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Oklahoma Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming in Oklahoma was legalized by the Oklahoma Charity Games Act of 1992, after citizens approved a statewide ballot allowing gaming for charitable purposes on November 3, 1992. Oklahoma currently allows low-stakes bingo games, U-PIK-EM bingo games, break-open tickets and progressive bingo games.

The Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE) licenses and regulates charitable gaming.

A charitable organization is defined as a religious, charitable, labor, fraternal, educational or other type of association or any branch, lodge, chapter or auxiliary of such association. An organization must be operating as a tax-exempt 501(c) nonprofit for at least two years before applying for a license. The organization must also publish a notice of its intention to apply for a license once a week for two successive weeks in a general circulation newspaper within the county of the location of the licensee. The fee for an annual organization license is $100.

Other licenses issued by ABLE include a Distributor License with a fee of $5,000; a Manufacturer License with a fee of $2,000; and an Employee License with a fee of $15 and Manager License with a fee of $50, either required only if the organization compensates its Gaming Operations Manager, which is a position required by ABLE. These fees are only paid when initially registering for a license and not at annual renewal.

A limited charity exemption for specified provisions in the Act may be granted provided that either the organization does not conduct more than four charity game activities per year or the organization is a hospital, nursing home, residential care facility, senior citizens' center, retirement center or convalescent facility that conducts charity games at their facilities on a regular basis for the residents, regular patrons and their immediate family members. If ABLE approves the exception, the organization is not required to obtain any type of charity gaming license; is not restricted to the use of bingo faces, but is not authorized to use electronic facsimile of faces; is not required to purchase charity game equipment from licensed entities; and is not subject to any restrictions in the Act or rules of ABLE concerning charity games held on certain days of the week or during certain hours.

Charity bingo can't be held on Sunday and can't be held between midnight and 10 a.m. An organization may not hold more than two sessions at one location on the same day.

Prize awards are limited for bingo or U-PIK-EM bingo to at most $6,000 in cash or merchandise during a day session or a night session, unless ABLE decides to raise the limit to $12,000 for an individual organization licensee. There is a $2 limit on the price of a break-open ticket card a manufacturer or distributor can charge an organization.

Licensed distributors pay a 1% tax on each bingo face and each U-PIK-EM bingo game set sold. Distributors pay a 10% tax on gross receipts for break-open tickets. Taxes are not levied on items sold to a veterans organization or a group home for mentally disabled individuals. A licensed distributor is allowed to retain 1% of taxes due (limited to $3,300) as compensation for maintaining the records required by ABLE and the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Any taxes in excess of $3,300 will be retained by the state and deposited to the general revenue fund.
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