FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQs

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Casino Night FAQs

how to run a casino night fundraiser

It can be overwhelming to understand how to run a Casino Night Fundraiser, especially if you have not done this before, or if you don’t gamble!  If you are using actual money on the tables to bet with, then this section does not apply to you! If you were thinking of providing people with chips as they enter the hall, then you are in the right place.

Many people think that giving people a stack of 100 chips each is an excellent idea.  And in theory, it makes sense.  But logistically it is a nightmare.  Carrying around a bunch of chips is not easy – you can put them in your pockets, or put them in a cup and carry them around, but it is not so simple.  Plus have you considered how many chips you would need to rent from us? Even if you wanted 50 per person… if you have 100 people coming, that is 5,000 chips so you would have to rent 17 cases of chips from us costing you around $190 just in chips!

Plus what are the chances that all 5,000 chips will make its way back into the cases before the night is done?  VERY SLIM! Which means more charges for you. Let us show you an easier way.

Our recommendation:

Instead give everyone ONE Poker Chip as they enter, or you can use ONE Raffle Ticket. This chip or ticket will be a different colour than anything else there at your event so no cheating can take place. They will take this chip or ticket to a PitBoss or someone that you have nominated in charge of this, and exchange this in for maybe 10 chips. These chips would be a high denomination of black and red lets say, rather than 50 white chips. If you use our Dealers and PitBosses, you will appreciate the fact that they will take care of this exchange of chips and tickets on your behalf and figure out how much to give each person. 

Your guest will take one of these higher denomination chips and exchange them for smaller denomination of chips at the actual Casino Tables when they are ready to play. When they are done playing, the Dealer will exchange them back in for higher denomination chips so again they are not carrying around 50-100 chips each. Make sense?

At the end of the night, you need to make sure that people return their remaining chips back to the Dealers and do not go home with them (or you will incur charges!). A way to encourage this, is to have people exchange their remaining chips in for Raffle Tickets. The more chips they have, the more Raffle Tickets they get, thus encouraging them to do well at the Fundraiser too! They can take these Raffle Tickets and rip them in half. They will keep one half of the ticket and put the other half in a Raffle Drum. Spin the Raffle Drum and draw a ticket out, and this person will win a Prize that you have picked out.

Makes sense?  We think so.  So this is how we run things when you use our Dealers, and if you don’t use our Dealers, we recommend you still adopt this method. When booking one of our Casino Night Packages, it will ask you if you want Blue Poker Chips or Raffle Tickets to use, as an entry way to start gambling. If you have any questions, just ask below!

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How many people each Casino Table Accommodates

It helps to be able to understand How Many People each Casino Table Accommodates so that you can do your planning properly and have the right amount of tables. You don’t want too many because it is a sad party when the room looks empty, but you also don’t want too few because not everyone will get a turn. People might not feel like waiting in line to play, and will just give up. Below we have a list of our Casino Games so that you can judge how many people will be able to play at any given time.

The following can accommodate up to 6 people at any given time:

  • Roulette
  • Craps
  • Crown & Anchor
  • Horse Race Wheel
  • Car Race Wheel
  • Jungle Race Wheel

These Casino Tables can look after more:

  • The Blackjack Table seats 7 plus a dealer
  • The Poker Table seats 9 plus a dealer.

Now that you have this info, it should help guide you in choosing the appropriate amount of games suitable to the size of your party, and it should answer your main question of how many people each Casino Table accommodates.

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What Percentage of Guests will Gamble

Well of course it can be hard to predict what Percentage of Guests will Gamble during a Casino Night.  You see, if you have couples coming, they may watch each other play so there might only be one participant at a Blackjack Table even though there are 2 people standing there as an example. If it is all coworkers, then you may have more participation but this depends on the ratio of females vs males.  Males typically are bigger gamblers but that is not to discredit the females.  Certain games attract certain genders too.

Now that we have totally confused you, we will try to help you with a number.  A good rule of thumb is to try to find enough games for 40% of your people.  So if you expect 100 to show, only find games that will accommodate around 40 at any given time.

Lucky for you, we have put together a spreadsheet that breaks down our recommendations based on the number of people you expect to come, and based on that 40% figure.  Aren’t we kind?!  CLICK HERE to see a breakdown of how many people can play a Casino Game at any given time.

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how many casino tables to rent

Once you have looked into how Many People each Casino Table Accommodates, as well as What Percentage of Guests will Gamble, you are well equipped to figure out how many Casino Tables to rent. Lucky for you, we have put together a handy spreadsheet where all you have to do is look at how many people will be in attendance, and it will dictate our suggestions on which tables to rent, and how many of each. Smart huh?!

Blackjack is always the most popular, followed by Roulette, and then Poker and so on.  The other Casino Games are extremely popular as well, but if you are going to have multiples of games, you may want multiples of the first three mentioned here.

Here is a super convenient and dummy proof spreadsheet which will help you get started.  It is broken down by game, and by how many guests you expect to attend.  Then we took 40% of that number and came up with a breakdown of what you may want to consider renting. Of course, this is just a guideline – you know your people better and what they would enjoy playing.  If you still need help deciding on quantities, just ask!

CLICK HERE to print the table that you see below OR to see a larger version of it.  

How Many Casino Tables to Rent

If you like our suggestions on How Many Casino Tables to Rent, and are ready to book, then head over to our CASINO NIGHT PACKAGES to make sure you get some discounts on your Casino Night!

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do i need a gambling license

To help answer this common question about whether or not you need to get a Gambling License, we went to directly to the source and have copied and pasted excerpts right from representatives of the AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario).  That way we know we are giving you the right info!  Keep in mind, that that you should definitely cross reference our advice with their website, as the information you are about to read was the most current that we knew about, at the time of writing the article (March 2019).  This is just advice that we are giving you here, but it would be wise to double check things to ensure you are doing everything by the book.

To be quite frank here, if everyone followed the AGCO’s rules perfectly, most halls would be out of business, and we would also be out of business!!  We believe you just have to be creative with how you do things.  Basically they do not like to see actual cash out at each game as they do not want people winning money.  We have been told that one idea is to instead sell raffle tickets at the front door as your guests enter, and they can use these raffle tickets to “gamble” with at the games.

They can give a raffle ticket to the person running the Golf Putt Challenge game for example vs. actual money and get a shot at it.  Just like they do when you go to a town fair – you give them money, they give you game tickets, and that is how you play their games.  The other way around things from what we have heard, is to not give away money as a prize, but instead an actual tangible prize.  If it is donated then even better!

One other important thing to note, is that they say Games of Skill are good but Games of Chance are bad.  So games like Hockey Shootout, Hole in One, Bra Pong, Bean Bag Toss – these all requires skill.  Other games like the Wheels and Plinko are all won by chance.  With that said, the Crown & Anchor and Plinko, are our most popular rentals, so figure that one out!

A spokesperson from the AGCO was quoted in this article saying that Games of Skill are acceptable as well as a few other ideas:

As for games of chance and 50-50 tickets, she said people holding a stag and doe can try different ones (games of skill are allowed) or an auction, or simply charge more for tickets.

So that is why it is important to ask the hall if they have a gambling license because then you are permitted to run raffles.  In this article, they are quoted saying that there are 5 ways to make money at your fundraiser:

– Ticket Sales
– Donations
– Silent Auctions – get prizes donated, but no liquor bottles.  You can get LCBO or Beer Store gift certificates and have people write their bids down on a piece of paper. Try to get the Bride’s side bidding against the Groom’s side to increase the bid amounts
– Live Auction (same as above except with a lively auctioneer!)
– Games of Skill – not chance (putting contests, scoring contests, nailing the log, guessing how many jelly beans in a jar etc.) and then all of the funds raised through these methods go directly to the Bride and Groom

So now that we have cleared that all up for you, are things clear as mud now?!

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How do i book Dealers

You might be wondering – How do I Book Dealers? When you book online with us, it will specifically ask you if you would like our Dealers if you are looking at one of our Casino Tables. It will ask you which city your event is taking place in, and that is all it needs to know!

You will get your price immediately while booking your games, which is fantastic. No guessing, no email tag, no back and forth. Get your price right away!

Jack of all Spades will, on your behalf, contact the company that we subcontract our Dealers from, and provide them with all the information that you provided for your event. This company will take care of hiring the Dealers for your event, and they will contact you to figure out how you want the games run. The Owner of the Dealing company (Vince) is fabulous to work with, and we have partnered with him for 12 years now! He might ask you questions like how you will like the games played, if there will be any raffles, how the poker chip structure will look like, or how the raffle ticket structure will look like. Don’t have any clue how to run a Casino Night for profit? Or is this just for entertainment yet you aren’t sure how to make it all come together? Don’t worry! His company is wonderful and he will guide you through every step till you are comfortable.  

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Donations & Prizes FAQs

How to get Donations & Prizes for Fundraisers

First let us apologize for the picture.  It was just too cute to not post here!  We certainly do not recommend you to beg lol.  But you are probably wondering how to get Donations, and we have some great tips.

This is a tricky task – it can be hard to ask for free stuff sometimes, but you have to do it! A party is not a party without prizes!  It is imperative that you understand how to get Donations for Fundraisers.  Do not be afraid to ask people! Think about what kind of donations would best suit your event’s needs. If this party is for a couple in their early 30’s, chances are there will be many couples there in the same age group, so choose age appropriate gifts.  A gift card to Laser Tag is probably not going to excite too many people unless they have children nor will it encourage them to pay for a game as a way to win this prize.

