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Bingo License Application

  1. Saratoga Bingo License Requirements

    Charitable organizations, which include non-profit groups, education groups, religious groups and fraternal groups, are eligible to conduct bingo games in the City of Saratoga, in accordance with the City Code Section 4-10.030. To hold bingo games, a Bingo License must be first obtained from the City of Saratoga.

    “Bingo” means a game of chance in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers or symbols that are marked or covered by the player, on a bingo card in the player’s possession, that conform to numbers or symbols selected at random and announced by a live caller.  

    Charitable organizations may apply for or renew a bingo license provided that their primary organization’s place of business is in the City of Saratoga.  An annual fee, based on the City’s fee schedule, is collected at the time of the initial application or renewal. Staff will review applications submitted through the City website and contact the applicant to coordinate payment if the application is complete and meets eligibility requirements. 

    Licenses are valid for three years and are eligible for renewal for additional three-year terms.  A license cannot be transferred to another organization.

  2. Conditions of Operation

    Organizations conducting bingo games must do so in accordance with all applicable laws. Saratoga Municipal Code Section 4-10.030, Section 19 of Article IV of the California Constitution, and California Penal Code Section 326.5 state:

    • No game shall occur between the hours of midnight and 9:00 A.M.
    • No minors shall be allowed to participate in any bingo games. 
    • No game shall occur in any zoning district designated as commercial.
    • All bingo games shall be open to the public.
    • The total value of prizes awarded during the conduct of any bingo games shall not exceed the limits established within the California State Penal Code.  
    • Proceeds derived from bingo games shall be kept in a separate account and not commingled.
    • Proceeds shall only be used for charitable purposes, prizes, or fees to promote the games as defined in the Penal Code. 
    • Bingo games shall be operated and staffed only by members of the licensed organization.
    • All players must be physically present at the time and place in which the bingo game is being conducted.
    • All preprinted cards shall comply with guidelines outlined in Penal Code Section 326.5.
  3. Reporting

    A financial report must be submitted to the Finance and Administrative Services Department no later than March 31 of each year, listing prior year activity for bingo games including dates and locations and proceeds for each event.   Total proceeds and a record of how the proceeds were used by the license holder must also be included in the report.   Auditing of the licensee’s records related to the annual report may be conducted by the City at any time within a three-year period of the report date.  Licensee shall fully cooperate with the city by retaining and making such records and supporting data available to the City for the audit.  The purpose of the audit is to determine whether bingo games being conducted are in compliance with the code and all other applicable laws.

  4. Enforcement

    Bingo licenses may be revoked by the City Manager at any time if the City determines that the licensee is in violation of the conditions of this policy or if it is discovered that the license was granted under false representation.   In accordance with Chapter 3 of the Municipal Code, violations related to bingo licenses are a misdemeanor.  The City may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin a violation of this section and/or Section 326.5 of the California Penal Code.

  5. Electronic Signature Agreement

    By checking the "I agree" box below, you agree and acknowledge that you 1) have reviewed the Saratoga City Code Section 4-10.030 and California Penal Code Section 326.5; 2) agree to abide by the regulations as a condition of my bingo license; and, 3) declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information in this bingo license application is true and correct.

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