How do we form an Accounting Unit?
Two or more licensed authorized organizations may form and operate a unit by executing a unit accounting agreement and stating in the agreement whether the unit will use a unit manager or a designated agent.
How do we open a bingo checking account for an Accounting Unit?
The unit must establish and maintain one checking account designated as the "bingo account." The unit must maintain the "bingo account" in compliance with the same provisions of the Bingo Enabling Act and Charitable Bingo Administrative Rules applicable to a licensed authorized organization. The face of the checks must list the name of the unit, the words "Bingo Account,” and the unit's identification number.
I have been asked to be a trustee organization; What are my responsibilities?
A unit may be formed pursuant to a trust agreement between two or more licensed authorized organizations that conduct bingo at the same location. The agreement must designate one of the organizations as the trustee, designate a person who will carry out the duties described by Section 2001.438(b), specify the method by which the unit will comply with the requirements of Section 2001.436(a) and state that the trustee is responsible for compliance with the rules of the commission.
What is a Designated Agent?
If the unit accounting agreement does not state that a unit manager will be responsible for compliance with the rules of the commission, or states that the unit will use a designated agent; the unit shall designate an agent who will be responsible for providing the commission access to all inventory and financial records of the unit.
What is the difference between a unit agreement and a trust agreement?
A trust is created to hold assets for the benefit of certain persons or entities with a trustee managing the trust. The trust agreement is the written declaration, which establishes the trust and spells out the terms and conditions upon which it will be conducted.
The unit agreement is the written declaration, which establishes the unit and spells out the terms and conditions upon which it will be conducted. No separate entity is created when the unit is established through this type of agreement.
What happens if the agreement is not compliant?
The commission will notify you as to what changes must be made to meet the minimum requirements under statute and rules.
How do I pay outstanding expenses that were incurred for an individual charity before becoming members of a unit?
Expenses incurred for an individual charity would either be paid or designated to be paid out of the organization’s bingo bank account. After forming a unit, if one organization owes more in outstanding expenses, they may be required to put more money into the unit account.
How do I obtain an Employers Identification Number for the unit?
Contact the IRS to acquire an EIN.
We have an organization joining/leaving our unit; What do we need to do?
Submit, Notice of Change for Accounting Unit, FORMID 65.
We are altering our trustee organization; What do we need to do?
Submit a copy of the amended unit accounting trust agreement and Notice of Change for Accounting Unit, FORMID 65.
Are there specific requirements for an amendment to a unit agreement?
Yes. An amendment to an agreement must contain the name of the unit, the effective date of change, the specific section of the agreement being changed, the new terms of the agreement, and the signature of the bingo chairperson/officer/director for each member unit. Also, include a statement that binds the amendment to the original agreement thus creating one document, unless the entire agreement is restated.
The lessor has told us that we must do a Unit Accounting Agreement to continue playing at their facility; Can he do this?
The terms of the contract govern the relationship between the two entities.
How do we transfer individual charities inventory into the Unit?
An organization joining a unit and possessing inventory must provide to the Commission a complete list of the inventory it has transferred to the unit within thirty (30) calendar days. It is the responsibility of the organization to ensure that the Commission receives the inventory list in a timely manner.
Do we keep our bingo account open after joining an Accounting Unit?
The organization no longer has a bingo bank account; however, the previous bingo bank account may be designated as a “charity” account to be use for receipt and distribution of charitable funds relating to the bingo activity.
How should we close our bingo account after joining a unit?
Any funds remaining in the account at unit start-up must be disbursed by the organization for its charitable purpose by the last day of the quarter; following the date, the organization joined the unit or transferred to the unit bingo account.
Funds that are required to be distributed for the charitable purpose of the organization and funds that have been previously reported on a bingo quarterly report as charitable distribution may not be transferred to the unit bingo account.
It is not necessary to close the organization’s old bingo account. Some organizations choose to retain this account to help track their charitable distributions received from the unit and disbursed for charitable purposes.
How do we make distributions to the individual charities from the unit?
Charitable donations are distributed to the individual charities based on the terms of the unit accounting agreement or unit accounting trust agreement.
What needs to be in the Unit Accounting Agreement to be compliant with the records distribution upon withdrawal of a member or dissolution of the Unit?
This must be addressed in the unit agreement. Due to the four-year bingo records retention requirement, the commission must know where the unit’s records will be stored. Therefore, the agreement must reference who will be responsible for and where, the records will be retained. Once a unit is dissolved, the last trustee or member of a unit must notify the Commission of any change in the location of the records during the four-year period.
Can we form a unit only on the first day of a quarter or can we begin during the quarter?
There are no restrictions or regulations regarding when a unit may be formed or when an organization may join a unit.
How do we order supplies from the distributor as a unit?
