The Division of Gaming's Office of Charitable Gaming is responsible for the licensing and regulation of raffles and bingos conducted by charitable organizations. Our regulatory responsibility is to protect the public interest and the integrity of games of chance played in the state. We annually license approximately 400 organizations that conduct over 10,000 bingo occasions each year. Additionally, we perform on-site inspections of bingo events and initiate compliance audits of organizations that conduct bingo.
All organizations that are conducting bingo games in which participants are required to make a purchase in order to play must be licensed by the Wisconsin Division of Gaming.
Please note that it is illegal to conduct virtual bingo games in Wisconsin in which particpants are required to make a purchase in order to play. Wisconsin law requires that bingo cards be sold and paid for only at the bingo occasions where they will be used and must conform to statutory regulations as to size, content, materials, etc. This would prohibit the use of virtual cards as well as advance sales of bingo cards.
Below are some requirements that must be met in order to obtain a bingo license:
Organizations must be in existence at least three years before applying for a
Every bingo occasion held must be listed on the license.
Every bingo organization must maintain a separate “bingo checking account”
from which to pay prizes and sustain bingo operations. All prizes and expenses
must be paid from this bingo account, and all receipts from sale of cards and
supplies must be deposited into this account.
Each organization must file financial bingo occasion reports twice each year.
Twice a year, each licensed organization must pay an occupational tax on the
gross receipts derived from bingo during the previous six months.
Every organization conducting bingo must have a Seller’s Permit and collect
sales tax from the players. Contact the Wisconsin Department of Revenue at
(608) 266-2776 for information. The Division of Gaming does not have the forms
for nor information regarding seller’s permits/sales tax.
A comprehensive bookkeeping system must be utilized and all records kept for at
least four years. Such records will be audited by the Division of Gaming
on a regular basis.
All profits from operations must be used for proper and legitimate expenditures.
All bingo supplies and equipment must be purchased from a supplier licensed by
the Wisconsin Division of Gaming; purchased from another licensed bingo
organization; or received free of charge from a licensed bingo organization.
All bingo games must be conducted according to Chapter 563 of the Wisconsin
Statutes and the Wisconsin Administrative Code.
Only bingo workers who have no record of criminal activity can assist in the
conduct of bingo. Bingo cannot be conducted at any premise owned or operated
by a person convicted of a gambling offense.
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