Section 849.0931, Florida Statutes 2003
849.0931 Bingo authorized; conditions for conduct; permitted uses of proceeds; limitations.--
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Bingo game" means and refers to the activity, commonly known as "bingo," in which participants pay a sum of money for the use of one or more bingo cards. When the game commences, numbers are drawn by chance, one by one, and announced. The players cover or mark those numbers on the bingo cards which they have purchased until a player receives a given order of numbers in sequence that has been preannounced for that particular game. This player calls out "bingo" and is declared the winner of a predetermined prize. More than one game may be played upon a bingo card, and numbers called for one game may be used for a succeeding game or games.
(b) "Bingo card" means and refers to the flat piece of paper or thin pasteboard employed by players engaged in the game of bingo. The bingo card shall have not fewer than 24 playing numbers printed on it. These playing numbers shall range from 1 through 75, inclusive. More than one set of bingo numbers may be printed on any single piece of paper.
(c) "Charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization" means an organization which has qualified for exemption from federal income tax as an exempt organization under the provisions of s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or s. 528 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; which is engaged in charitable, civic, community, benevolent, religious, or scholastic works or other similar activities; and which has been in existence and active for a period of 3 years or more.
(d) "Objects" means a set of 75 balls or other precision shapes that are imprinted with letters and numbers in such a way that numbers 1 through 15 are marked with the letter "B," numbers 16 through 30 are marked with the letter "I," numbers 31 through 45 are marked with the letter "N," numbers 46 through 60 are marked with the letter "G," and numbers 61 through 75 are marked with the letter "O."
(e) "Rack" means the container in which the objects are placed after being drawn and announced.
(f) "Receptacle" means the container from which the objects are drawn or ejected.
(g) "Session" means a designated set of games played in a day or part of a day.
(2)(a) None of the provisions of this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or prevent charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organizations engaged in charitable, civic, community, benevolent, religious, or scholastic works or other similar endeavors, which organizations have been in existence and active for a period of 3 years or more, from conducting bingo games, provided the entire proceeds derived from the conduct of such games, less actual business expenses for articles designed for and essential to the operation, conduct, and playing of bingo, are donated by such organizations to the endeavors mentioned above. In no case may the net proceeds from the conduct of such games be used for any other purpose whatsoever. The proceeds derived from the conduct of bingo games shall not be considered solicitation of public donations.
(b) It is the express intent of the Legislature that no charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization serve as a sponsor of a bingo game conducted by another, but such organization may only be directly involved in the conduct of such a game as provided in this act.
(3) If an organization is not engaged in efforts of the type set out above, its right to conduct bingo games hereunder is conditioned upon the return of all the proceeds from such games to the players in the form of prizes. If at the conclusion of play on any day during which a bingo game is allowed to be played under this section there remain proceeds which have not been paid out as prizes, the organization conducting the game shall at the next scheduled day of play conduct bingo games without any charge to the players and shall continue to do so until the proceeds carried over from the previous days played have been exhausted. This provision in no way extends the limitation on the number of prize or jackpot games allowed in one day as provided for in subsection (5).
(4) The right of a condominium association, a cooperative association, a homeowners' association as defined in s. 720.301, a mobile home owners' association, a group of residents of a mobile home park as defined in chapter 723, or a group of residents of a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park as defined in chapter 513 to conduct bingo is conditioned upon the return of the net proceeds from such games to players in the form of prizes after having deducted the actual business expenses for such games for articles designed for and essential to the operation, conduct, and playing of bingo. Any net proceeds remaining after paying prizes may be donated by the association to a charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization which is exempt from federal income tax under the provisions of s. 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to be used in such recipient organization's charitable, civic, community, benevolent, religious, or scholastic works or similar activities or, in the alternative, such remaining proceeds shall be used as specified in subsection (3).
(5) No jackpot shall exceed the value of $250 in actual money or its equivalent, and there shall be no more than three jackpots in any one session of bingo.
(6) The number of days per week during which organizations authorized hereunder may conduct bingo may not exceed two.
(7) There shall be no more than three jackpots on any one day of play. All other game prizes shall not exceed $50.
