What you need to know to host bingo in your venue plus the essential bingo accessories to make this happen

What you need to know to host bingo in your venue plus the essential bingo accessories to make this happen

Despite there being no legal definition of the word bingo, it is a popular game that is played by millions all over the world. If you don’t play it, it’s more than likely that you know somebody who does! There are so many ways to play it online or at a local bingo hall, and it is a great way to win some money and socialise.

It can be a great way to generate money and custom in your venue with the British gambling industry generating a gross profit of £6.2 billion from October 2011- September 2012. Of that figure, £716.28 million was generated by bingo alone.

Bingo can be remote or non-remote, both are played to the same standard set of rules. The Gambling Commission have set out rules for licences required to run games of bingo in a premises, this is called an operating licence. 

Licences differ depending on whether the bingo being played is remote or non-remote. You need to apply for a non-remote bingo operating licence to provide bingo games in a pub, club or location if money is exchanging hands. 

If you will be providing facilities to play bingo interactively via remote communication, for example with electronic bingo terminals you will also need an ancillary remote operating licence. A remote bingo operating licence is also required if you will be offering bingo games via remote communication, for example, internet based bingo games.

 To apply for these licences from the Gambling Commission there will be a one-off application fee and an annual licence fee.

Once you have sorted your licences, it’s time to equip yourself with the right tools to make your games of bingo the best around. We have researched the top 5 must have bingo accessories.

1. Bingo Machine

There are many different types of bingo machines, from a manual cage kit that the caller pulls the numbered bingo balls out themselves, to the electronic and digital machines that do the work for you.

The Club Master Electronic Bingo Machine is one of the best bingo machines available to buy which has been made for bingo nights in either small or large venues. It has a large 3 in 1 audience display showing the number that has just been called as well as all of the others that have been called that game, and the total number of calls. It can be bought online and Kelly’s Eye offer free delivery on the product.





  • Remote Controlled
  • Free Standing or Wall Mounted
  • Full 90 Number Check Display
  • Plays 75/80/90 Games
  • Jackpot Buzzer Indicator
  • Memory Retention
  • Multiple Units can be Linked Together
  • Number of Calls display
  • Bright LED screen


  • Height: 500mm
  • Width:  1000mm
  • Depth:  150mm
  • Weight: 18kg

2. Bingo Dabbers

Bingo dabbers, or bingo pens are also a must have! Ensure your customers have a choice of colours and even make a bit of money from selling them. Buying them in bulk and selling them on is a great way to give your customers a bargain and making some extra cash for yourself, your business or for charity. Here is an example from Kelly’s Eye:

This pack of 120 dabbers give a good margin for resale due to the low initial cost working out at 40p a dabber. Resell at £1 and you can make a good profit. The 20ml dabbers are good quality and don’t leave a pool off ink on the page when used. Choose your colour from the drop down menu.

3. Bingo Tickets and Books

This seems like an obvious one. These are absolutely essential for a game of bingo. If you plan on hosting regular games then buy in bulk and you will save money in the long run. What style of bingo book or ticket you get is personal preference and there is a large variety of them around.

4. Bingo Calling Microphone

In social places like pubs and bars, it can be difficult to be able to hear what the person next to you is saying due to background noise, let alone hear someone from a distance.  Getting a microphone to call out the bingo numbers is a perfect way to prevent this. They aren’t that costly and will ensure the bingo caller is heard loud and clear.

5. Treble chance tickets

This fifth product isn’t an absolute must- have for a bingo game, however it can make your games stand out from the rest and add some extra fun to the game. Sell them as extra or give them out, giving the players an extra chance to win a prize. Players play a treble chance ticket alongside a normal bingo game and when somebody shouts ‘house’ (and the ticket is verified) whoever has the last number called on their treble chance ticket also wins a prize.

Best Bingo Dabbers on the Market

It is important to stock up on good quality supplies in order to run and host a successful bingo game in your pub, club or venue. You need bingo dabbers that will not run out or fade quickly. I have done some research and found what I believe to be the best bingo dabbers on the market!

Kelly’s Eye Dabbers 43ml 12 pack

The consistently high quality provides trouble free operation and typically 27% more dabs per ml of ink when compared to most dabbers. This means that the Kelly’s Eye dabber is a winner with players and our customers. Available from:  www.kellyseye.com.