Media Bingo

Media bingo is a lottery scheme that takes place over a form of mass communication, including but not limited to radio, newspaper, magazines, periodicals, television, closed circuit, and satellite and cable transmissions. In media bingo, a prize or prizes are awarded by selling one or more media bingo papers. Players attempt to complete a pre-determined pattern on the media bingo papers using the numbers called. The numbers are conveyed to the players using one or more of the above methods of communication. The player(s) correctly completing the required pattern in the least amount of numbers, within the specified time frame, is declared the winner.

Media bingo standard rules of play

Media bingo application guide

Media bingo application

  • Six week processing time

Media bingo terms and conditions


Please click below for answers to some common questions about media bingo. You can also email  our Gaming Licence Department or contact us at 204-954-9400 or toll-free at 1-800-782-0363.

Who can hold a media bingo?

The LGA licenses charitable and religious organizations to conduct media bingos in accordance with Section 207(1)(b) of the Criminal Code (Canada). If your organization has never been licensed, you must submit background information about your organization to determine your eligibility.

How long does it take to get a media bingo licence?

The LGA requires up to six weeks to process applications. It may take longer to process your application if it is incomplete or inaccurate. The application guide will help you properly complete and submit your application to us. You cannot advertise your media bingo until your licence is approved.

What does a media bingo licence cost?

Licence fees are based on actual gross revenue. Organizations are required to submit a licence fee of 1.5% of the actual gross revenue of the media bingo event. The LGA sets reporting requirements at the time your licence is issued, but fees are due after the event with your financial reports.

How do we apply for a media bingo licence?

Please complete our media bingo application. You can also call our Gaming Licence Department at 204-954-9400 or toll-free at 1-800-782-0363 for a paper copy of the application or to arrange a time to complete the form in person at one of our offices.

Please read and ensure you understand the Media Bingo Terms and Conditions before you apply for a licence. You must comply with these terms and conditions once you are licensed.

What do we need to submit with our application?

In order to determine an organization’s eligibility for a licence, first-time applicants and organizations not licensed in over three years must provide as many of the following documents as possible:

  • charter
  • constitution and by-laws
  • articles of incorporation and most recent corporate annual return
  • minutes of most recent annual general meeting
  • membership list
  • most recent financial statement and bank statements
  • Other requirements are clearly listed in the application guide and include such things as the media bingo program, house rules and a current bank statement or prize guarantee.

Our organization is very small and we do not have the background documents you ask for. Can we still get a licence?

Yes, provided your organization is a charitable or religious organization. We recognize that many smaller organizations may not have formal documentation. In these cases, minutes from meetings and/or letters of support from principals, councillors, priests or mayors may be acceptable. These letters of support should state:

  • that the group is in fact a bona fide organization
  • the organization’s aims and objectives
  • the reasons/need for fundraising

What if we don’t have a president, vice-president, secretary or treasurer?

If the titles of your executive members are not consistent with the generic titles on the form, please indicate your organization’s actual titles on your application. Organizations must adapt their titles to those on the form in a best-fit manner where necessary (e.g. Grand Knight, Head Coach, Manager, Principal, or Minister may replace President). The executive members you list on the application must be the actual elected executive of the organization itself and not members of a sub-committee who have been given responsibility for the charitable gaming event.

Is there a limit to the prize(s) we can offer?

No, the prize(s) offered is up to the organization. The LGA does not set prize limits; however, all prizes must be guaranteed.

What if our organization does not have current funds to cover the cost of all prizes being offered?

The total cost of all prizes must be guaranteed before a licence is issued. The LGA will accept an organization’s current bank statement, an irrevocable standby letter of credit from a financial institution (sample) or proof of purchase for any merchandise prize. The LGA will not accept a third party guarantee for prizes. Evidence of sufficient funds is not required if all prizes being offered are based on a percentage of sales or if all prizes are being donated.

What is a contractual agreement and when do we need one?

A contractual agreement (sample) is an agreement between the organization and the provider of a prize. Contractual agreements must be submitted with your application for each individual prize valued at $5,000 or more, whether it is donated or purchased.

Can organizations determine the amount of a prize for a bingo game based on the percentage of sales?

Yes, if approved by the LGA.

Can promotional prizes be given away?

Yes, promotional prizes are allowed if approved by the LGA. Licensees must not require patrons to purchase media bingo product to be eligible to win promotional prizes.

