FUNDRAISING CASINO PARTIES

From our experience the most profit has been realized with the use of table and event sponsors.

Here is an example for you;
Platinum sponsor is for a premium table like Craps, Roulette or the Slot Machine area, includes tickets to the event (4-8 Tickets?): $1,500?

Gold sponsor is also for premium tables without tickets to the event: $1,000,

Silver sponsor is for a single table like Blackjack, Casino War or Red Dog: $500,

Bronze sponsor could share sponsorship of a table with another sponsor: $250,

1. Financial Goal
2. Revenue Sources
3. Expenses
4. Determining Ticket Price
5. Ensure the event will flow smoothly...



1. Financial Goal:
Usually when asked the question "“How much money would you like to raise at this event?”" most organizers realize that they haven’t given it enough thought. Having a realistic goal of how much money you would like to raise is the key starting point. It should determine the price of your entrance fee and the limit of your expenses. Decide how much money you would like to make from this event.
Obviously the key to your Bottom Line is to maximize your revenue and minimize your expenses. As fundamental as this concept is most organizations disregard it when running an event.

2. Revenues:
Many organizations only consider one or two form of income at their event. In reality there are many possible sources. Revenue for a fund-raiser will typically take the form of one, some, or all of the following: Ticket sales
Table sponsorship
Drink sales
Food
Auctions: Silent and Live Auctions
Additional script purchases


Ticket Sales:
Delegate the task of ticket sales to more than one person. It is far easier for 20 people to each sell 10 tickets than it is for 1 person to sell 200 tickets. Hold each of these 20 people responsible for the sale of their allotment of tickets. Some groups will decide a certain amount of tickets that each member “must sell”, this goes a long way to getting the tickets sold. If they do not sell the tickets they are still responsible to pay for them.
You may also sell bunches of tickets (10 or 20) to other groups or companies to hand out to their members or staff.
This is usually your primary source of revenue and the financial success of your event depends on meeting your goal of tickets sold.

Table Sponsorship:
Find at least one table sponsor for each casino table being used and the sponsored amount minimum should be at least $200. Encourage your sponsors to provide “gag” gifts that promote their business to be distributed at “their” table. For example - a blackjack table sponsored by a dentist could give away a free toothbrush (with the sponsor’s name imprinted) for each blackjack that is dealt. Or, the dealer could be dressed in the sponsor uniform. Make your sponsors feel as though they are getting value for their donation and not only are they more likely to attend the event, getting a similar sponsorship the next year will be much easier. Bottom Line: Table sponsorship should cover the entire rental cost of the casino equipment and staff.

Drink Sales:
Ticket prices and what people are getting for their money will generally determine whether guest’s drinks are included in the ticket price or if they need to pay for them. Typically, the more expensive the entrance fees the less likely you are to charge additional for drinks. On “drink inclusive” events a limited bar (beer, wine, soda) is suggested to curb costs. On some events entrance fee includes one or two “drinks tickets”. Additional drinks require the purchase of more drink tickets.
You may also get drink sponsors, there are often distilleries or brewers in your area that would sponsor all the beer for your event or all the hard liquor for your event. Do not forget those who do not drink. You may find a sponsor for your soft drinks or even for your glasses. We have even seen a sponsor for the mix at the bar. Drinks can vary between being a good source of revenue to being a very large expense. Manage your bar wisely. Often when the bar is sponsored drinks will still be a $1 or $2 which prevents wastage and provides additional income.

Food:
This follows a similar format to your drinks. You may have a sponsor for each platter or a sponsor for the deserts and one for the finger food.
Don'’t leave people feeling “short changed” because of poor quality or insufficient food. However, don'’t spend all your money on providing a spectacular meal because that is not the focus of this type of evening.

Silent Auction:
These are often incorporated into a casino evening and we offer the following advantage/disadvantage thoughts on the inclusion of a silent auction:
Advantages:
Opportunity to raise more money and draw the non gamblers (there are always a few) to your event.
Disadvantages:
Requires additional sponsors to donate auction items.
Interrupts flow of casino evening and takes people away from tables.
Much more organization and coordinating involved.
Guests often feel “hit-up” two or three times in one evening.
Silent auctions are often the backbone of revenues generated at fundraising parties. However, they do require a lot of time and effort to coordinate successfully. Delegate at least one person whose sole responsibility is to manage the silent auction of the event.

