How to Run a Casino Night Fundraiser

May 06, 2016

Do you need a great idea for a fundraiser that is sure to be enjoyed by all? You should put on a casino night! It's easier than you would think. Below we have listed a step-by-step walk-through of your anticipated expenses and how to easily turn a profit. Before proceeding, remember to check with your State Gaming Commission to confirm that you are obeying all local gaming laws.

1. Determine the Goal of your Event

Strangely enough, most hosts do not give much thought to the actual amount of money that they wish to raise at an event. Of course, in order to establish a reasonable target, you should list all revenue streams and guaranteed expenses. This is the most sensible route to take. Your revenue streams must first cover your expenses and any extraneous intake is your profit, so plan accordingly.

2. Make a Detailed List of your Expenses

Your list should include the obvious expenses which will entail anything that is required to make the night a success. This includes the cost of renting a facility, casino equipment from a company like Casino Night Events, and an ATM machine, as well as hiring dealers and table attendants. You will also have to consider the cost of any required insurance policies, security detail, and a clean-up crew.

It is best to keep these costs to the bare minimum to increase your profit margins for your charity. For example, you may ask local police officers to volunteer as security officers on their off-time. Or, you and your group members can clean the facility yourselves afterwards, rather than hire a company to do it for you.

Another way to cut back costs is by reducing your decoration and refreshment budgets. Guests are not attending the event for the lovely atmosphere or the gourmet food. They are there to have fun for a great cause, so don't splurge on the peripherals. As far as beverages are concerned, try to make an arrangement with your supplier to be able to return all unopened bottles. That way, you are only charged for what was actually consumed.

3. Bringing in Revenue

There are several ways to create streams of revenue during a casino night fundraiser. First and foremost, is, of course, ticket sales. You want to sell tickets to the event just to get in. Don't forget to offer tickets at the door at an elevated price. You can determine the price of tickets by adding the revenue you wish to bring in with the cost of overall expenses and dividing that number by the amount of tickets. It's that simple!

You can also offer higher-priced tickets that include the cost of an open bar. Just remember, if you choose to go that route, to not go overboard. Beer and wine are more than adequate for a small fundraiser. If you do not include an open bar, drink sales are another sure fire way to bring in a profit. Just remember to charge at least a 20% up-sale on each bottle purchased.

Another way to bring in additional revenue is through sponsorship. Try to get local businesses to each sponsor a table. They can give away small “gag” gifts, i.e. a dentist handing out toothbrushes, or they simply can benefit from the advertising. You may also consider having businesses donate items to be used for bidding on in a live auction. Try to be creative and think outside the box. Remember to explain to the businesses that you solicit that advocating publicly for your charity will bring a sense of community goodwill towards their company, as well.

In the end, you will be glad that you took the time to think everything through and plan your event thoroughly. Not only will your casino fundraiser be a smashing success, but you may just enjoy yourself, too! Good luck!

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Jack, AKA Pitboss, is a managing partner and marketing consultant for Casino Night Events. With over 8 years of marketing experience in the casino party industry - he is an advocate for those trying to educate others on benefits of casino themed events. Website: