Title 11
Criminal Offenses

Chapter 19
Gambling and Lotteries

R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-19-32

§ 11-19-32. Operation of bingo games.

Any charitable organization approved by the department may promote, carry on, or conduct the game of bingo provided as follows:

(1) The game is conducted by members of the organization; provided, however, that the members shall be permitted to employ one or more persons to carry on or conduct the game who are not members of the organization; and provided, further, that any person who is a member or a worker of the organization which promotes, carries on or conducts the game shall be permitted to be a member or worker of another organization that promotes, carries on or conducts the game of bingo.

(2) No person in the actual or constructive management and control of the game receives any compensation for services connected to the game or receives any compensation from the gross receipts of the game.

(3) The entire net receipts of the game are applied solely to the charitable purposes of the organization. All expenses deducted from gross receipts must be reasonable and related to the actual conduct of the game.

(4) The total amount of all expenses deducted from the gross receipts shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the total annual gross receipts raised through bingo, not including monies raised through the sale of pull-tab lottery tickets.

(5) The total prizes, in the form of cash and/or retail merchandise including prizes from winner-take-all games, which are offered or awarded do not exceed the sum of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) in any one night.

(6) The game is carried on or conducted not more than twice in any period of one calendar week under a license issued pursuant to the provisions of § 11-19-37.

(7) That there be only one sponsor for each date of the proposed game and that the game shall be conducted only on the premises affiliated with the organization in conformance with rules and regulations.

(8) That any building in which a game is played or conducted shall be used no more than three (3) times in any calendar week for conducting a game, and that no annex or subdivision of any building shall be permitted to be used to conduct a game in an attempt to increase the number of times the building may be used for bingo purposes.

(9) The organization shall keep and maintain financial records relating to the game in accordance with rules and regulations and have the records available for inspection upon demand.

(10) Payment of a prize in excess of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) shall be made by check.

(11) “Winner-take-all” games are prohibited, with the exception that each organization shall be permitted to play one optional “winner-take-all” game per night.

(12) No person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall be permitted to play the game.

(13) Notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, any approved charitable organization conducting a lawful game of bingo pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be permitted to advertise their game in print media. As used in this chapter, “advertise” means an advertisement or announcement in print media containing the date, time, and place of the game, the charitable organization sponsoring and/or benefiting from the game, whether the game shall provide for a bonus building/prize pool, and the total amount of the prize pool as set forth in subdivision (14) of this section.

(14) The game may provide for a bonus building/prize pool which would start at five hundred dollars ($500) and increase at one hundred dollar ($100) increments each week until it reaches a maximum amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(15) Game workers may be compensated with a non-monetary gift, valued at not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per quarter and/or a total of one hundred dollars ($100) per year. Beverages and food provided without charge to volunteer workers at the game of bingo shall not be considered to be compensation for purposes of the subsection.

History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 188, § 2; P.L. 1985, ch. 181, art. 23, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 84, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 96, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 380, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 447, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 439, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 356, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 419, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 337, § 1.