Live Auction:
Live auctions can generate a tremendous amount of revenue for the event, if done correctly. There are several key ingredients to a successful live auction.
Maintain a captive audience - shut down all other activity during this time.
Shorter is better - your live auction should run no more than 30-40 minutes.
Less is more - have only a few; generally less than 10 - high ticket items for auction.
Use a dynamic auctioneer
Keep the live auction short and it can be very, very sweet.

Additional Script:
As part of their entrance fee guests are usually given an initial “stake” of script or funny money. If they lose this initial stake they should have the option of acquiring more money for a “donation.” This is an additional source of revenue though generally not to the extent that hosts expect it to be. Primarily because guest, for the most part, gamble conservatively. You want to give your guests a sense of having received value for their entrance ticket so be sure to include enough script money in their package. We normally include $30,000 in script. Anything less and guest might feel a little “short changed.” Much more than this and you greatly reduce the likelihood of many people purchasing more script. Regarding the purchase of additional script: make the additional “donation” an amount that is a round number ($20, $40 etc.).
Keep the “donation” to an amount that encourages people to get more script rather than setting it too high and not having anyone buy in again.

3. Expenses:
Again, the fundamental rule regarding expenses is to keep them to a minimum without compromising your event. Typical expenses incurred hosting a casino event:
Facility costs.
Decorations and props.
Casino equipment rental and dealers.
Beverage costs.
Food costs.
Clean Up.

All the points addressed below carry the same caveat: “without compromising your event”.

Facility Costs:
(You may get a sponsor)
Invariably, free is the key word here. Attempt to secure a facility at no cost to your event. There are generally several organizations that are open to making their facility available at little or no charge.

Decorations and Props:
(You may get a sponsor)
Often balloons and streamers or ribbon may suffice when decorating the event facility. Always weigh up the cost of any props and decorations you are considering using. People are typically not at your event for the decorations. Solicit donations if possible; however, prioritize a table sponsorship donation ahead of a prop donation (remember you could also sell the props).

Casino Equipment Rental:
(You may get a sponsor)
Provide Edmonton Casino Party with accurate head counts so the appropriate amount of equipment is supplied. Too much equipment on hand results in more expense and having too few tables to accommodate your guests is one of the surest ways to spoil your event.

Dealers:
(You may get a sponsor)
Arrange to staff the blackjack tables with your own volunteers. We can provide a core of dealers to train and support your volunteers to minimise your costs if you so choose. The only time we work with volunteers to staff our games is when it is for charity. If you would like volunteer dealers at your corporate event a donation to the charity providing the volunteers is mandatory.

Beverage Costs:
Arrange with your beverage supplier to be able to return all unopened bottles. This way you only have to pay for the beverages you have sold.

Security:
(You may get a sponsor)
Some facilities might require security and parking. This will vary with different locations and organizations. Be aware of this possible cost when selecting a location.

Clean Up:
(You may get a sponsor)
Designate a team of volunteers to take care of the facility cleaning.

4. Determining Ticket Price
Ask the following questions:
How much money do you want to make? = NET PROFIT
How many tickets can you sell for this event? = TICKETS
What is the total of all expenses? = EXPENSES
What is the total of my net profit plus all my expenses? = GROSS
NET PROFIT + EXPENSES = GROSS
GROSS / TICKETS = TICKET PRICE

Example:
You wish to raise $3500 from your event
Your intention is to sell 200 tickets
Your total expenses are $1500
$3500 + $1500 = $5000 (Gross)
$5000 / 200 tickets = $ 25 per ticket

What then needs to be determined is if this price is appropriate for what you intend to provide your guests and will your market support the sale of your proposed quantity of tickets at this price. Remember that you might even be under charging your guests!
By selling the proposed number of tickets and following the guidelines above you will always realize at-least your intended net profit and in most cases a higher amount. However, if you don'’t sell your intended number of tickets or if your expenses are higher than budgeted your net profit is adversely effected in both cases.

5. Ensure the event will flow smoothly …
Things to know before the event:

Set up early at the facility.
Have change available at the “cash table” or bar for buying tickets or script.
Have additional script and drink tickets at cash table.
Have a public address system on hand to announce prizes etc.
Have sponsors signs in place on all tables.
Have bow-ties, uniforms etc. available for volunteer dealers.
Have dealers assigned and trained for a specific game ahead of time.
Post information about buying more script.
Clearly indicate location of cash desk.
Designate all tasks ahead of time: cash, bar, games, teardown and clean up.
Keep thorough notes for your next event - the second time is always easier.

Good Luck!
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