Raising money from charity casino nights

Everyone knows that a casino party can be a great way to raise funds for a charity or good cause, but how do you go about organising one?

The whole point of a fundraiser is to make money. Sounds simple, but it’s important to remember. It’s also important to provide guests with a good time (because happy guests are more likely to spend money and donate in future) and represent your chosen cause well.

When planning your event, the ideal situation is that sponsorships and ticket sales will at the very least cover the overheads (venue hire, catering, entertainment and admin costs) and that activities like auctions and the casino can be where the real money is raised.

For the casino, work out how many guests you will have and how many people you expect to have playing. From that you can work out the number of casino tables you will need. On average, count on seven players per table. So with five tables, you can have 35 guests playing at any given time. With eight, it’ll be around 49.

As with all suppliers, negotiate a rate with your fun casino company. Don’t expect to get too much of a discount, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Chances are that your event will be on a Saturday evening, when hotels, catering companies and entertainers are busy. Make sure that you book well in advance and go for a reputable company. The casino is an important fundraiser, so it is worth investing in properly. Good croupiers and tables encourage play, and an experienced event manager can be invaluable in helping you put the event together.

Ideally you can find a sponsor to cover the cost of the casino, but even if that’s not possible you can offer small individual packages – every penny counts. For example, you can have companies sponsor a table for a nominal amount, in return for a sign with their logo or details on it being placed on the table. For a bit more (because there’s a cost attached to production) you can have the dealers wear sashes bearing the sponsor’s logo and/or the event vouchers or fun money. You can even have the tables completely branded in the sponsor’s livery. These might cost several hundred pounds each, but can be kept as a keepsake after the event if required.

Sponsors can also donate prizes, which make playing more attractive for your guests. Make sure that you look after sponsors by promoting them wherever possible, for example in the event programme and on social media. For larger events, a ‘step and repeat’ or sponsor board, the kind seen at glamorous awards ceremonies make a lovely touch on a red carpet entrance or as a photo booth backdrop.

At the event, you can sell fun money for cash but it’s important to understand some things to help you stay the right side of the Lotteries and Gaming Act 1976.

Firstly, it is important that you deal with all the cash transactions. The fun casino staff cannot handle money.

Secondly, you cannot give out cash prizes, however you can have prizes available that you have purchased or which have been donated.

Additionally, it is important to understand that the fun casino cannot be the main or sole reason for your event. It can be an attraction, for example, alongside a meal and some music, but never the sole attraction. There are a few more legalities to consider, but your fun casino company should be able to advise.

We would recommend offering guests a small amount of fun money based as part of their entry fee, making more available at a cost for those if they run out. Considering a minimum table bet of F$10, giving each guest F$100 gives them at least 10 spins on the roulette wheel or 10 hands of blackjack. Additional F$ (fun dollars) can be sold to guests for an additional fee which is fair and in keeping with what guests are willing to pay.

Prizes can be awarded in a number of ways. For lighthearted events (and lower value prizes) spot awards from the croupiers can be great fun. For larger prizes, a final table playoff or straightforward ‘most chips wins’ can also be good ways to determine the winner. Roulette raffles (where 37 players pick a number and the holder of the winning number takes the prize) and Wheel of Fortune spins can also be fun ways to engage guests who wish to contribute but are not so keen on the table games.

There are so many stylish and effective ways to raise money for charities through fun casino nights. We appreciate that all events are unique, so feel free to contact Red Fun Casinos if you’d like a free, no obligation, quote and planning consultation.