So if you are using Prizes when someone wins a game, make sure it will be worth their while to play the game. You can match themes too – so for a Golf Game, you can have the prize be golf or sports related.

How to Start the Donation Process

  • Create a list of friends, family, and co-workers who may be able to provide donations for your event – those who may own their own business or hold a management role.
  • Write a list of everyone you know that have a small network marketing business (Avon, Arbonne, Scentsy, DoTerra, etc)
  • Next make a list of local businesses that you hope can provide you with gift certificates or free stuff, and that you think your guests would like to bet on.
  • Make it a team effort and get all of your committee members to help.

Who is Donating?

  • We could give you a list, but this list is forever changing. What might have worked for one person, won’t work for the next.
  • Companies have a certain amount to give out each year, so if you are coming to them in September, they probably have already met their quota and won’t be able to help you.
  • With that said, there are some tried and true companies that seem to never run out of donations:
  • Splitsville in Hamilton, Steam Whistle in Toronto, Lazer Mania in Hamilton, Club 54 in Burlington, Ice Dogs in St. Catharines, Ray’s Reptiles in Hamilton, and Hooters in Niagara Falls religiously donate without a fight.  
  • You can email Steam Whistle and they will mail the tickets to you!
  • You can try Molson if you are selling their beer – they usually donate some paraphernalia but not 100% of the time.
  • But in the Niagara region especially, we have many Stag & Doe Facebook pages that share these company names. What happens, is that 100 people read it that day, and then they all email that company. The company gets overwhelmed and shuts it down! This is why we say the list is forever changing.
  • One of the best ways to get donations is to ask a company where you you have an “in” – so you would ask for it in person at their place of business or by writing a professional letter.
  • Any mid-sized to large company may have to clear their donations through their head office with the use of your letter anyhow, so this is probably the best avenue.
  • You can also ask some network marketing companies, as they are often eager to sell their brand and get their name out.  
  • You can attempt to try out some Wineries or smaller businesses that you frequent, such as your massage therapist.
  • You are better off talking to businesses, that YOU do business with.  Get your committee members to help as well, as they will have special businesses that they do business with and might have a relationship with.  That helps!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Asking for Donations

The Do’s

  • Go in person wherever possible!
  • Asking in person usually gets a better response than using the phone or email.
  • It puts people on the spot a little more and they are more likely to say yes, since it is so easy to type “sorry I cannot help you out”.
  • SMILE! Look happy and be positive. Make them remember you.
  • Always bring a typed letter for them, that has their company name printed on it – make it look like an official request.
  • Visit restaurants at a convenient time for them when they are able to get the manager.  The best way to do it is WHILE you are eating there.  Ask the manager to come to the table and hand them the letter in person. They want you to be happy so may comply on the spot!
  • You can always try some free online ads begging for help on some Facebook Stag & Doe pages or through Kijiji, but you won’t get too much of a response that way, since this method is totally overused and annoying for people to read over and over.

The Dont’s

  • Don’t facebook message everyone in your friends list asking… Nobody will respond! Especially if some of these people you NEVER talk to or maybe haven’t talked to in 10 years.
  • They will be offended that you are asking when you haven’t communicated with them in such a long time.
  • It will put people off, so only choose people who you have some sort of a relationship with, or maybe who YOU have helped in the past.
  • Don’t waste your time going to the mall and talking to the managers of places like LuLu Lemon or the Gap which are mostly corporately owned.  
  • They won’t do squat for you!  
  • Those types of companies only deal with super large fundraisers for the United Way as an example and get inundated with tons of donation requests, so they won’t have time for your tiny Stag & Doe.  Sorry, but it’s the truth!
  • Don’t go restaurant to restaurant in a food court but instead go to stand alone restaurants that have franchisees – such as Boston Pizza or another one that you frequent
  • Don’t visit them at busy times when they are more likely to “shoo” you away.

What to do AFTER leaving the letter with them/emailing them?

  • Get the person’s name that you left your letter with and thank them for their time.
  • Make sure to follow up within 3 days of them receiving the letter, by saying – I am just checking in to see if the request has been reviewed as I am excited to see if you can help!  
  • Do not leave voicemails, as they often will not be returned.  
  • Just keep calling till you reach them, or ask when a better time would be to call back.
  • Make a list of all places you leave your letter with, who you left it with, the date it was, and if you followed up with them
  • Don’t hound them! Just be pleasantly persistent – its our favourite term to use

They said “YES”

  • Make sure to show your gratitude!
  • Make an announcement on your Facebook Event page about the new prize and get people excited about it
  • Make a sign with all the businesses that donated and hang this up at your Fundraiser.
  • Include business cards or print their logo on this sign
  • Show your appreciation as they don’t have to help you, they chose to help you.

They said “No”

  • If they refuse to help you with a free donation, you can always ask for this option instead: Some places will match what you buy – so if you buy a $50 gift card, they will give you a $50 gift card.  
  • Another alternative is to ask for a discount on a service – so would you be willing to offer 50% off your Massage Services (this is IF they refuse to give you something for free).
  • If they say no – still thank them for their time!  They don’t have to help you out, and are inundated with people asking the same things, so if they helped everyone, they would not be in business!
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How to Write a Donation Letter Request
  • First of all, do not hand write your Donation Letter Request!  
  • Type it up and print in advance.  
  • Keep it in your car and when you are in the area, drop it off!  
  • Give to your committee members too if they live close to the location.

Step by Step Instructions on what your Letter should say:

should be addressed to their company name / person’s name – don’t make a generic one that you hand out to everyone

  • ie) To: Manager/Owner of Boston Pizza

include a picture of the person the Fundraiser is for, or a company logo on its letterhead if a Corporate Event

  • coloured picture is best!

who and what the Fundraiser is for (if different)

  • This letter is to request a donation for myself (first and last name) and my fiancé (first and last name) to use at our Stag & Doe (or insert type of Fundraiser) that we can use to raffle off for our Prize Table

say something unique about your sitaution

  • I can appreciate that you get a lot of donation requests, but we hope that you consider our circumstance a bit different. (insert your story in one sentence. Here is an example – My fiancé and I met in high school and we have been dating for the past 12 years. He has been overseas for work and has finally moved back to Ontario so we we have decided that now is the right time to tie the knot and start our new journey together!)

what type of donation you are looking for

  • Specifically, we are hoping that your company is either able to donate a $50 gift card, a free service, or a gift that we use to raffle off, however we would be grateful for whatever it is that you are able to donate!

when the event is

  • Our event is being held on (insert date with year)

where the event is

  • at the (insert hall name with city)

how many you expect to show up (be realistic and don’t inflate the number!)

  • We have already invited (insert number of people) and are expecting approximately (insert number of people) to attend our event in person

why you thought of this particular company

  • We love your company because we love (insert reason – your prices, your location, your staff, your line of products, etc. But be specific)

your favourite product

  • We especially love your (insert item that they sell that you legitimately enjoy. Google their company to get specifics and to spell things right, and don’t sound to general)

how you anticipate people will react to their gift card/prize, etc.

  • We know this will be a popular prize to win because (insert your reason such as – there will be a lot of golfers there, there are lots of people with young children in attendance, lots of moms who love wine, etc)

show your appreciation

  • We would be so grateful for whatever it is that you can to do help us out

how they can contact you – give several options (text, email, phone)

  • Please contact me anytime by text/call (905-555-5555) or by email (x@x.com)

tell them you will follow up if you don’t hear from them

  • If I do not hear from you within the next week, I will be following up with you as I am so excited about the prospect of using your product/service for a prize!

put your name down and sign

  • Thank you for your time, (insert name & then sign below)

Other Tips:

  • Staple an actual ticket of the Fundraiser to accompany it – it just shows it is more legitimate.
  • Do not make your letter sound vague (I am requesting a donation) but instead be straight to the point and clearly state what you want (I am requesting a gift certificate for $50).
  • Do not make it too generic like this one (I am asking for a donation to my stag and doe and appreciate your help). Boring!  Make yours stand out because they literally get these weekly if not daily, so make yours stand out from the rest, so they remember you.  Make it personal with something they can relate to you about.  Talk about how you and your hubby met if it is a romantic story, the kids you have, how much you love shopping there, or a memory of the first time you purchased from them, or a favourite product that you cannot live without.  Add a picture of you with your spouse or kids, as it is makes it much more personal.
  • Just remember you are in competition with a LOTTTTT of others, so make your letter and story special.
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How do I get Prizes and How Many should I get?

Buying Prizes

  • Do not rely solely on donations!
  • You may have to spend some money to make money, so look for the sales.
  • Save up your Air Miles, PC Points, or credit card points and purchase prizes
  • BBQ’s, TV’s, iPads, concert tickets, sporting event tickets, gift cards, or even gift baskets are great prizes and they are things that you can usually find on sale.
  • Never pay full price for prizes… there are deals everywhere.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open and ask around for some sales.
  • But really do your best to focus on donations so that you are not spending hundreds or event thousands on prizes. Free is better for Fundraisers!

