Can charity bingo make its way online?

The game of bingo has been popular ever since it first appeared. Everyone is familiar with the gameplay – someone calls a series of random numbers usually found on small tiles or balls selected from a sack or by a bingo machine. Players have cards containing a set amount of numbers and need to match them with the numbers called. The first to cross off all their numbers wins. Because of the entertaining nature and the social factor, bingo quickly found its way into the online world, with online bingo rooms becoming ‘a must’ in almost every online casino.

Charity Bingo – The Origins

Due to the fact that it is a very sociable game, it’s fun and easy to organize, bingo makes for a great fundraiser activity. That’s how the idea of Charity Bingo was born. The man responsible for it was Pastor Charles H. Hagus who approached Edwin Lowe to help him raise funds to refurbish his church. Their charity bingo game was a huge success, which is why the bingo fundraising activity continued to this day. Even though there are occasional cash prizes, most UK bingo halls today serve as some form of charity and participants play just for fun, receiving a token prize such as a kettle or a toaster.

Rules & Regulations

In order to be classed as a charity, a game of bingo must follow certain rules and regulations. These vary from country to country and state to state, but there are some general rules:

  • All charity bingo events should be non-profitable and for fundraising purposes only.
  • Charity bingo initiatives should not retain any private profits.
  • Proceeds of charity bingo should go towards a good and trustworthy cause.
  • The organizers must inform Charity bingo participants of the cause they are supporting.
  • Charity bingo initiatives must be privately operated without any political interference.
  • The majority of the funds should go to charity. The Association of Charity Lotteries in the EU dictates that, “ideally, the operational costs of the lottery do not exceed 20% of turnover, with the remaining 80% equally divided between donations to charities (40%) and prize money (40%)”.

Charity Bingo Online

Online charity bingo has become hugely popular. Players love the fact that they can contribute to a worthy cause while enjoying their favourite online bingo game. There are many different kinds of charity bingo sites to choose from. Some websites donate a percentage of their profits to charity, whereas other only donate a percentage of player deposits. However, charity owned bingo sites must donate all of their earnings.

Commercial online bingo sites have occasional charity offers, special charity games that are seasonal or monthly.


There has been a shift towards charitable giving in online gaming, which is great. There are more and more charity bingo sites online, supporting a whole selection of causes. As much as anything else, it is a great excuse for getting people together for a fun relaxed evening in support of a good cause.

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