A unit would order supplies in the same manner as a licensed authorized organization, using the unit number assigned by the commission. Should the unit not have a number assigned at the time of ordering supplies, the distributor would need to contact the commission to verify the unit’s formation prior to the sale.
We have a unit member joining the unit who is on COD to the distributor; Is this going to affect the unit?
If a member of a unit is in default to a distributor, a person may not sell or transfer bingo equipment or supplies to the unit on terms other than immediate payment on delivery, unless otherwise authorized by the commission.
How do I show charitable distributions made this quarter from my organization’s bingo account, on my unit report?
An organization that is required to file a Bingo Quarterly Report FORMID69 for a period prior to joining a unit must file a Final Disposition of Bingo Proceeds in Bank Account reporting the final disposition of all proceeds in its bingo account. The form must be submitted with the unit's Bingo Quarterly Report FORMID69 for that quarter and would be subject to all Bingo Quarterly Report FORMID69 filing deadlines, requirements and penalties.
When does the unit make the deposit for each bingo occasion?
Each unit member should deposit all funds derived from the conduct of bingo, in the bingo account not later than the second (2nd) business day after the day of the bingo occasion.
Who needs to be licensed?
Any person who wants to engage in a bingo related activity shall apply to the Commission for the appropriate license.
How long does the process take?
On average, it takes from 30 – 90 days, depending upon the type of license.
The license application indicates I need a bond; How do I provide a bond?
You may provide a cash bond, a bond from a surety company, a certificate of deposit, a certificate of savings, U.S. treasury bonds, negotiable stocks, or a sufficient security.
I mailed in my renewal overnight express mail. It came back in the mail as undeliverable. Why did this happen?
Mail is not delivered to our physical address. When using the U.S. Postal Service, you must use our mailing address: Texas Lottery Commission, Charitable Bingo Operations Division, P.O. Box 16630, Austin, TX 78761-6630.
If you are using express delivery services (FEDEX, UPS, etc.), they deliver only to our physical address: Texas Lottery Commission, Charitable Bingo Operations Division, 611 East 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701.
What is the Registry of Approved Bingo Workers?
The Registry is a list of persons for whom the Commission has conducted a criminal history background check and are approved to be involved in the conduct of bingo.
Who must be listed on the Registry of Approved Bingo Workers?
Any individual who carries out or performs the functions of a caller, cashier, manager, unit manager, operator, usher, salesperson, bookkeeper, or bingo chairperson.
Our organization uses a temporary bingo license each year for our yearly carnival; Do all of our workers and operators need to be listed on the Registry to work this bingo occasion?
No. Individuals associated with an organization, which does not have a regular license to conduct bingo, but obtains a temporary license to conduct bingo, are exempt from listing individuals on the Registry.
How am I added to the Registry of Approved Bingo Workers?
An individual must complete an Application for Registry of Bingo Workers, FORMID 46, submit a verifiable FBI or DPS fingerprint card if at the time of registration and undergo a criminal history background investigation.
Is there a fee to be listed on the Registry?
No. Submit the Application for Registry of Bingo Workers, FORMID 46.
If you are a Military Service Member, Military Veteran, or Military Spouse, please see Military Service Members, Military Veterans, or Military Spouses, FORMID 138.
I want to work for all five licensed authorized organizations in the bingo hall; Do I need to complete five Applications?
No. Only one application should be submitted.
I have filled out and mailed in my application; Can I start working?
A licensed organization may employ an individual who is not on the registry as an operator, manager, cashier, usher, caller, or salesperson on a provisional basis, if the individual is awaiting the results of a background check by the commission, for a period not to exceed 14 days, if the individual is a resident of the state of Texas.
How do I know I have been added to the Registry?
The registrant will be added to the registry as soon as possible after the Commission has determined that the individual is eligible to be involved in the conduct of bingo. You may check for your name on the Registry file available on the www.txbingo.org website.
Can my letter of notification and identification cards be mailed to the bingo hall when I am approved?
Yes. An address other than the home address of the applicant should be entered in Item J on the Application for Registry of Bingo Workers, FORMID 46.
When do I wear my identification card?
All registered workers and operators are required to wear the state issued identification card while on duty.
Can I get more identification cards?
Additional identification cards may be requested by submitting Personalized Identification Card Request Form, FORMID 49.
Can a person be removed from the Registry?
Yes. Individuals may remove themselves from the Registry at any time by submitting a request in writing. In addition, the Texas Lottery Commission may take administrative action to remove an individual from the Registry.
How long am I registered for once I am listed on the Registry?
An individual may remain on the Registry for three years. The expiration date is listed on the identification cards.
What if I do not renew my registration before the expiration date?
If a Renewal of Registry for Bingo Worker Registry, FORMID 47 is not received on or before the registered worker's expiration date, the individual's name will be removed from the Registry. The individual may no longer serve as a bingo worker or operator until they renew and receive their identification cards.