How Many Prizes Should I Get

  • Be weary of one thing – sometimes people think the more prizes, the better.
  • It always looks impressive when the prize tables are absolutely loaded with loot.
  • Consider that it takes time to draw a ticket for a prize, so more prizes mean more time drawing, and guests can become agitated.
  • If you have a lot of smaller prizes, consider consolidating them into “Prize Packs” or letting the DJ give some away for spot dances – a great way to get your guests up dancing and enjoying themselves.
  • A good problem to have, is that you have TOO many prizes to give away.
  • If this is your case, then use these prizes for games, rather than giving away money.
  • Plan to have 1 huge Grand Prize, 2-3 smaller but still big prizes, and then a Raffle Table of about 20 -30 prizes.  You can consolidate some of them into baskets as we mentioned before.  Too many, and it will take too long to coordinate.  Too little, and nobody will want to buy tickets!
  • Consider renting our Raffle Containers as you see pictured above. Keeps things neat and tidy!

Carrie (owner of Jack of all Spades) just had her own Stag & Doe in June 2018, and 99.9% of her prizes were donated so pretty much….  All.  Of.  Them.  She bought an LCBO gift card for the toonie toss, but besides that, she was not out of pocket for anything.  She worked hard, and worked for months getting prizes, she got a quadrillion “NO’s”, but her persistence paid off.  Definitely get help though, as its a huge undertaking.  Good luck with requesting Donations for Fundraisers – see our other pages to help with Writing your Donation Request Letters and how to ask!

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Fundraiser Planning

How to Assemble a Fundraiser Committee

So how many people are needed to plan a Fundraiser? This is not something you want to do alone!  You definitely need to start by getting a Fundraiser Committee of people together (perhaps the wedding party, family members, or close friends) to help organize the Fundraiser as it is way too much work for one or even two people.  Choose people who have maybe done this before for another friend or family member and know what to do.  Choose people that YOU have helped before at their event.  Choose people that are responsible and helpful and that you know will have your back and are happy to help.  There might be some people that you will ask to be a part of your Committee, but that you know won’t do squat!  That is just the way it is as some people are quite selfish.  Sometimes however, they just underestimate how much you really need their help, and they won’t really understand the importance of a team effort until its their turn to hold one for themselves.

Some people are lucky and have people lining up to help, but others have a harder time.  If you are the first person to get married out of your friends’ group, the others will not yet understand what is entailed and won’t really get how much work and help is needed to make it successful.  They may not grasp that the bridal party is supposed to do the majority of ticket sales and other running around and planning.  Sorry about this!  It is very frustrating to be stuck with all the work, and many of our clients complain about this.  So it is up to you to tell people what their jobs are (in a kind way of course).

Pick an appropriate method of updating your Fundraiser Committee Members – whether it be over email, meeting in person once per week, creating a Facebook page, etc.  We like the Facebook page because you can see when people have read things, you can see what others write, you can easily attach pictures, you can create events for meetings, etc.

For your first meeting, make a list of EVERYTHING that you will need to do (by following our handy guide of course), and start delegating.  Please take people up on their offers to help, you will need it!  A lot of people want to help but don’t know what to do to be helpful – so tell them!  Sometimes you will have to be upfront when asking for help, but in the long run, their help will be very useful.

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calendar

A common question is when should I have my Fundraiser, because there are literally 365 days to choose from, and it can be very overwhelming!  But this is one of the first decisions you need to make when planning for a Fundraiser, and it is kind of an important one.

First check with your main circle of people to ensure that the day you are considering works for them.  That is obvious right?  You would think so, but we thought we would mention it.  Perhaps give them 5 dates and ask which ones DON’T work, and cross those off your list.

Which Day of Week

Most people choose a Saturday night to hold a Fundraiser, however Friday nights can get you a better deal on some DJ’s and Halls. Midweek Fundraisers are okay, but people have commitments with kids and work so you may not get as good of a response.  We recommend sticking with a Friday or Saturday night for sure!

If its a Stag & Doe

If this is a Wedding related Fundraiser, the wedding couple usually has their Stag and Doe between one and three months before the wedding. This allows a good lead-time to generate needed funds and does not interfere with bridal showers or preparations for the ceremony and reception. With that said, we have had plenty of people hold a Stag & Doe one weekend, and get married the next weekend!  WOW!  We believe the thinking behind this is that they have so many out of town guests coming so this way they can attend them both.  But that is a lot to ask from people.  In fact, we have even seen a trend of people having a surprise Wedding at their Stag & Doe!  Can you believe it! We strongly advise against this – too much pressure and trouble to do everything all in one day and you want people to bring you gifts don’t you?!

Holiday Consideration

Anyhow, back to the question at hand – when should I have my Fundraiser.  Stay away from long weekends or too close to national holidays – you want to make sure you get the most amount of people to show up so be smart!  Summers can be tricky because of vacations too – isn’t this a difficult task?  Then you have to work around other Fundraisers or Weddings or big family events because you don’t want them to be back to back.  Basically our recommendation is to check with your closest circle of people and just pick a day, and whoever is meant to come, will be there!

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How to Create a Fundraiser Budget

Wow, there are many things to buy for this event, but do not worry as long as enough thinking and planning goes into it. We have created a Fundraiser Budget for you to follow along and fill out as you go. This keeps you on task without overspending.

Also, one thing we should mention is to not depend on your wedding party to pitch in financially if you are holding a Stag & Doe.  They are already being expected to buy dresses, tuxes, get their hair and nails done, buy you an expensive wedding gift, pay for a shower, bachelorette party, stag, devote their time to help, possibly pay for a plane ticket if its a destination wedding, etc etc..  That is asking a lot already!

Plan on spending this money out of pocket, hope for donations, and make your money back and then some after the party is done.  We know that for prizes it is common for the bride and groom to ask the wedding party to buy a bottle of booze for a booze basket, but again – do not take advantage of their generosity and plan to spend out of pocket if you must.  Follow our instructions on Donations to help in that area.  On that page we mentioned that Carrie (owner of Jack of all Spades) had her Stag & Doe in the summer of 2018, and she had 99% off her prizes donated, except for the toonie toss LCBO gift card.  Other than that, everything was donated from local businesses, so it can be done!  Don’t ask your wedding party for more, that is all we are saying 🙂  Have a Fundraiser Budget in place, stick to the plan, and hustle for those donations so that your profit margin is higher.

CLICK HERE to print the following Budget Worksheet off so that you can get to work!

Fundraiser-Budget

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how much do people make at fundraisers

The age old question we are always asked is how much people make at Fundraisers? We got the inside scoop because year after year, our clients tell us! We have had people break even from their Fundraiser (OUCH!) and we have had several people make just under $30,000.  The people who broke even (honestly maybe we have met 5 over the past 12 years) obviously did not plan this out too well, and obviously did not follow Jack of all Spades’ suggestions.  🙂 CLICK HERE to see those suggestions by the way.

The ones that made over $20k, did well with pre selling tickets, perhaps offered a dinner so charged more for the tickets, and had some pretty big booze drinkers.  The games obviously contributed to their success but it was probably more of a booze fest from what we have heard from clients when your profits are that high.

We estimate the average to be somewhere between $2500 – $6000 in profit.  How much have the games contributed to that number?  Nobody has ever been able to tell us!  It is such a chaotic night with so many people helping at once that you cannot possibly break it down that finely unless you are a total control freak lol.  We do know what are the generally profitable and popular ones, and those you can find in our Packages.

If you only end up making $100 off the games, just remember that you have provided your guests with entertainment, which kept them happier and there longer spending money on other things like booze and raffle tickets.  However we highly recommend referring to that list of suggestions, which will definitely maximize your profits.

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How to Estimate the Number of People that will Show up to your Fundraiser

In order to estimate the number of people that will come to your Fundraiser, start by making a list of family, friends, coworkers, neighbours, your parents friends, etc.  Ask your wedding party to make a list of friends or family that know the couple, and who may like to come or at least buy a ticket.

Get your committee to review the list because chances are, you forgot a ton of people. Keep in mind that some people will just buy a ticket for support but do not intend on going to the event. Once you have your list, expect that 60% to 70% will show up if you are lucky.  Even for people who say they will come, and you know that they will be there no matter what – people cancel last minute all the time, so that is to be expected.

Legally you are not permitted to advertise your event on public webpages or newspapers, but you can promote yourself within your own friends group on Facebook by inviting people personally. Make sure to give permission to others to invite to your FB page, because as long as someone is invited, they are able to come, even if you don’t know them. We just cannot have people walking off the street coming in because they heard there was a party going on.

Be weary of Facebook though because people will confirm they are coming but they may not have bought a ticket from you yet, so don’t count on their “confirmation.”  Other times people say “maybe” as a reply which really doesn’t help you at all.  The sole purpose of the Facebook Event Page is to generate excitement, invite those who you normally would not run into or who you would phone, and keep everyone updated with any important details. So do you want to know how to get an ACTUAL number to work with?

The Calculation

So as an example, let’s say that you invited 1000 people between you and your committee members and family members and facebook contacts, etc.  Out of that 1000, let’s assume that 400 will buy tickets, because let’s face it, people suck. People are weird we find – they might be totally well off (so money is not the reason) and want to support you (because they really do care for you), yet they just never seem to get around to getting the money to you and don’t make it a priority. Ok might have been a harsh things to read.  But it is hard these days to get people to commit!  

If we went with that 60%-70% statistic, approximately 240 to 280 out of the 400 who bought tickets, will attend in person.   You can also expect people to buy tickets at the door too, so assume that about 5% will do that (about another 50 people in this case).  That is an excellent turnout!  So by using this formula, this is how to estimate the number the people that will show up to your Fundraiser.

