9.8.1. Eligible Bingo Expenses

This section covers expenses that the licensee may incur during the conduct and management of bingo events. These expenses include:

  1. licence fees,
  2. bookkeeping and administrative fees,
  3. transportation to bingo events (when approved by the licensing authority), and
  4. hand-held personal bingo verifiers (optional).

Advertising and promotion costs are covered in Section 9.7.1.

9.8.1 (A) Licence fees

The municipality or the Registrar may charge a licence fee for any Regular or Special Bingo. The municipality or the Registrar may charge a licensing fee as a flat rate or as a percentage of the prize board, as long as the total amount does not exceed the Registrar’s prescribed maximum lottery licensing fee. The licence fee for variable prize board events is calculated based on the value of the maximum licensed prizes.

9.8.1 (B) Bookkeeping and administrative costs

Up to one (1) per cent of the gross Super Jackpot receipts, break open ticket receipts, Table Board Bingo receipts, Progressive Bingo game receipts, Loonie Progressive game receipts and up to one (1) percent of the gross pooled bingo receipts may be used to pay for bookkeeping and administrative costs, (including HST) associated with each type of lottery. The HCA must pay for these costs from the HCA’s share of the net proceeds. Only actual expenses may be charged. The one (1) per cent is a maximum allowable expense and must be supported by invoices. Funds to pay for administrative costs may not be pooled into a separate account.

The HCA cannot pay any of the one (1) per cent allowed for bookkeeping and administrative tasks to:

  • Operators of bingo halls;
  • any individuals or companies that do not operate at arm’s length from the Operator;
  • members of the HCA’s Board of Directors; or
  • cover legal fees.

9.8.1 (C) Transportation to bingo events

Operators and licensees may contract with transportation companies to bring customers to a bingo hall only under special circumstances and with the prior written approval of the licensing authority. The following policies apply to transportation to bingo halls:

  • Both the licensee and the Operator of the bingo hall should agree that there is a need to arrange and provide the transportation;
  • Where the route crosses one or more municipal boundary, all municipalities involved must approve this arrangement in writing;
  • Transportation arrangements for a licensee may only be approved on an event-by- event basis;
  • Operators and licensees may not compensate transportation providers on the basis of the number of players brought to the hall, the amount the players spend or lose, or the amount of time spent in the hall;
  • Operators and licensees may provide directly to passengers coupons, contest entries, or other in-hall giveaways;
  • Under no circumstances can transportation providers sell gaming products or provide a “package deal” that includes gaming products; and
  • Transportation providers such as buses and taxis that deal directly with the public for the sole purpose of picking customers up, taking them to the bingo hall and returning them at the end of the evening do not require municipal pre-approval unless there are other restrictions that the municipality has imposed.

9.8.1 (c) (i) Promotional items

The Operator or licensee may provide passengers with free coupons, contest entries or other in-hall giveaways under the following conditions:

  • the promotional items cannot be a payment to the transportation provider;
  • the bingo customer cannot pay for the promotional items as part of a transportation cost; and
  • the promotional items must be given directly to the customers by the Operator or licensee, not the transportation provider.

9.8.1 (D) Hand-held personal bingo verifiers  (PBVs)

A personal bingo verifier (PBV) is a hand-held device that individual bingo players may use to track and verify numbers as they are called by the bingo caller during the bingo game. Under no circumstances does a PBV replace the conventional method of playing bingo with bingo paper and dabbers; rather, it is meant to assist the player with playing their cards or paper.

The provisions for the use of the PBV are set out in the Regular and Special Bingo Licence Terms and Conditions. Pursuant to the terms and conditions, licensees may choose to offer the use of hand-held PBVs provided:

  • the maximum number of cards that may be played with a hand-held personal bingo verifier does not exceed 36;
  • a maximum of one (1) PBV may be used per player, per session; and
  • a cost-sharing agreement must exist between the licensee and Operator where the licensee is using the services of an Operator of a bingo hall.

Other provisions:

  • Bingo must be played using bingo paper;
  • While PBVs may be used by players to keep track of numbers called, players must dab their paper contemporaneously with the numbers being called (licensees should allow a moment for players to ensure that all numbers have been dabbed);
  • Prizes must not be paid unless the winning combination of numbers or symbols has been dabbed on the bingo paper;
  • All bingos must be verified on paper and not through the use of a PBV; and
  • Lease, rental or purchase of PBVs must be from Gaming-Related Suppliers that are registered under the Gaming Control Act, 1992.