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Subject: Bingo
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Author Messages
MarieK1
(Texas)

Posts:2


02/05/2018 6:10 AM  
Texas community - Do we need a bingo license to conduct a Bingo game at our clubhouse for our residents each month.
If not, where can I find that information?
The activity would be on our property @ clubhouse, conducted by volunteers, only residents can participate, monies collected would be returned back as winning prizes. Cover all game would take the remaining monies. Do we need a bingo license for community activity?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


02/05/2018 7:17 AM  
Check with your County or municipality.

Per this attorney site, the answer would likely be yes, you need a license.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:468


02/05/2018 5:52 PM  
You should check with your state's AG attorney general. From working security, I was posted at an old folks hone, and they had bingo played with pennies & nickels.
they had BIG prizes like movies or dinners for 2 $25.00 gift card to the grocery store.
I hope that helps.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:525


02/05/2018 9:58 PM  
As I understand it, you only have to have a license if you get "proceeds" for the games. I think if you are giving all the money back to the winners, it would not be considered proceeds.

It is controlled by the Texas Lottery Commission and organizations that can do bingo to raise money is very limited and does not include HOAs.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/OC/htm/OC.2001.htm

Even if you technically need a license I don't think anyone would care as long as it is for fun any you are not making a profit.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/06/2018 8:37 AM  
Been's reply seems reasonable.

Just do it & have fun!
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


02/06/2018 3:34 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/06/2018 8:37 AM

Just do it & have fun!




Funny, that's what we did in removing and planting trees.
Everything was good until someone contacted the County.
We then faced monetary penalties and had to jump through hoops to satisfy the County.


Ben is partially right.
Everything will likely be fine unless someone contacts the authorities.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/06/2018 4:39 PM  
I see your point, Tim, but I do think trees & Bingo are two very different things. And from what I've read on this forum & elsewhere, plus experience in my own HOA, landscaping is just about the most contentious topic that I see. Partly it's because many residents see a lot of the landscaping/trees every day. Bingo, not so much.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


02/06/2018 5:48 PM  
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/06/2018 4:39 PM

I see your point, Tim, but I do think trees & Bingo are two very different things.




I think you are missing my point completely.

The point is that Associations need to comply with applicable statutes/codes or face consequences when the violation of these statutes/codes become known to the appropriate authority.


Disgruntled member who was denied an architectural request knows that you need a license for bingo. Sees that the Association is starting to hold bingo games. Rather then inform the Association about this issue, they simply inform the appropriate authority.

Disgruntled player who didn't win wants revenge and informs the appropriate authority that a game is being played and they might not have a license.


Other examples:

Disgruntled member who sees an individual on the board as the problem realizes that the spouse if being paid by the Association as an independent contractor. Member chooses to report the issue to the IRS.

Association encourage board members to serve by waiving all or a partial of their assessments. Person who lost informs the IRS that board members are employees and the Association is failing to report earnings.


It doesn't matter if it's trees, bingo, waiving assessments or something else. All was likely done with good intentions by the Association. However, if it's a violation of applicable statutes or County codes there are potential consequences if someone becomes disgruntled and chooses to exercise their right and contact the appropriate authority.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/07/2018 4:03 PM  
Perhaps I have reading comprehension problems, Tim, but Is till see a difference in let's say the two topics. Wrongful removal of common area trees could result, I guess in big penalties by the local municipally.

A loser at Bingo, I suppose, might spend time trying to figure out who to complain to. But even then I'd think the penalty to the HOA would be small or even a warning of some sort.

The other three examples don't seem to fit as board members should know that all are opposed to some gov doc or state law. "Good intentions" don't seem to be a part of those examples.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


02/07/2018 4:31 PM  
Kerry/Carol,

The point is that the Board doesn't have the luxury of deciding which laws they want to break.

They need to comply with all of them (even those that appear small and insignificant).
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:525


02/07/2018 4:58 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 02/06/2018 3:34 PM
Posted By KerryL1 on 02/06/2018 8:37 AM

Just do it & have fun!




Funny, that's what we did in removing and planting trees.
Everything was good until someone contacted the County.
We then faced monetary penalties and had to jump through hoops to satisfy the County.


Ben is partially right.
Everything will likely be fine unless someone contacts the authorities.




My point was not to advocate breaking the law, it was to point out that the statute is vague enough that the authorities probably would not care since the intent of the law is not to keep people from playing bingo but to control raising money with bingo games. Even if the lottery commission had the time and inclination to charge the HOA, I doubt you could find an elected judge in Texas who would convict under these circumstances because the charge would defy common sense, in my opinion.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15889


02/07/2018 5:49 PM  
Ben,

I agree with you and understood your point.
Realistically, there will likely be no issues.

However, we should point out everything so the OP and their Board can make an informed decision.


If someone contacts the authorities, there may be consequences.
There might not be. However, knowing violating the law can result in the D&O insurance denying any claim if there were.
MarieK1
(Texas)

Posts:2


02/08/2018 2:52 AM  
Thank you for your responses. It helped.
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