Here is the calculation again:
Number of people invited x 0.4 = number of people who might buy a ticket (lets call this "X")
Take "X" x 0.65 = number of people who may show up at your event
Take "X" x 0.05 = number of people who did NOT pre-order ticket and bought at the door
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advertising fundraisers

We understand that many people, despite the regulations, still share their event with anybody who will listen – so with the general public.  Something like – “Please invite your family and friends to attend my event” is a big no-no.   Advertising Fundraisers through social media is technically not allowed unless you do so following their guidelines.  Advertising with a Facebook group is allowed though as long as it is NOT open for the public to see.  Taken directly from the AGCO website, they said this:

Acceptable forms of notification may include social media (not available for viewing by the general public, must be a personal guest list), private invitation, etc.

They recommend to keep a list of ALL people who bought a ticket, and ALL people who said they will buy their ticket at the door.  It cannot be advertised to the public and instead seen as an invite only event.  So just ensure your settings are accurate when setting up a Facebook Event, and you are good to go! Most newspapers now know not to allow advertisements related to Fundraisers because of some legislation that went through in 2013.

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Delegating Jobs for your Volunteers

You definitely cannot do this alone so you need to recruit lots of help!  Delegate as much as you can.  We find that people want to help, they just don’t know how.  So if you can assign certain jobs for people, they will feel helpful and confident that they know what to do. Or if you don’t feel comfortable dictating what you need people to do, instead give them a list of 3 or 4 things and ask which one they can help with.

These volunteers should be people you can trust (probably family, coworkers, or close friends), as they will be handling a lot of cash. You might want to consider giving them free entrance to the event and maybe 1 or 2 free drinks. Ask them not to indulge in alcohol until they are off the clock especially if they are handling money. We offer Dealers to run the games for you – just ask us for a quote.

Most importantly, you need to create a schedule!  It will state when your helpers will arrive, when certain games are going to begin and finish, who is running them, who is the backup, when the food will be served, when last call is, who is taking the games home, who is packing up the food, etc.

You may want to post this schedule the night of the event for the volunteers so that everyone can stick to it. Keep in mind that these volunteers will want to have fun as well so give them some free time to enjoy the party.

You will need helpers to:

  • Get donations
  • Wrap prizes
  • Make signs
  • Sell tickets
  • Organize FB Event page
  • Pick up the games from us
  • Set up the games
  • Organize seating & tables
  • Get munchies on all the tables and replenish during the night
  • Run the games + relief workers for the games
  • Sell the drinks (if needed)
  • Sell raffle tickets & jello shooters (walking around the room selling)
  • Collect admission tickets and money for draws
  • Do some food prep
  • Serve the food on the buffet table
  • Clear the plates
  • Someone to keep everyone on task
  • People to set up your music and take care of that (if you did not hire a DJ)
  • Run the raffle table
  • Look after the cash that will begin to pile up!
  • Load all the empties and extra food and drink into a vehicle
  • Pack up the games, load them into a vehicle
  • Bring back the games

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Best tips for Selling Admission Tickets

Find people who are outgoing, good in the field of sales, who are well liked and know lots of people, are not afraid to ask people for things to sell your admission tickets. You should get family members to sell to family members and their friends; friends to sell to their family and friends; coworkers to sell to coworkers and their friends, etc.  Make a list of everyone you know, go through your phone contacts, go through your Facebook contacts, talk to neighbours, talk to coworkers, talk to people in your social circles at school, sporting events, or church.  Keep talking and always have your tickets handy!!

You might want to put on the ticket itself, what the major door prize will be.  That way if people have bought the ticket but are contemplating going, this will remind them of why they need to go!

Do not have just one person selling the tickets as this is a lot of pressure and not fair to them. Get many people selling them, as it is a lot of work and you will sell more this way. Do not count on people showing up at the door either just because you told them when it would be – always sell tickets in advance even if you are certain they will come. Many people will buy tickets just to show support, but will have no intention of going to the event.

You may want to consider using a ticket spreadsheet to keep track of who is selling which numbered tickets. Encourage as many people as possible to pay upfront, which will help prevent you from confirming an inaccurate number of guests with the hall.  You might also want to offer everyone that buys a ticket, to be able to win a door prize, even if they are not there.  So rip that admission ticket part off for the door prize, have them write their name and number on it, and set it aside for them. This will encourage people to buy tickets, and maybe more than one if the prize is good enough!  Or sometimes people allow them to be part of one of the grand prizes, but offer the guests that actually show up the chance to win the “super grand prize” which will encourage everyone to come!

Some people offer a special rate for couples such as this: $10 for one person, or $15 per couple.  We think that the spouse is going to come no matter what – it would be weird if you approached your aunt and she only purchased one ticket and not one for her husband.  So if she is going to buy two anyhow, don’t offer a special rate.  If you are in the Niagara region, the going rate is $5 per ticket.  Once you get to Grimsby/Stoney Creek/Hamilton, the price is more like $10.  Once you get to Burlington/Oakville, the price is more like $15 each.  Don’t get us started on Toronto prices… but we see them closer to the $20 range.  If you include a full dinner at a fancy hall, then feel free to charge more.  We like the $10 price range – as it doesn’t scare people away!

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How do I Choose the Right Games?

Obviously we are a bit biased when we suggest that you have games, but the games serve a dual purpose as it provides entertainment but it also generates money for you too.  We put together a few packages for you that are fantastic for Fundraisers.  We advise you to pick from one of our Stag & Doe Packages or even our Stag Packages that, as there are great savings here!

When you are choosing your games, keep in mind that you may want to introduce different games throughout the night to keep it interesting, rather than doing them all at the same time all night. As an example, when guests arrive they may do one round of each game and then sit at a table for the night. But if you keep bringing out new games and get people excited about new tournaments or prizes to win, they will be more likely to keep getting back off their comfortable chair!

Pick enough games that will keep your guests entertained all night, not just for half an hour. This is hard to remember because the idea of making lots of money may keep getting in the way, but the real purpose of the night is to entertain your guests and celebrate the whole reason you are throwing a Fundraiser. If you remember this and provide your guests with great entertainment all night long, the profits will just come.

When it comes to deciding WHICH games will work, just ask yourself what you would enjoy playing if at a Fundraiser.  You know your crowd best, so pick games that you think they will enjoy – pick some that are more popular with the ladies, and a few for the men.  Have a good mix so that you appeal to everyone, so that means some that are super challenging, and some that are no brainers.  Have a good variety and you will be set.  Ask us for help if you don’t know where to start.

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DJ playing musicWhat Should I do for Music?

Music relaxes people and it encourages them to stay longer and spend more money. A home stereo, renting speaker equipment, using an iPod to play downloaded music, or using Spotify playlists will work if you are under a tight budget. But that can be a lot of work to prepare the songs in advance or have a buddy look after the music selection throughout the night. If you hire a professional DJ, they can help keep your guests happy as well as keep them at the hall longer, which is key. DJ’s are trained to entertain their guests, and they can actually help you earn more money by making announcements throughout the night informing your guests of a new raffle or game that is about to start. Give them a schedule of when things are happening, such as Raffle Draws or a competition for one of the games or when the bar is shutting down.  They can hustle and take the pressure off of you to help sell things.  They can also get people to participate in games, or they can announce the Door Prize winner’s name.

But… they do come with a price.

If you have chosen a DJ, he/she should have a very large selection of music that will work for all age groups. Look at the possibility of hiring the DJ for the wedding as well, as there may be a combo discount. Decide whether you want dancing at this event or if you want your guests to concentrate on games only. If the hall is small and congested with a lot of games and activities going on, there is a good chance that less dancing will take place. However, a good selection of background music to please the guests creates an exciting ambiance. Hire the D.J. from 7pm to 1am, but keep in mind that the majority of guests tend to show up between 9pm and 10pm.  Kids today huh?! For a good D.J. you should pay between $400 and $500 however you can definitely pay up to $1000 if you get their special effects. We highly recommend checking out Spirit of Sound.

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What Food for Fundraisers should I offer?

Bringing along Food for Fundraisers is a daunting task as there are so many mouths to feed!  You can bring your own food to the hall, use the caterer at the hall, or find your own caterer. Nobody expects you to make everything, so do not be afraid to ask people to help prepare the food and have a sort of pot luck.  Lots of people may offer you help but not know how to help.  Ask them to bring an appetizer or even better – give them a few options to choose from.

Some great party food suggestions are: pizza, cracker and cheese trays, deli sandwiches (although these can be a lot of work and money), vegetable trays, fruit trays, potato salad, etc. Try to get foods that you can prepare before hand; do not have to be heated up when you get there; and that are easy for cleanup too.  Use disposable containers or foil pans as you have zero clean up when done!  Bring lots of tupperware so that you can make some take-home meals for people who could use it, assuming you have lots of food left at the end of the night. You might even want to consider Roma Pizza, as you do not have to worry about ordering hot pizza to be delivered at a certain time, and this pizza is amazing!  Just pick it up from their Barton Street location in Hamilton the day of.

We see a big trend in pig roasts and pulled pork – we are confused by this.  That is expensive!  Your guests will be just as happy to have some cheaper options that don’t include meat which will cost you an arm and a leg.  Plus with all the vegans and vegetarians taking over the world, you don’t want to neglect their needs. 🙂

Whatever you do, do not appear “chintzy.” The days of chips, cheesies, and pop won’t cut it on their own! Buy several different munchies that you can put around on the tables, as you may not serve dinner/snacks for a couple of hours, and you want to keep your guests happy while they are there.  Encourage people to stay by having a good variety of foods. We are huge fans of Costco’s Chicago Mix – a huge crowd pleaser and it will make them thirsty too.

