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Bingo

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Bingo, also called Lotto, game of chance using cards on which there is a grid of numbers, a row of which constitute a win when they have been chosen at random. Bingo is one of the most popular forms of low-priced gambling in the world.

To play bingo, which is a form of lottery, each player purchases one or more cards divided into numbered and blank squares. Randomly chosen numbers, usually up to 75 or 90, are called out by a “banker.” The first player to achieve a card (or a line) in which all of the numbers have been called shouts “bingo” or “house” and collects the entire stake money, usually less a specified percentage, if that is permitted by local law. In another popular variation, the central square on the card is free, and the first player on whose card five of the called numbers appear in a row—vertically, horizontally, or diagonally—is the winner. The prize (jackpot) may amount to thousands of dollars. Bingo is legal in most U.S. states that prohibit other forms of gambling. It is permitted in Ireland when the profits are for charity; and it is closely regulated in the United Kingdom, where lotto halls were subjected to a tax in 1966.

Bingo has had many names and variations. The earliest name, lotto (or loto), a children’s game, was first recorded in 1778. The original American form, called keno, kino, or po-keno, dates from the early 19th century. The only form of gambling permitted in the British armed services, the game is called in the Royal Navy tombola (1880) and in the Army, house (1900), or housy-housy. Other American names are beano, lucky, radio, and fortune. At the height of its popularity during the Great Depression of the 1930s, a variant (often called screeno) was played in motion-picture theatres, with one night in the week designated bank night, when patrons received free bingo cards with their admission tickets; prizes amounted to hundreds of dollars in cash or merchandise.

Bingo has been played enthusiastically in Japan and has even been introduced at the casino in Monte-Carlo. In Great Britain the game received its greatest impetus when the Betting and Gaming Act of 1960 permitted the formation of a large number of commercial lotto clubs. Within a few years, the game achieved a popularity equaling or exceeding that which it had formerly enjoyed in the United States.

Bingo, game of chance using cards on which there is a grid of numbers, a row of which constitute a win when they have been chosen at random. Bingo is one of the most popular forms of low-priced gambling in the world. To play bingo, which is a form of lottery, each player purchases one or more c

Regular and Monster Bingo

Bingo events are lottery schemes where players purchase bingo paper and win prizes by being the first to complete specified arrangements or patterns of numbers on the bingo paper from numbers selected at random.

Regular bingo events have prize boards of $5,500 and under, and Special (Monster) bingo events have prize boards over $5,500.

Provincial Licence

Only the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing may issue a licence to an eligible charitable or religious organization for the following:

  • Bingo events where the total value of the prizes to be awarded at any one occasion exceeds $5,500;
  • Bingo events conducted in an unorganized territory;
  • Bingo events conducted on Federal land such as Canadian Forces Bases; and
  • Bingo events where the event is to be conducted in conjunction with another licensed lottery event.

Municipal Licence

A municipality may issue a licence to an eligible charitable or religious organization for regular bingo events where the total value of the prizes to be awarded on any one occasion does not exceed $5,500.

For those applying for a municipal licence, contact the local municipality where you intend to hold the event for more detailed information on the application process, licensing fees and required attachments.

Application Requirements

  • First time applicants should visit the Charitable Lottery Licensing Overview page for information on what’s necessary to determine eligibility
  • Municipal approval letter (if applicable)
  • Copy of bingo game schedule
  • Appropriate lottery licensing fee payable to the Minister of Finance

The licensee must conduct and manage the event in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the licence.

Bingo events are lottery schemes where players purchase bingo paper and win prizes by being the first to complete specified arrangements or patterns of numbers on the bingo paper from numbers selected at random. Regular bingo events have prize boards of $5,500 and under, and Special (Monster) bingo events have prize boards over $5,500. Provincial Licence Only the Registrar of Alcohol, Gaming and Racing may issue a licence to an eligible charitable or religious organization for the following: ]]>