If I am removed from the Registry for failure to renew my registration timely, how can I be re-listed?
Yes. If the individual wishes to be re-listed on the Registry after they have been removed for failure to renew their registration timely; they must complete and submit a Renewal for Bingo Worker Registry, FORMID 47. The individual may not begin serving as a bingo worker or operator until their name is again listed on the Registry and they have received their identification cards in the mail.
My personal information (phone number, address, etc.) is changing; Is there anything I need to do?
Individuals listed on the Registry must report changes to information within thirty days of the change using Notice of Change to Worker Registry, FORMID 48.
Do I need to submit my workers on Add Individuals to a License to Conduct Bingo, FORMID 2?
Do I need to submit my operators on Add Individuals to a License to Conduct Bingo, FORMID 2?
Yes. This form is to add all officers, directors, bookkeepers, and/or operators.
Where may our organization conduct bingo?
A licensed authorized organization may conduct bingo in the county of their primary business office or an adjacent county.
We no longer play bingo. What do we do with the funds in our bingo account?
If an organization that has ceased to conduct bingo has unexpended bingo funds, they shall disburse those funds before the end of the next quarter after the quarter in which the organization ceases to conduct bingo.
We no longer play bingo. Can we sell / donate equipment, unused paper, pull-tabs? How do we destroy equipment or supplies?
Any remaining, unopened bingo supplies and equipment may be returned to the distributor for a refund. You may also request written permission from the CBOD to sell or donate supplies or equipment to a licensed organization. Only a licensed authorized organization may request to sell supplies and/or Equipment to another licensed authorized organization. Supplies or equipment that cannot be returned, sold, or donated, can only be destroyed in the presence of a commission employee.
Why can't we drop applications off at the regional offices? Why can't the regional office give me my license?
The regional offices are not set up to receive applications and fees. All licenses are issued and printed at Commission headquarters in Austin.
We did not receive our temporary license. Today is Tuesday and the game is Wednesday. Can you fax a copy of the license? Can I play without it?
We do not fax licenses. The Bingo Chairperson may log-on to the Bingo Service Portal and print the license once it has been processed.
Can I get copies of previously filed quarterly reports or copies of applications for my organization that I have misplaced?
Yes. Quarterly report information and applications are available through the Bingo Service Portal. If you need a copy of an application (renewal, amendment, temporary license, etc.), you will need to make an Open Records Request, in writing.
Is there a limit on how much money an organization can have in its bingo account?
Yes. The account is not to exceed $50,000.
Can I change the previous proceeds undistributed on my quarterly report; it is not even close to the balance in my checkbook?
Yes. You may send in an amended return. If you have reconciled your bingo checking account and savings account (if you have a bingo savings account) and added your petty cash as of the end of the previous quarter, you may enter this amount on your current report, with a notation to the left of the amount entered, explaining the reason for the change.
Can we pay for door prizes from the bingo account?
A door prize, a giveaway, or any promotion may be paid from the bingo account only if it can be shown that the promotion financially benefited the organization or unit. If not, it must come from non-bingo funds.
How much must I pay workers, callers, and cashiers?
There is no limit on wages for callers, cashiers, and ushers; however, you may only pay what is "reasonable or necessary."
May I pull a box of instant bingo pull-tabs before the entire box is sold out?
An organization may not withdraw a deal of pull-tab bingo tickets from play until the entire deal is completely sold out or all winning pull-tab bingo tickets of $25.00 prize winnings or more have been redeemed, or the bingo occasion ends.
What is the required Bingo Training Program?
All Bingo Chairpersons, Designated Agents and Unit Manager must complete the Bingo Training Program online on the Bingo Service Portal. A certificate of completion from the Bingo Training Program is valid for two years.
Our Bingo Chairperson is unavailable. Can we play bingo tonight?
The Bingo Chairperson is not required to be at the playing location while bingo is conducted. Another member who has been appointed as an operator must be present during the bingo session. These individuals must be listed on the organization's bingo record and the Registry of Approved Bingo Workers.
If the organization has not designated any other operators and the Bingo Chairperson who is serving as the organization’s operator is not available, the organization may not conduct bingo.
Why was the renewal of my license held up because of an operator’s background check?
Every director, officer and operator of an organization holding a bingo license is required to undergo a background check conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). This background check can take 1-30 days processing time. A license may not be issued or renewed without all personnel having passed a background check. If an individual is disqualified, the organization will be notified.
Since the Charitable Bingo website is so important to keeping licensed charities informed and in regulatory compliance; Would it be a legitimate bingo expense to have our organization buy a computer and/or contract for internet services?
Yes. The purchase of a computer and/or internet access would be a reasonable or necessary bingo expense if the computer and internet services were used exclusively for maintenance of bingo records, access to the bingo website, downloading bingo forms, and other official bingo business.
