Charitable gaming is regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission; however the license application  process is completed at the City Clerk’s Office.  Please go to the New York State Gaming Commission web page via the link below for additional information and to locate and complete the application forms.  Please feel free to contact the City Clerk’s Office if you require additional information and/or attend a Seminar on Charitable Gaming.  The seminars are conducted by New York State Gaming Commission personnel and are highly recommended.

Charitable gaming occurs in the form of bingo, bell jar sales, the conduct of Las Vegas nights, and operation of raffles in each of the 62 counties of New York.

The Charitable Gaming Division is responsible for the investigation, audit and monitoring of the sale of hundreds of millions of bell jar tickets sold annually, and the verification of the lawful disbursement of bingo, bell jar, Las Vegas night, and raffle proceeds. The Charitable Gaming Division also issues licenses to bingo and games of chance manufacturers and suppliers; collects the license fees paid by those licensees; determines that commercial bingo hall rental fees are fair and reasonable as a prerequisite to licensure by municipalities; approves thousands of bell jar ticket games each year; and issues bingo and games of chance identification numbers to applicant organizations as a prerequisite to their licensing by municipalities.

Descriptions of popular regulated charitable games: 

  • Bell Jar: A participant draws a card from a jar, vending machine or other suitable device or container which contains numbers, colors or symbols that are covered and which, when uncovered, may reveal that a prize to be awarded on the basis of a designated winning number, color or symbol or combination of numbers, colors or symbols. Bell jars may also include seal cards, coin boards, and merchandise boards. The winning Bell Jar ticket is turned in for a monetary prize. Bell Jars are typically sold for 25¢, 50¢, $1 and $2 and have prizes as high as $1000.
  • Raffle: Participants obtain numbered tickets with each ticket having the chance of winning a prize. At a set time, the winning number(s) are drawn from a container holding a copy of every number. The drawn tickets are checked against a collection of prizes with numbers attached to them, and the holder of the ticket wins the prize.
  • Bingo: Participants seek to match randomly drawn numbers on 5x5 matrices, which are printed on paper, card stock or electronically represented and are referred to as cards. Versions conclude the game when the first person achieves a specified pattern from the drawn numbers and calls out “Bingo.” Wins are then reviewed before being designated as official, at which time the prize is secured and a new game is begun. 



August 28, 2019, 10:00AM - 12:00PM
September 25, 2019, 10:00AM - 12:00PM
October 30, 2019, 10:00AM - 12:00PM
November 20, 2019, 10:00AM - 12:00PM
December 18, 2019, 10:00AM - 12:00PM

All Meetings are held at the Commission's Schenectady Offices

To NYS Charitable Organizations:

  • The New York State Gaming Commission will be conducting a series of Charitable Gaming seminars in the upcoming months in 2019 aimed to help authorized organizations comply with the various laws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of licensed authorized Games of Chance and Bingo.
  • Staff will be on-hand to answer any questions, or cover any topics, regarding all aspects of licensed authorized games of chance and bingo including licensing, internal controls, compliance and financial reporting.
  • Statewide representatives of charitable organizations are welcome to attend all seminars. Any questions regarding any of the scheduled seminars can be directed to the Commission's Charitable Gaming Unit at (518) 388-0210. 
  • 1 Broadway Center, Suite 600
    Schenectady, NY 12305-2553
  • Telephone (518) 388-3300
    FAX: (518) 347-1469
  • Email: