The Bingo Law stipulates non-profit organizations which have existed and conducted business two years prior to application can place an application with the Treasurer's Office. Senior citizen groups can apply immediately upon being organized.
Qualified applicants are limited to one game site for a period of one year, which shall be in the city, borough or township Where The Main Business Office Is Located.
- Separately chartered auxiliaries of associations shall be eligible to apply for a bingo license. Political organizations are specifically excluded from being eligible for a bingo license;
- Residents of a senior citizen housing project may apply for a license immediately upon organizing. Other associations still must be in existence for two years prior to applying;
- Associations which conduct bingo on only one period each year not exceeding three consecutive days shall be charged $15 for their license;
- Special permits to conduct bingo for entertainment purposes may be issued to community recognized non-profit organizations. No fee shall be charged for the issuance of this permit;
- To be a "bona fide member" eligible to participate in the operation of a bingo game, a person must have been a member of the association for at least one year. Members of an auxiliary are eligible to participate in the parent association's bingo game;
- An individual is only allowed to participate in the operation of two associations' bingo games each week (i.e., he may work two days each week for each association);
- Minors under 18 years of age may participate in the operation of a bingo game if written permission is obtained from their parent or guardian;
- Associations conducting bingo at fairs may contract an outside operator to conduct bingo for merchandise if no charitable organizations are available;
- Associations are required to keep written records of the prizes awarded and moneys collected-for each day they conduct bingo;
- The proceeds of each day's bingo Game shall be deposited with a financial institution before those proceeds may be used for any purpose other than the payment of prize money and compensation of individuals employed to operate the bingo game;
- An individual employed to operate a bingo game may be paid in cash only if he signs a written receipt for the money;
- Associations may only lease bingo equipment from other licensed associations. The lease shall be in writing and the rental shall not be determined by either the amount of receipts realized from playing bingo or the number of people attending the bingo games. Joint ownership of bingo equipment is permitted only if both owners are licensed associations. "Bingo equipment" is defined as tables, chairs, cards, microphones, amplifiers, speakers and all other machinery and articles used to conduct a game of bingo;
- Personal property used in the conduct of the bingo game, other than bingo equipment, may not be leased under an oral agreement or for a fee determined by either the amount of receipts or the number of people attending the bingo games;
- An association must comply with the health laws and regulations of the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions if it serves food at its bingo games;
- Only the association conducting the bingo game shall be permitted to advertise the game. Such advertisements shall contain the date, time, location, name of the association and the name of the person in charge of the bingo game. The dollar value of either possible or guaranteed prizes shall not be advertised;
- The Act shall not be interpreted to restrict the enforcement and investigatory powers of state, county or local law enforcement officials;
- Any person who conducts or assists in the conduct of bingo in violation of the Act is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. The previous language of the act only punished individuals conducting bingo without a license.
The following fees have been set by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for Bingo Licensing:
- $100.00 - Qualified non-profits conducting games throughout the year.
- $15.00 - Qualified non-profits conducting no more than three continuous days per year.
- FREE - For qualified non-profits conducting games for their membership only where the games are conducted for entertainment purposes only and nominal prizes are awarded.
Information and Resources
By submitting an application to the Berks County Treasurer’s Office, I understand that the information contained in the application will be subject to public access and voluntarily waive any privacy rights I may have in this information.