Remember to also bring along enough plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives, paper towels, napkins, etc.  Sometimes people try to just serve finger foods so they don’t need any utensils. Many people forget about these small things until the week of – just keep your eyes open for sales and stock up!  You can always return what you don’t open so hang onto the receipts.

Designate 1-2 people to be in charge of clearing the used plates and cutlery throughout the night to cut down on the time needed at the end of the night for cleanup.  Designate someone else to refill chip bowls, and have several helpers in the kitchen to look after the food.

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What Kind of a Float Do I Need

First of all, let’s simplify things.  Do not allow bets of nickels or dimes or quarters at games.  This will eliminate having to have a separate float at each game, and to keep rolls of coins at each game.  Instead just deal in loonies and toonies and bills.  Keep it simple man!

At the front door when people enter, you will need a large float there to break people’s twenties because that is what most people will start with.  Consider renting our Deluxe Cash Box as it separates all the change and bills effectively.  You may have 10 people show up at once so you need to make it a smooth transition into the hall and take their money fast!

If you make the admission ticket price $12 for example, you will probably have to keep breaking people’s twenties over and over so plan to have a ton of change.  If instead you made the admission price an even number like $5, $10, $15 or $20, this is more efficient and you will be less likely to make a calculation error.

As far as how much change to prepare for, we really cannot answer that as it depends on how many people you have coming, how much you are charging for games and drinks, etc.  Money is money, so if you have too much “change” it is not as though it will go to waste. Worst case scenario is you bring your coins and bills back to the bank to exchange for bigger bills. You are already going to the bank to deposit the large sum of money you just made at your Fundraiser, so get way more than you are anticipating. You just trade it back in for bigger bills when you are done.  Just ensure that the front door has a ton of change, and each person manning a game or selling raffle tickets or jello shooters will wear a Money Apron, so they too will need a small float.  Throughout the night they can get more change if they run out from the front door people who carry a larger float.  You will want them to empty out the money collected thus far too, to minimize the amount of cash being carried around and possibly lost! In addition, empty out the Cash Box throughout the night and keep it somewhere safe. If you are collecting thousands or tens of thousands of dollars throughout the night, your Cash Box will be overflowing!

If you are playing a Toonie Toss game, you CAN reuse the toonies, so don’t go crazy on having TONS of toonie change.  People never think of this!

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how to set up your hall

Figuring out how to set up your hall can be tricky but we have some great tips.  Make sure that when you are setting up the tables, they are not all in straight lines like you would see at a bingo hall. Be creative and funky and change it up a bit. Maybe even draw out a layout ahead of time. From experience, we have found that you should have zones for everything: food, games, dance floor, seating area, bar, etc. This makes it easier for your guests to navigate and not miss anything. It also spreads the guests throughout the hall more evenly which will prevent people from feeling closed in and congested.  You want people to mingle and walk around rather than stay in one area the whole night.

You should put games like Blackjack, Poker, Roulette and Craps up against the wall so that your guests cannot go beside or behind the dealer and cheat. It is fun to place games like the Jail & Bail in the middle of the room, since it is free standing and will make people notice it.  Don’t throw this game in a dark corner – be strategic and place it where people will notice it!  A huge dance floor is not needed; you want the attention to be on the games, which is where you make your money. As games start to close at the end of the night around midnight, that is when the dancing may really take off, but probably not before.

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Picking up Order FAQs

Who's Credit Card is used for the Security Deposit for Pick up

We advise you to read our whole page called Security Deposit, so please CLICK HERE to read our full policy so that you understand correctly.  But in a nutshell, the person arriving for pick up must use THEIR PERSONAL Credit Card. So the Credit Card Holder needs to be present upon arrival, and the pick up person cannot use someone else’s card, even if they have a note signed by the card holder, even if they email me saying its ok, even if they are the spouse. No exceptions.

But do not fret! If that is not possible, then we encourage you to have the Credit Card Holder to fill out this form, which gives us permission to use their card, even if they are not here in person.

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Which Vehicle do I Need to Fit Games

Instead of this customer asking us Which Vehicle do I Need to Fit Games, he just showed up in a convertible sports car to pick up a Blackjack Table. Dear Lord! This picture is here to demonstrate: What Not to Do 🙂

Here is the answer: go to the top of the page to the search bar, and type in the game you are renting or are considering to rent. It will take you to its individual product page and there you will see several tabs. You might find one that says, “What Kind of Vehicle do I need for Transport” along with another called “Dimensions” and another called “How Heavy is this”. Those 3 tabs should give you plenty of information so that you show up with the most suitable vehicle. Also be sure to read “How to Prepare for Pick up” so that you know if you need blankets or bungee cords.

Alternatively, once you have paid for your order, you will automatically be emailed a list of products that you just booked. Under each product is a link that will take you right to these links we are describing. So you should be armed with info now and you’ll know Which Vehicle do I Need to Fit Games!

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How do I Pay my Balance Owing

You paid for your rental 100% when you booked, however it is quite common to add on some items before your big day.  You can pay for the balance in 3 ways:

  1. You can bring the exact change with you when we meet
  2. You can send us an E-Transfer to info@jackofallspades.ca and please make the password “carrie” if it asks for one
  3. You can pay by credit by filling out the following form. Note that there is a service charge for using Credit of 3.5%.

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How Many People are Needed to Pick this Up, and How Heavy is This

We do not assist in helping to load it or unload it into your vehicle for liability reasons.  We always advise you to bring a second person to help just in case, as we are not liable for any injury or damage to your car, so having another person there to help you will minimize any issues.

With that said, on each product page, you will see a list of tabs FULL of info! One of the tabs might say “How to Transport” as well as “How Heavy is This”. Check out those tabs. You can do this by clicking on the search button and typing your game name in the search bar. Alternatively, after booking you are sent a list of items that you booked. There will be all the links right there in your email too! So check that out, and it should help guide you so that you know if you will need help loading and unloading this into your vehicle.

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(my Event is on a Fri, Sat, or Sun)

  • Your pick up times would be on either the Thursday or Friday the week of your Event, and this does NOT change the rental fee whatsoever.
  • We are typically open on Thursday or Friday from 1030am till 4pm or 5pm.
  • You can book your time up to 2 weeks in advance of your event date
  • If you do not find a time that works for you, please ask us if we have any extended availability and we will see how we can help – just depends on our delivery schedule

(my Event is on a Mon, Tue, Wed or Thu)

  • You are free to pick up a day before your event or the day of
  • This will be counted as a one day rental and you will not be charged for the extra day
  • In special circumstances, we may require you to come the day of, but this is a very rare occasion

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What if a Game Doesn't Work

Ok, so this picture of a broken chair is not part of our inventory, but we thought that the pic went well with this page 😉 If a Game doesn’t work, we will make it right. We go to great lengths to make sure that all of our equipment is in working order before it gets to you. We inspect and clean every item after a customer has finished with it.

After you have received your items, have a good inspection of all parts.  It is best to point this out before you even load it into your car, but we know you may be distracted with the actual event planning and not even notice.

If you notice anything later on while setting your games up, it is best to give us a call asap and send a pic of whatever you have found. Or even FaceTime us if you have an iPhone by CALLING US to show us in action, so that we may help you get it working.  It is a rental company after all, and people are rough with our items, so our games are bound to need repairs from time to time.  It is possible we may already know about the issue and have a work around, or perhaps it happened to you while in transit.

Either way, it is definitely best to call us asap rather than wait until you bring it back 3 days later to tell us that you did not even use it.  There is nothing we can do for you at this point, and there will not a refund if you did not allow us to try and resolve the problem for you.

If after helping you over the phone we were not able to fix your problem, we will wherever possible offer to substitute it with something else that is comparable for you, and you can come and make the switch or if we are able to, will come there to do switch.  In some cases, we may offer you a refund, but that our discretion to make that choice. We will decide if we believe that you were the one that actually caused the damage, and if the game left our showroom in working condition. We have cameras too that we can check.

Probably won’t ever be an issue, so do not let this worry you, but we put it here just in case!

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(my Event is on a Fri, Sat, or Sun)

  • Whether your event is on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can bring the items back to us on either Monday or Tuesday, typically between 1030am and 4pm or 5pm
  • This will not change your rental fee as your are still be paying for a 1 day Rental only regardless
  • We are closed on Saturday’s and Sunday’s because we have deliveries all weekend, and any extra time we have, is spent with our families
  • You can book your drop off time up to 2 weeks in advance
  • If you do not find a time that works for you, please ask us if we have any extended availability and we will see how we can help – just depends on our delivery schedule

(my Event is on a Mon, Tue, Wed or Thu)

  • You can drop off your game during our business hours after your event
  • Or you can come the following day to drop it off during business hours
  • Either way your rental charge will remain the same
  • In special circumstances, we may require you to come the same day after your event if we need it the next morning but this is a very rare occasion
  • You can book your time up to 2 weeks in advance
  • If you do not find a time that works for you, please ask us if we have any extended availability and we will see how we can help – just depends on our delivery schedule
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Drink FAQs

What is a Special Occasions Permit

You need one of these before you can even consider holding an event that sells alcohol!  Be sure to visit the AGCO Website as well as check with the hall to make sure you are following all of their rules too, as you don’t want to have any future issues due to a misunderstanding.  Special Occasions Permit or SOP seems complicated at first, but we assure you they are not! Also know that the advice we give in this article, is based on what we knew at the time of writing this. The AGCO can at any time review and rewrite their policies so this is just a guideline.

