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RULE §402.200General Restrictions on the Conduct of Bingo

(a) A bingo occasion that is fairly conducted by a licensed authorized organization is one that is impartial, honest, and free from prejudice or favoritism. It is also conducted competitively, free of corrupt and criminal influences, and follows applicable provisions of the Bingo Enabling Act and Charitable Bingo Administrative Rules.

(b) Inspection and use of equipment.

  (1) All bingo equipment is subject to inspection at any time by any representative of the Commission. No person may tamper with or modify or allow others to tamper with or modify any bingo equipment in any manner which would affect the randomness of numbers chosen or which changes the numbers or symbols appearing on the face of a bingo card. A licensed authorized organization has a continuing responsibility to ensure that all bingo equipment used by it is in proper working condition.

  (2) A registered bingo worker must inspect the bingo balls prior to the first game of each bingo occasion, making sure all of the balls are present and not damaged or otherwise compromised.

  (3) Bingo balls that are missing, damaged, or otherwise compromised shall be replaced in complete sets or individually if the bingo balls are of the same type and design.

  (4) A registered bingo worker must inspect the bingo console and flashboard to ensure proper working order prior to the first game of each bingo occasion.

  (5) The organization must establish and adhere to, and make available to the players upon request, a written procedure that addresses problems during a bingo occasion concerning:

    (A) bingo equipment malfunctions; and

    (B) improper bingo ball calls or placements.

(c) Location of bingo occasion. A bingo occasion may be conducted only on premises which are:

  (1) owned by a licensed authorized organization;

  (2) owned by a governmental agency when there is no charge to the licensed authorized organization for use of the premises;

  (3) leased, or used only by the holder of a temporary license; or

  (4) owned or leased by a licensed commercial lessor.

(d) All bingo games must be conducted and prizes awarded on the days and within the times specified on the license to conduct bingo. If a circumstance occurs that would cause a regular bingo game to continue past the time indicated on the license, the licensed authorized organization may complete the regular bingo game. A written record detailing the circumstance that caused the bingo game to continue past the time indicated on the license must be maintained by the organization for forty-eight (48) months.

(e) Pull-tab bingo event tickets may not be sold after the occurrence of the event used to determine the game's winner(s) unless the organization has a policy and procedure in their house rules addressing the sale and redemption of pull-tab bingo event tickets after the event has taken place.

(f) Merchandise prizes. Any merchandise or other non-cash prize, including bingo equipment, awarded as a bingo prize shall be valued at its current retail price. However, a non-cash prize awarded as a bingo prize may be valued at the price actually paid for that prize provided that the licensed authorized organization maintains a receipt or other documentation evidencing the actual price paid.

(g) "Cash bingo prize" includes cash, coins, checks, money orders, or any other financial instrument that is convertible to cash.

(h) Donated bingo prizes. Only licensed authorized organizations holding a non-annual temporary license may accept or award donated bingo prizes. A donated bingo prize shall be valued at its current retail price.

(i) The licensed authorized organization is responsible for ensuring the following minimum requirements are met to conduct a bingo occasion in a manner that is fair:

  (1) The licensed authorized organization must make the following information available to players prior to the selling of a pull-tab bingo event ticket game:

    (A) how the game will be played;

    (B) the prize to be awarded if not United States currency; and

    (C) how the winner(s) will be determined.

  (2) Each licensed authorized organization shall conspicuously display during all bingo occasions a sign indicating the name(s) of the operator(s) authorized by the licensed authorized organization to be in charge of the occasion.

    (A) The letters on the sign shall be no less than one inch tall.

    (B) The sign shall inform the players that they should direct any questions or complaints regarding the conduct of the bingo occasion to an operator listed on the sign.

    (C) The sign should further state that if the player is not satisfied with the response given by the operator that the player has the right to contact the Commission and file a formal complaint.

  (3) Prior to the start of a bingo occasion, the licensed authorized organization shall make a written game schedule available to all patrons. The game schedule must contain the following information:

    (A) all regularly scheduled games to be played;

    (B) the order in which the games will be played;

    (C) the patterns needed to win;

    (D) the prize(s) to be paid for each game, including the value of any non-cash bingo prizes as set in subsections (f) and (g) of this section;

    (E) whether the prize payout is based on sales or attendance;

    (F) the entrance fee and the number of cards associated with the entrance fee, if any; and

    (G) the price of each type of bingo card offered for sale.

