Bingo Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants

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What is bingo?     CGS § 7-169(a)

By law, “bingo” is a game where each player receives a card containing several rows and numbers and, as numbers are drawn or obtained by chance and announced, the player with the announced numbers on his or her card in a straight line or designated arrangement of numbers on the card is declared the winner. In Connecticut, bingo may only be played with numbers.

Who can promote and operate a bingo game? CGS § 7-169(c)

Bingo games can only be promoted, operated, and conducted by a charitable, civic, educational, fraternal, veterans' or religious organization, volunteer fire department or grange.  The organization must have been established for at least 2 years.

Members of another sponsoring organization may assist with the operation of the bingo game as long as they have received a permit from the municipality where the event will be hosted.

Recreational Bingo may be operated by senior citizen originations and PTOs/ PTAs who are permitted by the municipality. Recreational bingo permits do not allow for fundraising. These organizations must apply for a separate permit for fundraising purposes.

Outside vendors and individuals may NOT be hired to run bingo events. Doing so may result in penalties for the organization and the hired vendors. 

How do I apply for a bingo permit?CGS § 7-169(d), 7-169(e), 7-169(j)

Bingo permits are issued by towns and cities. Eligible organizations must apply to the municipal official in the town or city where the bingo game will be hosted.

Which bingo permit is right for me?

Each permit allows for 15-40 bingo games per day. When choosing the class of the bingo permit consider the following: 

  • Class A: Allows an organization to host one bingo day per week for one year.
  • Class B: Allows an organization to host a bingo day for up to 10 days in a row. No more than two Class B permits can be issued each year to an organization.
  • Class C: Allows an organization to host one bingo day per month for one year.

Note: permits can be suspended or revoked by a municipal official for any violations of bingo laws (section 7-169a) or false statements on the bingo application. 

What kinds of prizes can be offered?CGS § 7-169(h)

Prizes may include cash, merchandise, lottery tickets, and other personal property. The prize generally may not be valued at more than $250. See CGS § 7-169(h) for exceptions.

Do I need to keep records from my bingo event?CGS § 7-169(g), 7-169(i)

Accurate records of receipts and disbursements shall be kept and made available for inspection by the municipal official. 

When do I need to file a return form and pay my fees?

Within 10 days of a bingo game (or more if allowed by a municipal official), the organization must file a report with the municipality and pay any owed fees.

What bingo products can be used? CGS § 7-169d

“Bingo products” means bingo ball equipment, bingo cards or bingo paper. Each organization must use products that are either:

  • Owned by their organization
  • Borrowed or used for free by the organization
  • Rented or purchased from a bingo product manufacturer or dealer who is registered with Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

You can look up a registration at Select "BINGO” for license type and enter “BDLR” in first field for license number.

Note: An organization may use only bingo products that have been approved by the Department of Consumer Protection.

Can we host an online bingo game?  Sec. 12-865

No.  Online bingo, including live social media events, is not legal in Connecticut.

What is the penalty for violating bingo laws? CGS § 7-169(j), 12-865-29

Permits can be suspended or revoked by a municipal official for any violations of bingo laws (section 7-169a) or false statements on the bingo application.  Violating bingo laws is a Class D misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment, up to a $250 fine, or both. Other administrative enforcement actions may be taken.