Not sure which kind of SOP to get?  See THIS PAGE for a quick summary. If you are having a Stag & Doe, you are having a Private Event and will need a Sale Permit.

The AGCO is full of information, and they put together this 1 minute video if you want to really understand the process!

Click HERE to apply for your Permit

One other thing that the AGCO has done for you, is put together a Tip Sheet from May 2017 that should make things pretty clear for you and answer any legality questions:

AGCO TIP SHEET
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What Kind of Special Occasions Permit do I need for  my Fundraiser

Do you need a “Private”, “Public” or “Industrial” Special Occasions Permit (also known as a SOP)? Did you need a “Sale Permit” or a “No Sale Permit”? Decisions, decisions! We will break it down for you below.

A “Private Event” with a “Sale Permit” is what most of our customers end up getting for Stag & Doe’s and Fundraisers, which will cost you $150 per day.

The Permit Holder has some responsibilities: They must be present the whole event and be responsible for safety and sobriety of guests, as well as ensure that the event is run properly and in compliance with the Liquor License Act.

We are only going to talk about Private and Public Events on this page, but scroll down to see the AGCO’s tip sheet for more info on the 3 Types of Permits available.

Private Event

  • Meant for Stag & Doe’s and smaller events
  • You can only have invited guests (have a guest list)
  • There can be no intention to profit from the sale of alcohol at the event
  • You CANNOT advertise the event publicly
  • You CAN advertise through social media which is not available for viewing by general public
  • There can be no unlawful gambling
  • If indoor, must submit application at least 10 days prior. If outdoor it is 30 days prior
  • This is a great article to read: CLICK HERE as it explains in more detail what the AGCO recommends for a Private Event

Public Event

  • Meant for a Charitable Organization or Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Raise funds for charitable purposes (education, religion, relief of poverty, community, etc)
  • You are allowed to publicly advertise
  • You can offer alcohol as a prize if there is a lottery license issued to you
  • Must submit application at least 30 days prior if indoor or outdoor

Sale Permit

  • The cost is $150 per day
  • Required when there is an admission charge for the event
  • Alcohol is a cash bar, or people buy tickets to get drinks

No Sale Permit

  • The cost is $35 per day
  • Alcohol is served but is free
  • No money is collected for alcohol
  • Permit holder absorbs all costs related to alcohol

If you still want more clarification, read the AGCO’s Tip Sheet below. Otherwise, time to get started and fill out their application! CLICK HERE to get started.

 

 

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booze on a tray

When you choose a hall, they may have a bartender who manages their own sale of drinks, or they may allow you to bring in your own drinks and serve it.   We would say that for a Fundraiser, people do tend to run their own bars.  If your event is more of a Birthday party for example where you have staff waiting on you, entertainment paid for, etc., then have the hall also take care of this.  But at Fundraisers, it is common to see the volunteers running around like a chicken with their heads cut off, because the whole point is to make money, and therefore do things yourself!  You gotta put in the man hours to see the payoff.  Below we will break it down for you, so that you can decide which option suits you best.

Hall Runs Bar

Let us assume that the hall is running the bar, and they charge $4 per drink.  You can charge $5 per drink, so that you still make $1 off each beer sold. In most cases the hall runs the bar, so make sure they have a good variety of alcohol in stock. Generally, the hall rental will be much cheaper if they supply the alcohol since this will create more income for the hall.  This can save you a ton of headaches as you do not have to worry about purchasing the alcohol in advance, transporting it there, finding people to run the bar with you, ensure they have their Smart Serve, etc.

You Run your Own Bar

If you run your bar instead and charged $5 per drink, the profit is much higher as the beer probably only cost you $2 from the case – however like we mentioned, there is a lot more to it!  You have to take into account the cost of straws, beer cups, ice, bartenders, Permit to sell alcohol, etc. Running your own bar will include more work and more initial investment, not to mention liabilities. Make sure that you aware of your city by-laws as well. Have someone you trust serve the drinks who is Smart Served, or you can have a buddy obtain their Smart Serve Certification online for $34.95+tax.

So What does Jack of all Spades Recommend?

Should I run my own bar or get the hall to run the bar?  Such a common question we get!  If you are expecting a drinking crowd, then you will want to run the bar yourself as the profits are enticing.  But if you don’t want the hassle and money might not be your driving force, then have the hall run the bar on your behalf.  Your choice!


Here is a a quote from a spokesperson representing the AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario) from this article:

“If someone wants to have a party, the private event [Special Occasions Permit] allows them to serve alcohol at a location where there is no permit.  …Alcohol can be sold, but not to make a profit, or it can be served at no charge. Because the event is private, it cannot be advertised. …If the facility does have a permit …the event may be advertised, and alcohol may be sold at a profit since it’s being served by trained staff.”

In this article, she was also quoted saying:

A public event with a special occasion permit, often run by a charity, not for profit organization or religious group, can advertise and profit from the sale of alcohol, with the intent of putting the proceeds back into the community for projects or programs. However, a buck and doe falls under the category of private event, where no advertising is allowed and alcohol isn’t meant to be a money maker.

We have heard some say that the AGCO recommends that when it comes to alcohol sales, permit holders can’t make a profit.  Instead, permit holders will have to come up with an expense sheet outlining how their alcohol revenue will ONLY cover their expenses.

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Categories: Drink FAQs, Venue FAQs
1000 beer tickets

You should sell Drink Tickets for around the $4 or $5 mark, but it really does depend on which city you are in.  You see, in the Niagara region, they tend to price things cheaper and you might even see $3.50 drinks.  The closer to Burlington, the prices will be around $5 or even $6.  Head over to Toronto and you can expect prices closer to $7 or $8.  If you run your own bar or if the hall runs the bar might also dictate your prices so that you are still making a profit.

Also, remember that you cannot discount drinks – so you cannot offer $5 per drink or two drinks for $8 as an example.  It is illegal!  So if they are part of a package, you can discount the package if offering raffle tickets or game tickets, but you cannot discount the drink ticket part.

Beer

Choose 2-4 types of beer – that is it!  People will always find a beer they like based on the choices you offer.  Nobody is going to listen to the beer choices, and say “no thank you – you don’t have my brand”.  They will be fine!  Make all beers the same price, and don’t have premium beers if this is a fundraiser. Keep it simple!  So we suggest around $4 if you are in the Niagara area, or $5 if in the Grimsby/Stoney Creek/Hamilton areas.  Burlington you might want to go up to $5 or $6.  Use the Beer Ticket for this one – and if you decide to have premium beers despite our recommendation, then choose 2 colours of Beer Tickets to distinguish them.

Liquor

Some people might want to do shots, but again keep it simple!  Have 3-4 hard liquor options available (vodka, rye, rum) and don’t worry about tequila or speciality shots.  Keep this price the same as the Beer price to again keep things simple.  Use the Liquor Ticket for this one if you are selling it for a different price than Beer.

Coolers

Don’t sell coolers or ciders at your Fundraiser!  Sorry, were we too blunt there?!  These are fantastic for people attending a Fundraiser, as people like options.  But Coolers are pricey, and then you have to charge more for these plus have a different type of ticket to sell for them. This causes a tiny bit more work for the people selling the tickets, and a tiny more brain power for the bartenders when distinguishing the different coloured liquor tickets.  If you charge the same price for a Cooler as you do for a Beer, then you will be out profit wise.  They are a fun option, but your profit margin is drastically decreased.  We recommend you to just stay away from these altogether at Fundraisers.

Jello Shooters / Pudding Shots / Drunken Gummy Bears

You can sell these at the bar, but probably what is most profitable for you, would be to have some pretty girls walking from table to table selling these.  I know that is totally sexist to say… but you know we are right.  Have 2 flavours to choose from, there is no need to offer more than that. Just like our Beer comment, people won’t turn them down because you don’t have their favourite flavour. They will choose between one of the two options, we assure you! Most people charge $1 but some charge $2 especially if they are a bit bigger of a cup.  These you usually just sell with money rather than getting a special ticket for them, but if you have set up to use tickets, then use a Refreshment Ticket. We recommend that you find the cups that have lids on them so that they can be stacked and kept fresher.

Pop / Juice / Water Bottle

We suggest that you have 2 types of pop and 2 types of juices – something like gingerale, coke, cranberry juice, and orange juice.  These make for great mixers!  You would use a Refreshment Ticket for these, and we recommend only selling them for $2 each can/glass.  Water bottles can also use the same Refreshment Ticket.  If you need to charge different prices for these, then use different colours of the Refreshment Tickets, but as always we encourage you to keep things simple and of the same price.

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Category: Drink FAQs
ticket packages

Package Signage

Ticket Packages are the most common way to sell tickets at Fundraisers now. People have gotten so creative and have come with some great ways to sell Packages. Here is an example of a local girl who put together these Packages. This kind of pricing is very common, but you can change it around however you want!

This trend has people offering 3 types of Packages at a Fundraiser:

  1. Couples
  2. Singles
  3. DD’s

Obviously the Couples Package will be the most enticing and will include the liquor tickets, but don’t leave out the Singles! And of course the DD’s need their own package, so we agree with this kind of pricing and try to promote this way of thinking. It encourages people to spend more than they might have originally, but it is easy for them to make decisions too. People want to go once, buy a Package, then sit down. They don’t want to keep going up to buy one ticket at at time whenever they need it. We really cannot see any downfalls with offering Ticket Packages. We just encourage you to be fair in your pricing and not overcharge by being greedy. You want people to feel like they are getting a deal, which is the way you are supposed to feel when you buy a Package deal. Now lets take a closer look:

Couples Package

This is what we have seen as being a common Couples Package, and we have seen them for somewhere between $40 – $60. We think this is a fair offering and it is the most popular package purchased.