Can building owners lease facilities to organizations to conduct charitable bingo without a license?
No. Building owners must have a license to lease bingo premises even if they intend to charge no rent unless the organization is conducting bingo under a temporary license.
Can I receive one check from the organizations for rent and expenses?
Rent must be paid in a lump sum. Utilities, taxes, insurance, and other expenses may be paid separately.
Is a Manufacturer or Distributor required to post a bond?
Only a Manufacturer is required to post a security bond. An applicant for a manufacturer's license must give the commission a cash bond or a bond for $10,000 issued by a surety company chartered or authorized to do business in the state of Texas. The bond must provide for forfeiture to the state on the manufacturer's failure to comply a commission rule or on suspension or revocation of the manufacturer's license.
What does “whole subsidiary” mean?
A wholly owned subsidiary is a company that is completely owned by another company. The company that owns the subsidiary is the parent company or holding company. The parent company will hold all of the subsidiary's common stock.
What form of supporting document, does a Manufacturer or Distributor need to submit to describe the comprehensive organization structure of the business or other affiliated entities?
Submit an organizational chart, which includes all parent, subsidiary, and related entities, and their relationships along with the Manufacturer or Distributor Organizational Structure, FORMID 38.
Does a Salesman for a Manufacturer or Distributor need to submit an Individual Statement of Manufacturer or Distributor Certification, FORMID 40?
How old do you have to be to play Bingo?
A person younger than 18 years of age may not play bingo unless accompanied by the individual's parent or guardian. A license holder may prohibit all individuals younger than 18 years of age from entering the license premises by posting a written notice at the premises.
I have a complaint against a bingo hall and the conduct of the game.
All complaints must be submitted in writing. The person filing the complaint must include their name, mailing address and contact phone number. You may file a complaint online, or download a complaint form and mail or fax it in.
Can our employees play bingo at an office party? Can we play safety bingo at work? Can we play bingo at our family reunion?
This would only be legal if the organization obtained a temporary license prior to conducting the game.
Can organizations transfer money from their bingo savings account to a money market account?
Yes. It must be linked to the bingo savings account and have the same account number.
Can a bingo chairperson be paid for serving in this position?
Are there any restrictions for using discount coupons to promote bingo?
Yes. A coupon falls under the restrictions for advertising.
Must all door prizes and promotions expense come from the general fund?
No. These are permissible expenses.
What do we do with redeemed pull-tabs after the occasion?
The winning and unsold pull-tabs must be kept for four years from when the deal was taken out of play. The tabs are kept until they are destroyed in the presence of a commission employee.
Can we sell raffle tickets during our bingo occasions?
Yes. The raffle must meet the requirements of the Raffle Enabling Act, which is available on the Texas Office of the Attorney General website.
If an organization only sells electronics, how do they save cash register tapes?
The Point of Sale station (POS) for a card minder machine should be use to ring all sales. It will provide an end of session report.
Can an organization use bingo funds to renovate their building?
Yes. An organization may use funds to renovate their building, if they can prove that the facility is used for a cause or activity that is consistent with their status under 26 U.S.C. Section 501.
Our petty cash/deposit has been stolen. How do we account for this on our quarterly report?
If the petty cash is not considered bingo proceeds, then the organization does not report anything on the quarterly report. If the petty cash is considered bingo proceeds, it may be replaced from the organization’s general fund with no entry necessary on the quarterly report, or from the bingo checking account by recording the amount on line 25 – Other Expenses. The organization should maintain documentation for the transaction and deposit and appropriately record any restitution received.
If a deposit is stolen, the organization must maintain a copy of the police report in their files as well as notify the Commission who may elect to investigate the incident. Statements that capture details related to the deposit should also be maintained by the organization as supporting documentation for the theft. To document the theft, the Occasion Cash Report FORMID72 should show the stolen deposit amount as a cash shortage and the total deposit for the occasion as $0. ATTACH A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT TO THE DAILY CASH REPORT. This cash shortage will be carried over to the Sales Journal and eventual recorded on Line 25 - Other Expenses on the Texas Bingo Quarterly Report FORMID68.
We had a burglary in which pull-tabs were stolen. How do we document this?
Entries must be made to the organization's Perpetual Inventory Log FORMID79 and Instant Bingo Purchase Log FORMID84 to remove the pull-tabs from usable inventory with a notation that the pull-tabs were stolen. In addition, a copy of the police report should be maintained in the records.
Must the Bingo Chairperson be submitted as an operator for an organization in order to oversee the conduct of bingo and perform the functions of an operator on duty at a bingo occasion?
No. The Bingo Chairperson can serve as an operator for a bingo occasion without being listed on the organization's bingo record as an operator. If the bingo chairperson is acting as the operator for the bingo occasion, a worker registry identification card must be worn and their name must be listed on the Operator on Duty sign.