All workers shall be given W-2s at the end of the year. No bingo worker shall be given a 1099.


  30. Is there a difference between state and parish gaming forms?

    Yes, some parishes have their own reporting system. If your parish has its own reporting system, you still have to fill out the state gaming forms. Please check with your local regulatory agency for their reporting requirements.


  31. Does an organization have to notify the Office if they are changing payouts of their bingo game?

    No, the Office does not have to be notified if you are changing the payouts of your games. However, under no circumstances can you exceed the $4,500 payout per session or $25,000 per super session. These payouts include all Bingo payouts, all door prizes, and all contributions to the Charitable Gaming Progressive/Mega Jackpots.


  32. What is a compilation form?

    The compilation form summarizes all session information for a particular quarter. It is part of the Model Accounting System. Once this form is completed, the information gathered is transferred to the quarterly report.


  33. Can I play progressive bingo during a super bingo session?

    Yes, organizations may play progressive bingo during a super bingo session. The contribution is the same as at your regular sessions.


  34. Where do I report the start up deposit for the progressive/mega jackpot bingo game?

    When an organization first starts playing progressive/mega jackpot bingo, a deposit of $200 is required per bank account. The check shall be written from the Charitable Gaming Account and shall read Charitable Gaming Progressive/Mega Jackpot Account. This amount shall be reported on line 25 of the quarterly report as a minus (-), with an explanation. When and if an organization ceases playing, this start up money will be refunded to the organization. It is then deposited back into the Charitable Gaming Account and reported on line 25 of the quarterly report as a plus (+), with an explanation.


  35. Can an individual/worker/patron put up their own money to cover losses at a bingo session?

    No, the organization should show the loss for the session and write a check from the Charitable Gaming Bank Account to an individual to replenish the cash bank. Checks should not be written to "CASH".


  36. Can an individual/worker/patron "loan" the gaming account money as initial startup?

    Yes, money can be "loaned" to the gaming account. This money needs to be deposited into the Charitable Gaming Bank Account and then disbursed from the same account. Loans and loan repayments are to be shown on the Quarterly Reports on line 25 ("Adjustments").


  37. What are Managerial positions?

    1. Session Manager
    2. Bingo Manager
    3. Pull Tab Manager
    4. Pull Tab Cashier
    5. Member-In-Charge
    6. Workers who appear to be in charge
    7. Workers responsible for the overall money counts
    8. Workers responsible to fill out manager forms

    Licensing FAQ’s

  38. What is the cost of a license to conduct games of chance?

    See the Table of Fees.


  39. What is the cost of a license to distribute or manufacture supplies for charitable gaming?

    See the Table of Fees.


  40. How long does it take to receive a license?

    As long as all required information is submitted to the Office, the entire process, including training, should not take any longer than four weeks.


  41. When will my license expire?

    All licenses expire at midnight, June 30th, of each year, except Electronic Video Gaming and Electronic Video Machine licenses, which are on a calendar year and expire Dec. 31st each year.


  42. Does my organization have a 501(c) status?

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a toll free number (1-877-829-5500) that you may call to verify an organization's 501(c) status.
    You can also go to the IRS web page. You will need your organization's Federal Tax ID number.


  43. How many Special (Super) Bingo's can an organization have in a year?

    No more than two (2) super bingo sessions annually. The total amount of prizes for each session shall not exceed $25,000 in cash or other thing or things of value.
    (LA R.S. 4:710(A))


  44. How many sessions can an organization have during a month?

    No more than 20.
    (LA R.S. 4:714(A))


  45. Who can act in a managerial capacity?

    Only an active bona fide member of an organization or association can act in a managerial capacity.
    (LA R.S. 4:715(B)(1))


  46. Is the bingo caller considered to be a managerial position?

    No.
    (LA R.S. 4:715(B)(1))


  47. What are the necessary steps to request changes in the gaming location and/or session dates and times?

    The organization needs to complete and submit the form "Location/Session Schedule" five (5) business days before the requested change. For more information, see Glossary under Modification and Session Change.


  48. When does an organization have to notify the Office of a session change?

    1. If an organization is adding a session or changing a location, there is a five (5) business days advance notification required.
    2. If an organization is deleting a session, there is a 10 day notification required.
    (LA R.S. 4:718(E))


  49. How does an organization make changes in its officers and/or members list?

    The organization must submit an "Organization Official(s) Information Sheet" and/or an "Organization Member(s) Assisting in Gaming Information Sheet".
    The Office requires a 10 day notification to avoid possible penalities.
    You may request a list of the current officers and/or members. The member list is especially helpful at renewal time.


  50. What is the cost for a change and/or modification to a license?

    See the Fee Table.
    (LAC 42:1703(B)(5))


  51. What information must an organization display during the bingo session?

    1. The organization's current license must be displayed during all games.
      (LA R.S. 4:712) and (LA R.S. 4:714(C))

    2. The owner of the premises must display the Gamblers Anonymous toll-free phone number.
      (LRS 4:738)

    3. If the hall or organization is participating in a Progressive Bingo, the current jackpot must be displayed.
      (LAC 42:1789(K)(3))


  52. Can an employee of a Commercial Lessor help the organization in conducting games of chance?

    No commercial lessor, employee, or agent thereof, shall take part in or assist with the holding, operating, or conducting of a game of chance.
    (LA R.S. 4:715(a)(3))



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