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Mississippi Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming was legalized in 1992 with the passage of the Charitable Bingo Law, which established the terms and conditions under which bingo may be legally conducted in Mississippi. The law authorized the operation of bingo games for purposes of funding nonprofit organizations, groups, associations or clubs that were registered with the Secretary of State. Bingo includes pull-tabs when offered as a companion game to bingo and played on the premises, electronic bingo machines and electronic pull-tab machines.

The Mississippi Gaming Commission (MGC) regulates charitable gaming within the state. The Charitable Gaming Division, a part of the MGC, licenses and enforces bingo laws for the operations of all charitable bingo organizations, manufacturers, distributors, operators and commercial lessors in the state. There are three classes of bingo that are licensed by the MGC: A, B and C. Class A bingo is defined as when the total amount of prizes awarded is over $5,000, class B is when prizes are between $2,500 and $5,000, and class C is when prizes are less than $2,500.

A qualified nonprofit organization wishing to conduct bingo for charitable purposes must be domiciled in Mississippi and have proof of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c) or (d) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Eligible organizations include nonprofit civic, educational, wildlife conservation, religious or veterans organizations; or a senior citizen club that is sanctioned by the local council on aging, has members 60 years or older, and whose sole function is to provide fun for its members.

In 2007, the legislators amended the Charitable Bingo Law, which allowed the MGC to issue licenses to operate bingo for a maximum period of three years. This change was made after a Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) determined that issuing one-year licenses was inefficient.
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