We Want to Do a Casino Night!

There are few things more fun than a night of games and gambling. A booster club casino night fundraiser can be a fun way to get people involved and raise a little (or a lot of) money. Even if your booster club has no intention of setting up a roulette table, you might still need to take a few additional steps to legally prepare for this event. If you want to host a casino night, your booster club must meet certain criteria to host one of these events.

IRS Rules

While a casino night is one of the more creative booster club fundraiser ideas, you should know that there are strict rules from the IRS about what is gambling and what is not. Gambling, also referred to as gaming by the IRS, can encompass many activities, including:

  • Bingo
  • Lotteries
  • Raffles
  • Punch boards
  • 21

As you can see, even simple things like Superbowl Squares can qualify as gambling and require a special license from the state or your local agency. To ensure that your booster club is covered by the law, you need to inquire with the state about what requirements you must uphold to host a fundraiser like this.

Check Your State Rules

Each state has various rules on how and when gaming fundraisers can be done. In some states, it may require a license.  

Check with Tax Professionals

Some additional rules go along with casino night fundraisers. For example, the booster club may be required to submit a notice of winnings over a certain amount to the IRS on a W-2G form. Alternatively, you might be required to withhold income tax or pay a wagering excise tax to the IRS. A qualified tax professional can help you parse out the details of exactly what needs to happen for you to legally operate a casino night fundraiser. Make sure to talk with them early in the process to have things run as smoothly as possible.