  • 4 beer tickets
  • 2 refreshment tickets
  • 4-6 grand prize tickets
  • 2 penny sale sheets (or 2 arms lengths of Raffle Tickets)

Singles Package

The Singles will have about half the amount offered in a Couples Package, and it would be about half the price, plus a tiny bit more. It is common to see the Singles Packages for around $25 – $35. It might include:

  • 2-3 beer tickets
  • 1 refreshment ticket (optional)
  • 2 grand prize tickets
  • 1 penny sale sheet (or an arms length of Raffle Tickets)

DD Package

This Package won’t have any alcoholic beverage tickets and will be the cheapest package offered. We commonly see this Package listed for between $15 – $25. It might include:

  • 2-3 refreshment tickets
  • 2-3 grand prize tickets
  • 1 penny sale sheet (or an arms length of Raffle Tickets)

Nevertheless, having Ticket Packages is a great way to earn more money.  Otherwise, a couple may approach the booth, and just get 2 beer tickets, 1 grand prize ticket, and 1 penny sale sheet only.  So you are definitely encouraging people to buy more by offering Packages! Important Note: You cannot specifically say that they end up getting a free beer by getting a package.  Instead you must be careful by saying that the liquor prices have not been discounted somewhere on your sign.


Separate Signage

You will also want to have a separate sign advertising what they are per ticket, because some people are just more comfortable with that. Or they might have already bought a Package and just need 1 more drink. So make sure that is clearly outlined on a sign right next to it, how much you are selling per refreshment ticket, liquor ticket, beer ticket, penny sale sheet, or raffle ticket, or even game ticket. Just make sure you are not discounting drinks, as that is illegal (buy 1 drink ticket for $5 or 5 drinks for $20).

Here are some ideas (and have a pic of the ticket beside it as people are visual):

  • Liquor Ticket: $5 (if in Hamilton region, $4 if in Niagara region, $6 if in Halton region)
  • Refreshment Ticket: $2
  • Raffle Ticket: $10 for 5 tickets, $15 for arms length, $20 for wing span
  • Penny Sale Sheet: $10
  • 50/50 Tickets: 5 for $5, or 15 for $10
  • Grand Prize Ticket: $5 each or 3 for $10

Keep it Simple!

Just don’t confuse people with having too many options, or don’t confuse them by being too wordy or having a busy sign. Keep in mind that a confused mind says NO and will instead opt for the simplest thing, and therefore you could lose out on potential profit!

If you have some different ideas on pricing, make some comments below!

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Category: Drink FAQs
How Many Cases of Drinks to Buy

Trying to figure out how many cases of Drinks to buy for your Fundraiser is certainly a huge task to take on – You don’t want too little, and don’t want too much! On average, each guest may drink 2 to 4 drinks, so you can use this number to judge how many drinks to buy.  All of our rolls of Drink Tickets come in rolls of 1000.  We will estimate that 30% of them are beer drinkers, 40% of them are mixed drink drinkers, 10% are wine drinkers, and 20% of them are non-alcoholic drinkers (pop/water) – so let’s say 10% will just drink pop, and 10% will just drink water.

Knowing this will also help you decide how many cups to purchase. Does that help? Of course, this is just a guide and you will know your crowd the best. We strongly advise you to buy MORE than you need, as things are fairly easy to return. Just advise your bartenders NOT to open up everything in the bar, and only open the case when its ready to use.

The Formula

So we have a formula for you! Just follow this formula, and it will help guide you to decide how many drinks to purchase ahead of time. Some people will have 6 drinks, others will have 1. We are using an estimate of 4 per person to simplify things, and encourage you to do the same. It is probably more like 3, but we have inflated it, because is easy drinks if you have got too much, later on.

Beer

Take the number of people expected to come x 0.3 (30% of guests drink beer) x 4 (4 drinks per person) / 24 (number of beers per case) = number of cases of 24 beers to buy. If you are using 3 kinds of beer, take that number and divide it buy 3 so you know how many of each brand of beer to buy (assuming you think people will drink all equally). Change this to 28 if you buy cases of 28.

ie) 150 expected to come x 0.3 = 45 people will drink beer
60 people x 4 drinks each = 180 beers to buy
180 beers / 24 per case = 7.5 cases to buy in total
7.5 cases / 3 brands = 3 cases of 24 beers, of EACH brand to buy

Hard Liquor

Take the number of people expected to come x 0.4 (40% of guests drink beer) x 4 (4 drinks per person) = number of people who will have mixed drinks. Give this number to the LCBO and they will advise you how many bottles of each to get – they are the experts in this area!

ie) 150 people expected x 0.4 = 60 people will drink mixed drinks
60 people x 4 per person = 240 mixed drinks will need to be made
Now give this number to the LCBO and they will direct you on what to buy

Mixers for Hard Liquor

Take number above from Hard Liquor and divide it by the number of mixers you want (usually gingerale, coke, cranberry juice, orange juice) assuming you think it will be equal amounts. So in this case you would divide that number by 4, and this will tell you how many people will be drinking each type of mixer. We will call this “X”. Then look at how many millilitres of mixer would be added to each cup, and multiply that by X, then divide that by how many millilitres are in each bottle/carton. This will tell you how many bottles or cartons to buy of EACH mixer.

ie) 240 (number from above which was how many mixed drinks to be made)
Take that number of 240 / 4 types of mixers = 60 people will be drinking a mixed drink
50ml of mixer will be added to each drink x 60 people = 3000 ml is needed in total of mixers
3000ml needed in total of mixers / 1000 (each bottle has 1000ml) = 3 bottles
So 3 bottles of EACH mixer is what you need to buy

Wine

Take the number of people attending and multiply it by 0.1 (10% of guests will drink wine only) x 4 (4 drinks per person) = number of glasses of wine to pour in total. Assuming that your guests will equally enjoy red and white, divide this number by 2 to find out how many glasses of wine you will need to put for red AND white. You should really just stick with super generic brands that will appeal to the most amount of people. Make sure to have a white AND red option, but don’t have any more than the two to choose from. Buying boxed wine is the easiest to work with, and the cheapest for you in the long run.

ie) 150 people expected to come x 0.1 = 15 people will be wine drinkers
15 people x 4 drinks per person = 60 drinks of wine to be served
60 drinks / 2 types of wine = 30 red to be served, 30 white to be served 
Take this number to the LCBO and they will help you decide which one to get

Pop

Take the number of people expected to come x 0.1 (10% of guests will drink pop only) x 4 (4 drinks per person) = number of cans to buy for people just drinking pop. If you have 3 types of pop, then take that number and divide by 3 and this will tell you how many people will be drinking each kind of pop. Remember to add this number to whatever you got from the previous calculation.

ie) 150 people expected to come x 0.1 = 15 people will drink pop
15 people drinking pop x 4 drinks per person = 60 cans of pop to buy
60 cans of pop / 3 types of pop = 20 cans of each type of pop to buy for people ONLY drinking pop.
This doesn't include the mixers so add that number to this one.

Water

Take the number of people expected to come x 0.1 (10% of guests will drink water bottles only) x 4 (4 drinks per person) = number of bottles to buy for people just drinking pop. Take this number and divide it by how many bottles are in a case, and that is how many cases of water you should buy. We think Costco sells them in cases of 30 which is the best bang for your buck!

ie) 150 people expected to come x 0.1 = 15 people will drink water
15 people drinking water x 4 bottles per person = 60 bottles needed
60 bottles / 30 per case = 2 cases to buy

Buy Extra!

Isn’t math fun?! Confused? Don’t be! It is fairly straight forward, just get your calculator out and take good notes. Now whatever you just learned in this above example, add a few on of each!! If you buy too much, just keep your receipts and return the extra pop cases you bought, or juice cartons you bought. Just ensure that they are still sealed. The LCBO and Beer Store will allow returns under some conditions. The AGCO Website says:

When returning unopened alcohol purchased from a government store, you must produce the permit and a copy of your payment records (e.g. receipts and/or invoices). Check with the retailer at which you purchased the alcohol for further details.

https://www.agco.ca/sites/default/files/sop1575_english_oct2018.pdf

Typically, The Beer Store will allow up to 20% of the beer you purchased to be returned, as long as it is a perforated case (not glued), you have your Special Occasions Permit with you, the seals of the case are not broken, and it is a full case that is unopened. The LCBO will allow returns as long as you have your receipt and it can be a saleable item again (not used).

Also one quick note, is we recommend to have a table near the bar off to the side, which has plastic cups and a jug of water.  That way the bartender won’t be overwhelmed with orders like this, when people can just do this themselves!  Shortens the line a bit and gives them a break.  All you have to do is put someone on water duty to ensure it is always full!

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Category: Drink FAQs

Measure!

You have to measure what you are pouring if you want to save money on drinks. Everyone loves a generous drink, but when you are trying to make a profit, you cannot be giving away drinks for free! See this image? That is all you need to know! Beauty!

Also have a sharpie at the bar, and have them write their name on their cup before pouring the drink. Then they can bring this cup back each time, thus saving you money on the cups.

