Charitable Gambling Registration Program

Business and Professions Code sections 19985 through 19987 allow eligible nonprofit organizations to hold "charity poker night" fundraisers. Nonprofit organizations and suppliers of equipment and/or services for such fundraising events must submit an annual registration form to the Bureau of Gambling Control for approval.

Controlled games which are an approved funding mechanism for these fundraisers are specified in the California Penal Code section 337j(e)(1) as "any poker or pai gow game, and any other game played with cards or tiles, or both, and approved by the Bureau of Gambling Control, and any game of chance, including any gaming device, played for currency, check, credit, or any other thing of value that is not prohibited and made unlawful by statute or local ordinance."

Nonprofit organizations must register with the Bureau to host one event per calendar year. In addition to nonprofit organizations, businesses that supply controlled gaming equipment and/or services for fundraising events are also required to register annually.

No one under the age of 21 is allowed to participate at these fundraising events.

The use of slot machines or Internet gaming for fundraising purposes is not allowed. Other fundraising restrictions apply to charity bingo and raffle events. The Attorney General's Charitable Trust Section regulates raffles. Nonprofit organizations must also register with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts and file annual financial disclosure reports. In order to help charities stay within State laws, the Attorney General makes available various guides and publications. This includes the Attorney General's Guide for Charities. Please contact your local city, sheriff, or police department for inquiries regarding bingo.

Charitable Gambling Registration Program Forms