Bingo Detective: How to Open your Own Bingo Hall


The recent boom of bingo throughout the country may have you considering opening a bingo parlor of your own. Much like opening any other business, creating a bingo hall of your very own requires plenty of time studying state laws and obtaining special licenses and permits. For example, did you know that some states require that bingo halls be run by non-profit organizations or for the benefit of charitable organizations? Check with your state’s gaming control board and the office of the attorney general to find out the specific requirements for your state before getting started.

Once you’ve acquired the necessary legal information and ensured that a bingo hall is something you want to pursue, you’ll need to secure the necessary licenses and permits, as required by your state. Typically, a criminal background check will be necessary before you can be granted the right to operate a bingo hall.

As with every business, it’s a good idea to start by developing a comprehensive business plan that details important information about how you plan to operate the bingo hall. Fundamental details to consider include financing information, as required to get the business up and running. In addition to purchasing or renting a property, remember to include additional costs such as utilities, insurance, equipment, staffing and advertising in your early financial planning.

With a completed business plan, look for financial institutions that specialize in business lending, or contact your local Small Business Administration office for information regarding alternative business funding options if traditional funding isn’t available.

When financing is in place, you can begin the search for the perfect site for your new business. Bingo halls require plenty of space to accommodate customers and traditional bingo equipment, as well as ample parking, restroom facilities and amenities for concession sales. Enlist the services of a commercial real estate professional to make visiting potential sites easier.

After you’ve decided on a great location, you’ll need to purchase the required furniture and electronics needed to run the bingo parlor. Typical items to consider include chairs, long tables, bingo cards and markers. Remember, if you plan to offer concessions to patrons, you’ll likely need to secure permits from the local health department before opening.

By now, your new bingo hall will begin to look the part, but one important aspect of your new business is still missing: employees. Screen, hire and train applicants that fit your idea of how your bingo parlor should be run. Important characteristics to look for in new hires include clear speech and superior customer service skills. Employees are your first line of communication with customers and will play a large part in determining the success of your business, so interview carefully.

Now that everything is in place, it’s time to establish your hours of operation, choose the types of games you’ll offer and set the cost of playing and prize amounts. When that’s done, you’re ready to advertise your new bingo hall through electronic and print media and plan a grand opening event to attract the interest of your target customer base.

With proper management and attention to detail, bingo halls can be very profitable ventures. Your new business should reflect your dedication to quality and excellence in order to achieve the most successful results possible.