Bingo is a game of chance, but governments do not treat bingo as a normal gambling game. From the first days of bingo in Italy, countries have found bingo an excellent way to increase their revenues. Free online bingo is not regulated, but online bingo with large prizes is.
Bingo has long been adopted by private parties, but, like all regulated games, governments claim fees from these operations. In this article I would discuss the constitutional state of bingo in the state of Texas as an example of the regulation patterns implemented by governments throughout the world, which also includes online bingo sites.
In the State of Texas there is a commission which supervises bingo's operations. The commission consists of a director, an assistant director and an administrative technician, who works under the director.
The commission is split into three sections: Accounting Services, Licensing Services and Audit Services. The Bingo Advisory Committee (BAC) consists of nine members who represent different bingo interests in Texas, they are appointed by the state commission. The BAC operates only as an advisory committee with no power of attorney.
The above institutes are responsible for a variety of tasks, which are needed to insure the lawfulness of bingo operators in Texas. The committee must govern bingo halls and ensure that in a period of 24 hours no more than two organizations have used it. Also, only seven organizations are allowed to operate in the same hall.
Other Examples of restrictions governed by the committee:
Operators must obey many restrictions such as age restriction; managing and storing of bingo equipment; they are responsible for securing it as well; A detailed inventory list must be kept.
Operators must be physically present at the time of selling bingo tickets and to ensure of a balanced budget, which is being under regulation at all times. Operators are prohibited from giving free tickets and must post serial numbers on them. Also, a winning ticket must be posted in a visible location, where the public may view it.
There are also many restrictions over prizes:
A prize can not exceed a value of $750, and no more than $2,500 in one occasion. Any winner must pay a fee of 5% of the prize's value. The committee must perform inspections, reviews and train bingo employee. One of the most important duties of the committee is to grant or to revoke operators' license. By regulating all of the above and more the committee can guarantee the legal status of bingo in Texas. Though this is the current legal state of bingo in Texas, it is a good example of how regulation works throughout the world, including online ones.
Matthew Richardson - Associate Editor