Gaming Commission

  • Charitable Games


    Effective immediately, the Commission is suspending the requirement of a purchase of an admission card for minors, who are ineligible to play bingo.

    Gaming Commission Rule 4820.8 (Admission charge) is hereby suspended to the extent that such Rule would otherwise require the purchase of an admission card for a person, such as a minor, who is otherwise ineligible to play bingo who is accompanied by an adult and wishes to attend a bingo occasion.


    New York State’s enacted Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget contains several changes to modernize charitable gaming across the State, make regulation easier and assist charitable organizations in increasing revenue for their worthy causes. The applicable statutory budget language is contained in Part “MM” of Chapter 59 of the 2017 Laws of New York.

    The following changes are effective July 9, 2017:

    Games of Chance Law Changes

    Prize Maximums: The maximum single prize limit for bell jar will increase from $500 to $1,000. The aggregate prize for a deal will increase from $3,000 to $6,000. (General Municipal Law sections 189(5)(a), (5)(c) and (6)(a)(2))
    Raffles: The threshold for unlicensed raffles will increase from $20,000 to $30,000. What were formally known as Category 2 raffles no longer require the filing of a GCVS2 at the conclusion of a raffle. (General Municipal Law sections 190-a(1) and 195-f(2))
    Category 1: All raffles with anticipated net proceeds of over $5,000 for a single raffle and over $30,000 for cumulative raffles within a calendar year still require either a verified statement of raffle operations prior to the conduct of a raffle (GCVS1 for net proceeds of over $5,000 for a single raffle) or a license and financial reporting (over $30,000 net proceeds).
    Category 2: All raffles with anticipated net proceeds under $5,000 for a single raffle or under $30,000 for cumulative raffles within a calendar year will require neither a license nor financial reporting.
    Municipal Permission/Consent: Authorized organizations are no longer required to seek specific permission from each municipality in order to sell raffle tickets in a municipality in a contiguous county when that municipality has generally authorized games of chance. Authorized organizations will now submit Raffle Consent Forms to the Commission, which will notify each municipality of such organization’s intent to sell raffle tickets within its jurisdiction.
    Raffle Drawing Premises: Authorized organizations may hold raffle drawings at premises other than those of the organization. Raffle drawings may occur on State-owned property so long as all required authorizations are obtained. (General Municipal Law section 189(13))
    Payment: Authorized organizations may accept personal checks as payment for games of chance. (General Municipal Law section 195-d(3))
    Advertising: The options for games of chance advertisement platforms will be expanded to include television and the internet – pending adoption of applicable Commission rules. Such advertisements will be permitted to include descriptions of the prizes offered. (General Municipal Law section 195-e)
    Years in Existence: The years-in-existence requirement for an authorized organization to conduct games of chance will reduce from three years to one year. (General Municipal Law section 190-a(2)(a))


    Prizes maximums: The maximum single prize for bingo will increase from $1,000 to $5,000. The maximum prize per occasion will increase from $3,000 to $15,000. (General Municipal Law sections 479(5) and 479(6))
    Minimum age to play: Consistent with other forms gambling in the state, the minimum age to play bingo is 18 years of age. Minors under the age of 18 are still permitted to attend, but are not be permitted to play bingo. Persons 16 years of age or older may continue to perform ancillary non-gaming activities conducted in conjunction with licensed bingo, such as assisting at any food concession, cleaning, maintenance and site preparation. (General Municipal Law sections 476(13) and 486)
    Advertising: The options for bingo advertisement platforms will be expanded to include television and the internet – pending adoption of applicable Commission rules. Such bingo advertisements will be permitted to include descriptions of the prizes offered. (General Municipal Law section 490)

    Charitable gaming occurs in the form of bingo, bell jar sales, the conduct of Las Vegas nights, and operation of raffles in each of the 62 counties of New York.

    The Charitable Gaming Division is responsible for the investigation, audit and monitoring of the sale of hundreds of millions of bell jar tickets sold annually, and the verification of the lawful disbursement of bingo, bell jar, Las Vegas night, and raffle proceeds. The Charitable Gaming Division also issues licenses to bingo and games of chance manufacturers and suppliers; collects the license fees paid by those licensees; determines that commercial bingo hall rental fees are fair and reasonable as a prerequisite to licensure by municipalities; approves thousands of bell jar ticket games each year; and issues bingo and games of chance identification numbers to applicant organizations as a prerequisite to their licensing by municipalities.

