Remote Caller Bingo Restrictions Eased

Technology is rapidly changing and in many cases lawmakers have a hard time keeping up with the latest technologies. The game of bingo has long been associated with charities and nonprofit groups and a new innovation, remote caller bingo, has attracted the attention of legislators in California. Basically remote caller bingo enables California charities to link up with other bingo games using a single bingo caller. Bingo Innovations is the company providing the remote caller services. On their website Bingo Innovations explains how remote caller bingo works “A remote caller bingo game is a game of bingo in which the numbers or symbols on randomly drawn plastic balls are announced by a natural person present at the site at which the live game is conducted, and the organization conducting the bingo game uses audio and video technology to link any of its facilities for the purpose of transmitting the remote calling of a live bingo game from a single location to multiple locations owned, leased or rented by that organization.”

In a remote caller bingo game the audio and video of a live game is transmitted to several locations of a single organization such as a veteran’s group or a fraternal organization such as the Elks. Only locations of a single organization can participate in remote caller bingo games. Under current gambling laws many charities are deterred by licensing requirements. To participate in remote caller bingo games volunteers have to go through the same lengthy process required of large professional gambling organizations. Remote caller bingo has enabled many non profits to raise significant amounts of money for good causes. The American Legion in Dixon California has raised $25,000 in just three months for community projects. the American Legion in Dixon stated “Without remote caller bingo, there would be drastic cut backs in sports programs at Dixon High School. We’ve donated $12,000 to the town’s sports programs. Remote caller bingo also enables us to keep our Dixon Veterans’ Memorial Hall open at no charge for numerous local events, including the upcoming Memorial Day services, and for services for the families of veterans buried at the Dixon national cemetery.”

New legislation sponsored by Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, would ease some of the onerous requirements and would streamline the large amount of paperwork required of charities. Wolk stated “Many charities have embraced remote caller bingo as a means of reaching their fundraising goals. This innovative version of the game reduces overhead costs while increasing participation and prize pools, allowing for greater fundraising potential.” In the near future internet bingo will probably become part of the fundraising process and it can only be hoped that legislators will be equipped to deal with new developements in a timely manner.