(8) Each person involved in the conduct of any bingo game must be a resident of the community where the organization is located and a bona fide member of the organization sponsoring such game and may not be compensated in any way for operation of such bingo game. When bingo games are conducted by a charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization, the organization conducting the bingo games shall be required to designate up to three members of that organization to be in charge of the games, one of whom shall be present during the entire session at which the bingo games are conducted. The organization conducting the bingo games is responsible for posting a notice, which notice states the name of the organization and the designated member or members, in a conspicuous place on the premises at which the session is held. In no event may a caller in a bingo game be a participant in that bingo game.
(9) Every charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization involved in the conduct of a bingo game must be located in the county, or within a 15-mile radius of, where the bingo game is located.
(10)(a) No one under 18 years of age shall be allowed to play any bingo game or be involved in the conduct of a bingo game in any way.
(b) Any organization conducting bingo open to the public may refuse entry to any person who is objectionable or undesirable to the sponsoring organization, but such refusal of entry shall not be on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, or physical handicap.
(11) Bingo games may be held only on the following premises:
(a) Property owned by the charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization.
(b) Property owned by the charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization that will benefit by the proceeds.
(c) Property leased for a period of not less than 1 year by a charitable, nonprofit, or veterans' organization, providing the lease or rental agreement does not provide for the payment of a percentage of the proceeds generated at such premises to the lessor or any other party and providing the rental rate for such premises does not exceed the rental rates charged for similar premises in the same locale.
(d) Property owned by a municipality or a county when the governing authority has, by appropriate ordinance or resolution, specifically authorized the use of such property for the conduct of such games.
(e) With respect to bingo games conducted by a condominium association, a cooperative association, a homeowners' association as defined in s. 720.301, a mobile home owners' association, a group of residents of a mobile home park as defined in chapter 723, or a group of residents of a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park as defined in chapter 513, property owned by the association, property owned by the residents of the mobile home park or recreational vehicle park, or property which is a common area located within the condominium, mobile home park, or recreational vehicle park.
(12) Each bingo game shall be conducted in accordance with the following rules:
(a) The objects, whether drawn or ejected, shall be essentially equal as to size, shape, weight, and balance and as to all other characteristics that may control their selection from the receptacle. The caller shall cancel any game if, during the course of a game, the mechanism used in the drawing or ejection of objects becomes jammed in such a manner as to interfere with the accurate determination of the next number to be announced or if the caller determines that more than one object is labeled with the same number or that there is a number to be drawn without a corresponding object. Any player in a game canceled pursuant to this paragraph shall be permitted to play the next game free of charge.
(b) Prior to commencement of any bingo session, the member in charge shall cause a verification to be made of all objects to be placed in the receptacle and shall inspect the objects in the presence of a disinterested person to ensure that all objects are present and that there are no duplications or omissions of numbers on the objects. Any player shall be entitled to call for a verification of numbers before, during, and after a session.
(c) The card or sheet on which the game is played shall be part of a deck, group, or series, no two of which may be alike in any given game.
(d) All numbers shall be visibly displayed after being drawn and before being placed in the rack.
(e) A bona fide bingo shall consist of a predesignated arrangement of numbers on a card or sheet that correspond with the numbers on the objects drawn from the receptacle and announced. Errors in numbers announced or misplaced in the rack may not be recognized as a bingo.
(f) When a caller has started to vocally announce a number, the caller shall complete the call. If any player has obtained a bingo on a previous number, such player will share the prize with the player who gained bingo on the last number called.
(g) Numbers on the winning cards or sheets shall be announced and verified in the presence of another player. Any player shall be entitled at the time the winner is determined to call for a verification of numbers drawn. The verification shall be in the presence of the member designated to be in charge of the occasion or, if such person is also the caller, in the presence of an officer of the licensee.
(h) Upon determining a winner, the caller shall ask, "Are there any other winners?" If no one replies, the caller shall declare the game closed. No other player is entitled to share the prize unless she or he has declared a bingo prior to this announcement.
(i) Seats may not be held or reserved by an organization or person involved in the conduct of any bingo game for players not present, nor may any cards be set aside, held, or reserved from one session to another for any player.
(13) Any organization or other person who willfully and knowingly violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. For a second or subsequent offense, the organization or other person is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.--ss. 1, 6, ch. 92-280; s. 1, ch. 93-160; s. 1, ch. 94-326; s. 1363, ch. 97-102; s. 13, ch. 99-382; ss. 59, 70, ch. 2000-258; ss. 27, 28, ch. 2001-64.