My how we love to gamble. For some, you don’t even have to leave the community. Perhaps the most common form of gambling in our condos and HOAs is running a Bingo game. Before starting bingo in your community however, here’s what you need to know:
4) The right of a condominium association, a cooperative association, a homeowner’s association as defined in s. 720.301, a mobile home owner’s 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 veteran’s 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).
Subsection 3 states:
(3) If an organization is not engaged in efforts of the type set out above, (LIKE CONDOS AND HOAs) 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.
So unlike a casino where the house gets to keep the profits, it doesn’t work that way in our community associations. No profits shall be made. Next week we’ll talk about whether games like mah-jong and poker are allowed in the clubhouse if played for money. We’ll also talk about a gang of elderly mah-jong players who were bothered by their local sheriff’s office.