ALE is responsible for enforcing the state bingo laws to prevent commercialized gambling. A bingo game is a specific game of chance and is legal only if the charitable organization has a current Charitable Bingo License.
ALE's bingo administrator is responsible for licensing and overseeing the charitable organizations' operations and making sure they are in compliance with the state's administrative bingo laws, including internal audits as needed.
During 2011, ALE's Bingo Licensing section issued 204 licenses. This section is statutorily required to monitor all licensed bingo operations to ensure compliance with the law and to conduct annual audits of financial records. Based on available data, these organizations report more than $16.5 million in gross receipts annually.
Bingo complaints from the public are processed through ALE and distributed to the appropriate ALE district office for investigation. In calendar year 2011, ALE special agents and the bingo administrator received and investigated more than 100 complaints from the general public or other law enforcement agencies.
The types of organizations that are eligible for a Charitable Bingo License are bona-fide non-profit charitable, civic, religious, fraternal, patriotic, veteran, volunteer fire departments or volunteer rescue squads or property owners' associations. These non-profits must apply to the ALE Bingo Section for a license to operate a charitable bingo game and pay an annual $200.00 nonrefundable fee.
Licensed non-profit agencies are allowed to operate no more than twice a week with games being 48 hours apart for no longer than five hours per session. Alcohol may not be sold during these sessions.
Beach bingo games may lawfully be played for prizes of $10 or less, or merchandise that is not redeemable for cash and has a value of $10 or less. Beach bingo games are not subject to the same standards as non-profit bingo, which results in a large number of complaints filed by the non-profit bingo operators. Although ALE is not specifically tasked with the responsibility of investigating complaints related to beach bingo, these complaints are routinely referred to ALE by local law enforcement because of ALE's reputation for expertise in the field of non-profit bingo enforcement.
Bingo Reporting Forms
BL-1 Application for Exempt Organization License to Operate Bingo Games (Adobe PDF)
BL-5 Application for Exempt Organization Single Occasion Permit to Conduct a Bingo Game (Adobe PDF)
Download the 2012 North Carolina General Statutes related to bingo. (Adobe PDF)
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