Operating a bingo hall can be a lucrative business. This is a business model that is successfully used by charities that need to raise money, as well as casinos that want to add to the types of gambling they offer. Bingo is a business that is typically regulated by authorities, and as such you can expect to jump through hoops to get the proper licenses to start a bingo hall. However, if you take things one step at a time and follow through on all requests made by authorities, you should be able to get a bingo license issued to you. If you would like to start a bingo hall, follow these simple steps to learn how.
Write a business plan for your bingo hall. Every business should always start with a firm written plan. Your business plan should address how your company will be formed, managed and advertised. It should also address how you will respond to any challenges that are common to the bingo industry. There are a number of websites that offer free business plan templates. Download one and fill the template in with information that pertains to the bingo hall that you plan to start.
Research the legal requirements for obtaining a bingo license in your state. Some states consider bingo to be a game of chance, and licensing bingo halls falls under the jurisdiction of the state Gaming Control Board. Other states only allow bingo to be operated for charitable purposes, as a way of raising money for non-profit organisations. Contact the attorney general’s office in your state to identify the legal requirements and procedures for getting a license to operate a bingo hall.
Obtain proper licensing to operate your bingo hall. You will first need to register a company with the secretary of state’s office for your state. After the company is registered, follow the instructions that were provided to you by the attorney general in the previous step. Assuming that your state issues bingo licenses, it should be a fairly straightforward process to get one, as long as you meet the minimum qualifications.
Lease a location to hold your bingo games. The key to operating a successful bingo hall is to have as many players as possible. You will want to find a place to lease that has a large open floor area, which can be filled with rows of tables. If there is room for a concession area, that will be a plus, since you can make additional revenue from the sale of snacks and beverages.
Purchase the equipment that your bingo hall needs. You will need to buy bingo balls, blowers, display boards, cards and other basic bingo supplies. You will also need a microphone and amplifier so that the announcer can be heard by everyone. There are many companies that sell bingo supplies. A few are listed in the “Resources” section, below, for your convenience.
Hire and train a staff. You will need to have at least one person who can announce the numbers and operate the display board. You will need to have a few people on staff to collect money, check cards and pay winners. If you offer a concession booth or child care, you will also need to hire people to work in those areas.
Advertise your grand opening and your general operating schedule. Set a date for your grand opening and advertise it in the local area. Newspaper announcements and local radio spots are usually the best way to reach a local audience. It is also a good idea to provide some additional incentive for the public to show up for the grand opening, such as having special entertainment or door prizes.
If your bingo hall will not be open nightly, take the schedule of other bingo halls into consideration. Local charities, such as churches, the Odd Fellows, Shriners or Veterans of Foreign Wars may also be holding bingo games. Find out what nights and times these games are played, and schedule your hours during other times. This will make it easier to keep your bingo hall full of players than what it would be if you had to directly compete with another bingo room.
Tips and warnings
- If your bingo hall will not be open nightly, take the schedule of other bingo halls into consideration. Local charities, such as churches, the Odd Fellows, Shriners or Veterans of Foreign Wars may also be holding bingo games. Find out what nights and times these games are played, and schedule your hours during other times. This will make it easier to keep your bingo hall full of players than what it would be if you had to directly compete with another bingo room.