How can guests win casino party prizes?

This blog addresses one of the most common questions when people plan a casino party with us, “how do the casino party prizes work?”

The first question I ask them is what type of casino party they are hosting? Is this a private or corporate event or a paid-to-enter fundraiser? The answer is important, and here is why. 

Understanding the law and casino party prizes

Offering any casino party prizes (even by blind raffle) at an event that charges people to attend is illegal in the state of Pennsylvania, as well as many other states. The laws are precise and do not permit any prizes attached to the entertainment of casino games. Nor can you charge people for casino chips to play or award raffle tickets for prizes. This strategy is illegal even in the name of a charity or with a small game of chance license. To learn more, read this blog, Pennsylvania Law Regarding Casino Night; note it applies to most states in the USA. 

It’s sad, I know, and we all want to go to a casino night and play and win prizes or something – but whenever you charge people a fee to attend a party or fundraiser, you are implementing ‘consideration‘ (a fee to play) as defined by the state laws. When you charge folks to play and then offer them prizes or raffle tickets to win prizes at the end of the play, it’s gambling, and it’s illegal. 

Casino gaming laws

Small Games of Chance License

Some people think they can have casino party prizes because they have a ‘small games of chance license’ and expect they are an exception to the law. I hate to break it to them because they’re wrong. People assume that a ‘small game of chance‘ permits them to have casino gaming tables and award prizes. The ‘small game of chance license‘ has nothing to do with the casino games. This license permits 501C charities to host pull tabs, 50/50, chance(Chinese) auctions, and many more States authorized small games of chance games. It has nothing to do with casino games like blackjack, poker, roulette, or craps.

Hosting a successful casino party fundraiser without prizes

This law leaves the question, can you host a successful casino party with the casino games and raise money for a charity? Yes, you can, and we can show you how with our detailed fundraising kit – to get yours here!

The confusion on the law is the money. Once you charge people to play the casino games, you can no longer award any ‘reward’ or casino party prizes. Money changes everything in this scenario. Let’s talk about a private or corporate casino night party – because this does permit raffle tickets and prizes! 

Casino party fun

Private or corporate casino night prizes

You can award casino party prizes as long as no one pays to attend a private or corporate casino night party! There are a few ways to do this; let’s review them now!

Casino party prizes – strategy #1

Every guest gets a gaming voucher when they enter the event; we use $1000 vouchers. Elite Casino Events provides these for our clients, and it works with our bankrolls and denominations. You can make the vouchers yourself – but before you do, check with your casino party vendor to make sure the amount you are offering will work with the vendor’s gaming table and table bankrolls.

Guests can take their $1000 gaming vouchers to any dealer and redeem them for casino chips to play any of our casino games. When the play ends, our dealers will cash out guests’ casino chips in raffle tickets, converting at a ratio of one raffle ticket per $200 in casino chips. If guests are not gamblers, they can cash out their gaming voucher at any time with the dealers for their raffle tickets.

All guests will be able to drop their raffle tickets (one side only of the double ticket strip) into a vase or gift bag used in front of the casino party prizes the host provides. The boss or guest of honor will draw winners by pulling raffle tickets out of the bags and announcing the winning ticket number. It’s important to note that you may want to decide if guests must be present to win or if they can leave early but must write their names on all of their raffle tickets before dropping them into the drawings.

Casino party prizes – strategy #2

This one is much less complicated and effortless for the host! Every guest will get a gaming voucher that they can redeem with the casino dealers for $1000 in gaming chips. They can play all the games, and when the play ends, the dealer will write a voucher for them tallying their casino winnings! The casino dealers will hold the game vouchers with the biggest wins to give to the pit boss, who will provide them to the host to announce the top winners!

You can request the casino pit boss allocate the top winner, top three, or five or twenty top winners! The dealers will do all the work, calculate, organize, and prepare this for the host! We recommend that you have a prize for as many gaming tables as you had for the event! This ratio works well; if you had seven gaming tables for 100 people, you should have seven casino party prizes. Learn more about casino party packages and guest to game ratios.

Beer bucket prize
Family basket prize

Combine strategies #1 and #2 for the perfect mix!

I often recommend to our clients to do a combination of both strategies. You can have the dealers track the overall winner for a grand prize and do the blind raffle ticket drawing method.

I like this combo because it gives bragging rights to the overall winner, and it allows winning casino party prizes to those who may not be as savvy as a gambler.

Casino party grand prize
Biggest loser casino party prize

Try this one, prepare a box of kleenex and a bottle of wine in a gift bag and ask the casino party vendor to let you know who is the first to bust out in the casino! This person would win a prize too – for being the ‘biggest loser!‘ Now they can cry away their blues for being so unlucky! This one always gets a laugh when you announce it! 

I hope this blog explained casino party prizes for you and how to incorporate them (or not) into your casino-themed event! Keep in mind that when people go to a fundraiser, they understand it’s about charity. As long as you’re transparent about what prizes are available and how to win, it troubleshoots any confusion in advance. This way – everybody wins!