Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Bingo License

Service overview

Associations need a Bingo License to hold bingo games for a charitable or civic purpose and award prizes or collect money. You can’t give out more than $4,000 in prizes (cash or value) in a single day.

If you want to hold bingo games for a single period of up to three days, you can get a Temporary Bingo License.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues these licenses.

Who

Only associations that have been operating for at least two years can apply for this license.

Requirements

Right to location

Associations must own the property where bingo is played or have a lease for the location. Rent can’t be determined by the money earned from bingo games.

Documents

You must submit the following documents with your application:

  • A copy of the hosting organization’s written constitution, charter, and articles of incorporation or by-laws
  • A listing of members of the association who will manage, setup, supervise, and participate in the operation of the bingo game. For each member, provide:
    • Name.
    • Address.
    • Social security number.
    • Length of membership.

Where and when

Online

Use the eCLIPSE system.

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Office closes at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

There is an annual fee based on organization type.

  • Associations (non-profit): $100
  • Senior citizen’s group (members-only): $50
  • Agricultural association or county fair: $100

Temporary Bingo License: $15.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
L&I will send the application to the district attorney for approval.

This takes about one month.

3
If the application is approved, you will receive a notice to pay the balance.

If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center.
2
L&I will send the application to the district attorney for approval.

This takes about one month.

3
If the application is approved, you will receive a notice to pay the balance.

If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

Renewal requirements

Annual renewal

  • Submit online or in person at the Permit and License Center

Required for renewal


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