Are there any limitations on advertising our media bingo?

Media bingo can only be advertised in Manitoba and you cannot advertise your media bingo until your licence is approved. All advertisements must contain the name of the licensed organization and your licence number. If you are advertising on the internet, you must indicate that the event is intended for Manitoba residents only. Advertisements must adhere to federal, provincial and community advertising laws and standards.

How can we use the money we raise through our media bingo?

Funds raised through media bingo must be used for education, religion, health, relieving poverty, or to benefit the community by promoting sports, recreation, culture, or any other area considered appropriate by the LGA. Please provide as much detail as possible on your application about your intended use of funds.

Must licensees purchase all media bingo paper from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries?

No, paper must be purchased from Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries or from a supplier licensed by the LGA. You may contact the LGA Gaming Licence Department for a list of licensed suppliers.

Can media bingo paper be special ordered with an organization’s logo on it?

Yes. Although Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries does not supply specialty paper, there are suppliers licensed by the LGA who provide this service.

How do licensees handle media bingo product short shipments and/or damaged paper?

Organizations should contact the LGA’s Compliance Department to explain the situation. The LGA follows exactly what you have purchased as recorded inventory on your financial reports, so it is important to notify us of any large damages or missing product. The LGA will often conduct physical inventory counts during an inspection to help maintain accurate product counts.

If Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries is the supplier of your media bingo paper, any inquires about shortages or damages should be made directly to Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries at 204-957-2500 or toll-free at 1-800-782-0367.

What should be done if a bingo worker discovers a tampered media bingo card?

The LGA recommends that the organization contact the police immediately. Individuals who tamper with media bingo cards may be committing a criminal offence. Organizations should also contact the LGA’s Compliance Department

Where can we purchase or rent media bingo equipment?

The LGA does not provide a list of places from which you can purchase or rent equipment. Organizations can start by checking the MTS Yellow Pages under “Games and Supplies” and/or “Bingo Equipment and Supplies”. Organizations can also check with local community organizations that operate media bingo.

When do we have to replace our bingo balls?

All equipment used for media bingo must be in good working order and is subject to inspection and approval by the LGA. Bingo balls must be free of defects and equal in all characteristics that control their selection. The life span of bingo balls depends on several factors: the amount of use, the type of bingo balls, the bingo ball selection device and how the caller handles them. If there are any concerns about bingo balls in play, they must be replaced immediately.

Are there any limits on the number of media bingos our organization can operate?

The LGA may limit the number of events held by an organization during any specific time period.

How can our organization change the media bingo game format or program, add special games or change our disbursements?

All changes to a licence must be requested in writing. A licence amendment form must be completed and sent to the Gaming Licence Department. Please email your amendment or fax it to 204-954-9450 or toll-free to 1-866-999-6688. Changes cannot be implemented until approval has been received. It takes two to four weeks to process amendments.

We received forms with our media bingo licence package. What do we do with these forms?

Organizations with anticipated gross revenue over $10,000 must submit financial reports to the LGA. Organizations with anticipated gross revenue of $10,000 or less must simply keep records of the licensed event(s) and are not required to submit the forms. All records relating to the conduct and operation of the media bingo must be kept by the licensee for at least three years. The LGA may request these records during an inspection, audit or with a subsequent application.

Should house rules be posted at an event?

The LGA requires organizations to ensure house rules are available for each media bingo event. We recommend that house rules be posted at each sales location as well as either printed on the cards themselves or included with each card purchased.

Can volunteers play media bingo?

No, individuals directly involved in the conduct, management or operation of the media bingo event may not play.

What are the rules regarding children playing media bingo?

The LGA does not set a minimum age requirement for media bingo. If an organization has set a minimum age requirement, they must provide that information in their house rules.

During a media bingo, how long must players wait in order to determine who is the correct winner or winners?

The LGA does not specify an exact waiting period used to determine a winner(s). Organizations applying for a media bingo licence must specify the timeframe allowed for players to notify the organization. Organizations are required to specify the method and time limit to declare a possible winner in their house rules.

If someone completes two patterns with one number, must the caller call another number or can that person be awarded both prizes?

Progressive games can be won in any order; therefore, once a person calls bingo and makes the checker aware that they have completed both patterns, and both are valid, there is no need to call another number.