    Descriptions of popular regulated charitable games:

    Bell Jar: A participant draws a card from a jar, vending machine or other suitable device or container which contains numbers, colors or symbols that are covered and which, when uncovered, may reveal that a prize to be awarded on the basis of a designated winning number, color or symbol or combination of numbers, colors or symbols. Bell jars may also include seal cards, coin boards, and merchandise boards. The winning Bell Jar ticket is turned in for a monetary prize. Bell Jars are typically sold for 25˘, 50˘, $1 and $2 and have prizes as high as $1000.
    Raffle: Participants obtain numbered tickets with each ticket having the chance of winning a prize. At a set time, the winning number(s) are drawn from a container holding a copy of every number. The drawn tickets are checked against a collection of prizes with numbers attached to them, and the holder of the ticket wins the prize.
    Bingo: Participants seek to match randomly drawn numbers on 5x5 matrices, which are printed on paper, card stock or electronically represented and are referred to as cards. Versions conclude the game when the first person achieves a specified pattern from the drawn numbers and calls out “Bingo.” Wins are then reviewed before being designated as official, at which time the prize is secured and a new game is begun.

  • Forms And Applications

    Electronic Forms

    • Charitable Gaming Online (cGO)

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  • Bingo

    • Frequently Asked Questions

    • Guidelines for Running Bingo

    • Sample Bingo House Rules

    • Guidelines for Operating Bonus Ball Bingo

    • Guidelines for Operating Bonus Ball Bingo During Double-Header and Triple Header Sessions

    • Free Bingo

    • Guidelines for Operating Progressive Early Bird Bingo (Split Pot / Share-the-Wealth)

  • Bell Jar

    • Frequently asked Questions

    • Guidelines for Operating Bell Jar

    • Guidelines for Event Games

    • Search our Database for Approved Bell Jar Tickets

  • Las Vegas Nights (Casino Night Games)

    • Guidelines for Operating Casino Nights

  • Raffles

    • Guidelines for Conducting Raffles

    • Guidelines for Operating Penny Social Raffles

    • Guidelines for Operating Queen of Hearts

    • Security Procedures for Queen of Hearts

    • Queen of Hearts FAQ

    • Guidelines for Operating Treasure Chest Raffles

    • Contiguous County Search

  • Additional Information

    • Games of Chance Suppliers Licensed in New York State

    • Games of Chance Manufacturers Licensed in New York State

    • Bingo Suppliers Licensed in New York State

    • Bingo Manufacturers Licensed in New York State

    • Manufacturers of Electronic Bingo Aids Licensed in New York State

  • Seminars




    July 25, 2018

    10:00AM - 12:00PM

    August 29, 2018

    10:00AM - 12:00PM

    September 26, 2018

    10:00AM - 12:00PM

    October 31, 2018

    10:00AM - 12:00PM

    November 28, 2018

    10:00AM - 12:00PM

    December 19, 2018

    10:00AM - 12:00PM

    All Meetings are held at the Commission's Schenectady Offices

    To NYS Charitable Organizations:

    The New York State Gaming Commission will be conducting a series of Charitable Gaming seminars in the upcoming months in 2018 aimed to help authorized organizations comply with the various laws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of licensed authorized Games of Chance and Bingo.

    Staff will be on-hand to answer any questions, or cover any topics, regarding all aspects of licensed authorized games of chance and bingo including licensing, internal controls, compliance and financial reporting.

    Statewide representatives of charitable organizations are welcome to attend all seminars. Any questions regarding any of the scheduled seminars can be directed to the Commission's Charitable Gaming Unit at (518) 388-0210.

    1 Broadway Center, Suite 600
    Schenectady, NY 12305-2553

    Telephone (518) 388-3300
    FAX: (518) 347-1469


  • Municipal Clerks & Bingo Inspectors

    • Municipal Clerk's Guide to Licensing

    • Bingo Inspector's Guide (includes sample Bingo House Rules and Freqiently Asked Questions)

    • Bingo Inspection Report

  • Charitable Gaming Municipal Clerks Portal:

    The Municipal Clerks Portal is designed to allow qualified charitable organizations to create secure accounts and file games of chance license applications and applications for identification numbers electronically. The site will help expedite the licensing process for qualified charitable organizations seeking to conduct games of chance including raffles, bell jar and casino games in municipalities in New York State that have authorized the conduct of games of chance.

    Key functions include;


      • Expedites and centralizes the registration and licensing process.

      • Aid the State’s Green initiative by reducing waste from paper for the Gaming Commission, Municipal Clerks and charitable organizations.

      • Cuts costs to municipalities by eliminating the need to mail copies of all licenses issued to the Gaming Commission.

      • Retains a history of all submissions to the Commission and the municipal clerk.