Bingo can be for private business and non-profit organizations what the lottery has become to state governments--a multi-million dollar endeavor. As the home of the Kentucky Derby, one of the jewels in the crown of horse racing events, the State of Kentucky has a proven track record in accommodating the needs of business owners specializing in gambling. Kentucky, then, could prove to be one of the simplest places for you to go into a quasi-gambling business such as bingo.

Familiarize yourself with the regulations. In the State of Kentucky, bingo comes under the regulation of the Department of Charitable Gaming (see Resources below). The Department of Charitable Gaming provides a training programs for getting a bingo business license.

Establish qualifications and eligibility. You will have to be a qualified charitable organization in order to start a bingo business in Kentucky. This means that you have to be a non-profit or charitable organization according to IRS standards (typically under Title 501). The charitable purpose of your organization must be clearly documented within your Articles of Incorporation. It may be possible for you to begin the training process offered through the Kentucky Department of Charitable Gaming by attending special training events as you wait for an IRS designation. You will not, however, be able to get your license until that designation has been issued and/or until you provide substantial proof that your business or organization exists for charitable purposes.

Get certified and begin training. Training is essential to the licensing process and to the success of your business. Keep in mind that government exists to regulate your business, not to operate it. Smart governments will do everything they can to help businesses succeed because of the potential tax revenue. The State of Kentucky's bingo training includes licensing and applications, administration and operation of bingo sessions. The Department also provides a training manual that you will want to print and keep for desk reference. Navigate through the training website to the schedule for courses and events. Schedule your training as soon as you can to begin the licensing process (see Resources below).