Gambling in Dallas: Bingo Gaming


Dallas skyline photo by Jeremy Woodhouse

Gambling is progressing nicely along the path of legalization in the state of Texas, although slot machines, craps tables and other games of chance are not yet allowed in Dallas. However, one form of gambling has been legalized in Dallas and all across Texas: bingo.

For people that already know about Bingo from their European travels, it may not exactly trigger gambling thoughts, especially when you consider the fact that children are allowed to play different forms of bingo games.  In Texas legislature however, bingo is a game of chance in which people pay to play, which is enough to qualify it as a form of gambling.  It is for this reason that bingo is heavily regulated within the state. You can now add bingo gaming to the list of fun things  to do in Texas.

In Europe, Bingo games can be played in a variety of settings. From house parties to standard bingo halls, there is no limit as to who can host or play the game. New bingo sites also allow people to enjoy bingo games in the comfort of their own homes. Jackpots are decided by the number of participants and in some online bingo sites, the jackpots are usually sizeable.

The law in Texas however, means no one can simply wake up and decide to host a bingo game or open a bingo hall lawfully. There are several serious hoops that you have to jump through before the Lottery Commission, which is the body in charge for regulating bingo games in Texas, can give you the all clear to start your own bingo hall.  Texas is one of the very few states where there is constitutional provision authorizing bingo games and halls regulation.

The Bingo Enabling act was codified into the Occupations code in 1999. It is very lengthy, but offers clear definitions and paths that must be taken for those looking to create a bingo gaming establishment in Dallas and other parts of Texas.  According to the Act, organizations that are less than three years old will not have their application for a bingo license approved. Even if the organization has been around for the stipulated amount of time, it is still not a guarantee for approval.  Only organizations that are fraternal orders, EMS groups, volunteer fire-fighters, veteran’s organizations, non-profits dedicated to medical research and religious societies can set up business.

The Texas Lottery commission has demonstrated seriousness in enforcing the bingo laws, too.  People caught operating bingo games unauthorized can be heavily fined, regardless of whether the proceeds were to be used to further a charitable cause.  The Lottery Commission receives allocations in their budget allowing them to employ auditors to keep an eye on the bingo division, to ensure no laws are broken.

Therefore, even though bingo is basically the main form of gambling authorized by the law in Dallas, regulations still don’t allow the game to be operated by a regular guy on the street. If you want to setup your own Bingo gaming business, you must ensure you stick completely to the restrictive laws and regulations. Gambling laws are still being fought in Texas in general, so the bingo gaming law is a welcome change for residents in Dallas and other parts of Texas.

One Response to “Gambling in Dallas: Bingo Gaming”

  1. Sorry, but what exactly is the point of this article? Why not at least do a cursory search of the bingo halls that actually exist in Dallas and list them here? Heck, maybe even visit one and describe your experience?

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