  (4) The licensed authorized organization may amend the game schedule during the bingo occasion to correctly reflect any changes to game play during that occasion provided that the amendments are announced to the patrons and documented, in writing, on the game schedule. If not otherwise prohibited by law, the licensed authorized organization may conduct a bingo game that was not originally listed on the game schedule if the game and the prize(s) to be awarded for that game are announced to the patrons prior to the start of the game and documented, in writing, on the game schedule. Upon completion of the bingo occasion, the final game schedule must properly account for all games played during that occasion and the prizes awarded for those games. The final game schedule shall be maintained pursuant to §402.500(a) of this title (relating to General Records Requirements).

(j) Reservation of bingo cards. No licensed authorized organization may reserve, or allow to be reserved, any bingo card or cards for use by a bingo player.

(k) Bingo worker requirements.

  (1) Bingo staff and employees may not play bingo during an occasion in which the bingo staff or employees are conducting or assisting in the conduct of the bingo occasion.

  (2) A bingo worker shall not:

    (A) communicate verbally, or in any other manner, to the caller the number(s) or symbol(s) needed by any player to win a bingo game;

    (B) require anything of value from players, other than payment, for bingo cards, electronic card minding devices, pull-tab bingo tickets, and supplies; or

    (C) deduct any cash or portion of a winning prize other than the prize fee without the player's permission.

(l) Caller requirements. The caller shall:

  (1) be located so that one or more players can:

    (A) observe the drawing of the ball from the bingo receptacle; and

    (B) gain the attention of the caller when the players bingo;

  (2) be the only person to handle the bingo balls during each bingo game;

  (3) call all numbers and make all announcements in a manner clear and audible to all of the playing areas of the bingo premises;

  (4) announce:

    (A) prior to the start of the regular bingo game, the pattern needed to win and the prize. If the prize amount is based on sales or attendance, the prize amount must be announced prior to the end of the game;

    (B) that the game, or a specific part of a multiple-part game, is closed after asking at least two (2) times whether there are any other bingos and pausing to permit additional winners to identify themselves;

    (C) whether the bingo is valid and if not, that there is no valid bingo and the game shall resume. The caller shall repeat the last number called before calling any more numbers; and

    (D) the number of winners for the game.

  (5) return the bingo balls to the bingo receptacle only upon the conclusion of the game; and

  (6) not use cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), computers, or other personal electronic devices to communicate any information that could affect the outcome of the bingo game with anyone during the bingo occasion.

(m) Verification.

  (1) Winning cards. The numbers appearing on the winning card must be verified at the time the winner is determined and prior to prize(s) being awarded in order to insure that the numbers on the card in fact have been drawn from the receptacle.

    (A) This verification shall be done either in the immediate presence of one or more players at a table or location other than the winner's, or displayed on a TV monitor visible by all of the players or by an electronic verifier system visible by all the players.

    (B) After the caller closes the game, a winning disposable paper card or an electronic representation of the card for each game shall also be posted on the licensed premises where it may be viewed in detail by the players until at least 30 minutes after the completion of the last bingo game of that organization's occasion.

  (2) Numbers drawn. Any player may request a verification of the numbers drawn at the time a winner is determined and a verification of the balls remaining in the receptacle and not drawn.

    (A) Verification shall take place in the immediate presence of the operator, one or more players other than the winner, and player requesting the verification.

    (B) Availability of this additional verification, done as a request from players, shall be made known either verbally prior to the bingo occasion, printed on the playing schedule, or included with the bingo house rules.

(n) Each licensed authorized organization must establish and adhere to written procedures that address disputes. Those procedures shall be made available to the players upon request.

(o) The total aggregate amount of prizes awarded for regular bingo games during a single bingo occasion may not exceed $2500. This subsection does not apply to:

  (1) a pull-tab bingo game; or

  (2) a prize of $50 or less that is actually awarded in an individual game of regular bingo.

(p) For purposes of §2001.419 of the Occupations Code, a bingo occasion will be considered to have occurred on the date on which the occasion began.

Source Note: The provisions of this §402.200 adopted to be effective March 21, 2005, 30 TexReg 1630; amended to be effective November 19, 2008, 33 TexReg 9220; amended to be effective September 13, 2012, 37 TexReg 7089; amended to be effective January 1, 2014, 38 TexReg 9531; amended to be effective August 1, 2016, 41 TexReg 5505; amended to be effective January 2, 2020, 44 TexReg 8292

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