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Indiana Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming consists of bingo, raffles, door prizes, pull-tabs, punchboards, tip boards, festival events and game nights. Only a qualified, tax-exempt organization may conduct charitable gaming events once it is licensed for each type of gaming activity the organization plans to conduct.

A charitable organization is defined as an educational, religious, senior citizen, veteran or civic organization that conducts charitable activities, operates in Indiana and is exempt from taxation under Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.

In 1992, the Indiana State Department of Revenue (DOR) was given the responsibility of enforcing charity gaming laws in Indiana. The DOR is required to distribute all charity gaming net revenue to the Build Indiana Fund. Net revenue is derived from license fees, taxes and penalties.

The HRC offers, in addition to an annual bingo license, a special bingo license, which is used by organizations that want to hold occasional bingo events throughout the year. The license is valid for only one location and time and may be used by annual bingo licensees who want to conduct a bingo event on a day that is not listed on their annual license. The following games are allowed at special bingo events: one bingo event; door prize drawings; and the sale of pull-tabs, punchboards and tip boards. The initial fee for all type licenses is $25; renewal license fees can cost $25 to $25,000 based on the gross receipts from the previous same charity event.

In July 2007, an amendment to HB1510, a charity gambling regulation measure, became law. The amendment provides nearly $2 million for 25 police officers who will be dedicated to investigating illegal gambling. The measure increases criminal penalties for people charged a second time with promoting professional gambling. It also authorizes the state to revoke lottery contracts, retail merchant permits and state licenses that allow the sale of tobacco and alcohol held by any organization found with illegal gambling machines.

In April 2011, SB340, which increased the number of days that a licensed charitable organization could operate charity gaming under a festival license from four to five days, was passed. The bill also prohibited the acceptance of credit cards to play a game of chance at a charity gaming event.

In February 2012, the General Assembly passed SB315, which updated the charitable gaming laws. The most notable updates were allowing the addition of an annual comprehensive charity gaming license for national organizations and foundations that permits its Indiana affiliates to conduct raffle events and door prize events under the one comprehensive charity gaming license; reducing the time an organization must exist in Indiana before becoming eligible to obtain a charity gaming license from five years to three years; and allowing patrons to deal cards in Texas Hold'em or Omaha poker at a charity game night.
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