Stay away from buying coolers – although it is nice for people to have some choices, you don’t make as much money on Coolers than you would a Beer or mixed drink. Save the coolers for home parties when entertaining a few close friends.

Lastly, if this is a Fundraiser, DO NOT buy all expensive brands. People will be happy with whatever you are serving. Do not buy super cheap brands too… just buy middle of the road brands that will be crowd pleasers.

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Category: Drink FAQs

Raffle Draws FAQs

Raffle Tickets

We hate to say it but if you must know how to sell the most Raffle Tickets at your event… but we are just going to say it.  Specifically choose some good looking men and women to sell these tickets.  Terrible isn’t it?  So shallow!  But it works.  Ev..ery..time.

Make sure they charm, smile, and hustle for best results. It is good to have a few different colours of Raffle Tickets too, because one girl can have the red tickets, and one girl can have the blue tickets. When the red ticket girl sells tickets to a group of people, the blue ticket girl can come around and ask them to buy tickets from her. When your guests say that they already have some, the blue ticket girl can say, “but you do not have my colour,” with a pouty look on her – works every time!

Typical pricing would be 3 tickets for $5, an arms length for $10, or a wing span for $20! Another good option is to also offer $15 for a hug, which means that a pretty girl will hold the tickets in her hands and will hug your guest. When her hands meet around their waist, then that is how many tickets they get. Guys are a sucker for this!

So we recognize how awful these tips are when trying to decide how to sell the most raffle tickets, but just trust us when we say it works.

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raffle draws

Need some help with how to run the Raffle Draws?  Plan to shut down the games no later than midnight, as you will need time to run the raffle draws.  When your guests purchased Raffle Tickets throughout the night, they would walk along the long line of prizes on the Prize Table, and choose which prize(s) they wanted the most.  Then they would tear half of their ticket and put it into a Raffle Container that corresponded with that Prize.

One big mistake people make when they have lots of raffle prizes, is that they use a microphone to draw the raffle prizes all at once which stops your party dead. It also drags on and on and on, and it can be annoying.  Especially if you are one of those parties that have 100 prizes.

It is a good idea to draw a couple of prizes publicly and either have the DJ announce the other winners in between songs or rent our Dry Erase Boards to post the winning numbers silently. This is a good way to keep the sale of Raffle Tickets going, as your guests will be constantly reminded about the prizes people keep winning. As the night goes on, the prizes get more expensive and more appealing, thus encouraging people to stay longer and spend more money.

Another idea is to have people write their names on the Raffle Tickets before they put them in a Raffle Container. This way, the announcer does not have to read the numbers eight times before people hear him correctly, they will understand a person’s name much easier and it will go faster.  Also, if they are not there anymore, you can get them the prize another day.  So people don’t have to stick around…. however you kind of want them too!  The longer they are there for, the more they will spend on drinks and games, so you choose what is best.

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How do I get Prizes and How Many should I get?

Buying Prizes

  • Do not rely solely on donations!
  • You may have to spend some money to make money, so look for the sales.
  • Save up your Air Miles, PC Points, or credit card points and purchase prizes
  • BBQ’s, TV’s, iPads, concert tickets, sporting event tickets, gift cards, or even gift baskets are great prizes and they are things that you can usually find on sale.
  • Never pay full price for prizes… there are deals everywhere.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open and ask around for some sales.
  • But really do your best to focus on donations so that you are not spending hundreds or event thousands on prizes. Free is better for Fundraisers!

How Many Prizes Should I Get

  • Be weary of one thing – sometimes people think the more prizes, the better.
  • It always looks impressive when the prize tables are absolutely loaded with loot.
  • Consider that it takes time to draw a ticket for a prize, so more prizes mean more time drawing, and guests can become agitated.
  • If you have a lot of smaller prizes, consider consolidating them into “Prize Packs” or letting the DJ give some away for spot dances – a great way to get your guests up dancing and enjoying themselves.
  • A good problem to have, is that you have TOO many prizes to give away.
  • If this is your case, then use these prizes for games, rather than giving away money.
  • Plan to have 1 huge Grand Prize, 2-3 smaller but still big prizes, and then a Raffle Table of about 20 -30 prizes.  You can consolidate some of them into baskets as we mentioned before.  Too many, and it will take too long to coordinate.  Too little, and nobody will want to buy tickets!
  • Consider renting our Raffle Containers as you see pictured above. Keeps things neat and tidy!

Carrie (owner of Jack of all Spades) just had her own Stag & Doe in June 2018, and 99.9% of her prizes were donated so pretty much….  All.  Of.  Them.  She bought an LCBO gift card for the toonie toss, but besides that, she was not out of pocket for anything.  She worked hard, and worked for months getting prizes, she got a quadrillion “NO’s”, but her persistence paid off.  Definitely get help though, as its a huge undertaking.  Good luck with requesting Donations for Fundraisers – see our other pages to help with Writing your Donation Request Letters and how to ask!

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Permit, License and Insurance FAQs

PAL Insurance

Nowadays, most halls require you to get Party Liability Insurance, also known as PAL, when having a Wedding, Stag & Doe, etc. which will cover you for liability from $1,000,000 to $5,000,000. Some halls have their own Insurance company that they work with and offer great rates. If fact, the Peach King Centre in Grimsby, offers a great rate so be sure to check them out! Would be nice to save you the hassle of having to apply for this separately – just another step in the planning process that you can avoid! If the hall does not offer its own Insurance, then we recommend using PAL Insurance Canada which is the most well known company that offers PAL for Stag & Doe’s and Fundraisers. Also check with your auto or home Insurance provider, as they may offer this.

The last time we checked (Feb 2019), their rates (including tax) were:

  • $150 if you have between 1 – 100 people
  • $188 if you have between 101 and 500 people
  • $220 if you have between 501 and 1000 people

Here is what PAL Insurance Canada’s website says about what they cover:

This program provides protection when lawsuits are brought against individuals, organizations or companies who host single/multi-day functions with alcohol service. Designed for event hosts who are holding reception-type events in a rented facility. A valid liquor permit or license must be in place for service of alcohol.
Events with live entertainment OR sports DO NOT qualify for this policy.
Note: DJ’s are not considered as live entertainment

https://www.palcanada.com/index.php/en-us/event-hosts/party-alcohol-liability

So just click here to fill out their simple online application, or feel free to shop around. Definitely ask your hall if they offer it though, as this could save you some time and money.

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What is a Special Occasions Permit

You need one of these before you can even consider holding an event that sells alcohol!  Be sure to visit the AGCO Website as well as check with the hall to make sure you are following all of their rules too, as you don’t want to have any future issues due to a misunderstanding.  Special Occasions Permit or SOP seems complicated at first, but we assure you they are not! Also know that the advice we give in this article, is based on what we knew at the time of writing this. The AGCO can at any time review and rewrite their policies so this is just a guideline.

Not sure which kind of SOP to get?  See THIS PAGE for a quick summary. If you are having a Stag & Doe, you are having a Private Event and will need a Sale Permit.

The AGCO is full of information, and they put together this 1 minute video if you want to really understand the process!

Click HERE to apply for your Permit

One other thing that the AGCO has done for you, is put together a Tip Sheet from May 2017 that should make things pretty clear for you and answer any legality questions:

AGCO TIP SHEET
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What Kind of Special Occasions Permit do I need for  my Fundraiser

Do you need a “Private”, “Public” or “Industrial” Special Occasions Permit (also known as a SOP)? Did you need a “Sale Permit” or a “No Sale Permit”? Decisions, decisions! We will break it down for you below.

A “Private Event” with a “Sale Permit” is what most of our customers end up getting for Stag & Doe’s and Fundraisers, which will cost you $150 per day.

The Permit Holder has some responsibilities: They must be present the whole event and be responsible for safety and sobriety of guests, as well as ensure that the event is run properly and in compliance with the Liquor License Act.

We are only going to talk about Private and Public Events on this page, but scroll down to see the AGCO’s tip sheet for more info on the 3 Types of Permits available.

Private Event

  • Meant for Stag & Doe’s and smaller events
  • You can only have invited guests (have a guest list)
  • There can be no intention to profit from the sale of alcohol at the event
  • You CANNOT advertise the event publicly
  • You CAN advertise through social media which is not available for viewing by general public
  • There can be no unlawful gambling
  • If indoor, must submit application at least 10 days prior. If outdoor it is 30 days prior
  • This is a great article to read: CLICK HERE as it explains in more detail what the AGCO recommends for a Private Event

Public Event

  • Meant for a Charitable Organization or Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Raise funds for charitable purposes (education, religion, relief of poverty, community, etc)
  • You are allowed to publicly advertise
  • You can offer alcohol as a prize if there is a lottery license issued to you
  • Must submit application at least 30 days prior if indoor or outdoor

Sale Permit

  • The cost is $150 per day
  • Required when there is an admission charge for the event
  • Alcohol is a cash bar, or people buy tickets to get drinks

No Sale Permit

  • The cost is $35 per day
  • Alcohol is served but is free
  • No money is collected for alcohol
  • Permit holder absorbs all costs related to alcohol

If you still want more clarification, read the AGCO’s Tip Sheet below. Otherwise, time to get started and fill out their application! CLICK HERE to get started.

 

 

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do i need a gambling license

To help answer this common question about whether or not you need to get a Gambling License, we went to directly to the source and have copied and pasted excerpts right from representatives of the AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario).  That way we know we are giving you the right info!  Keep in mind, that that you should definitely cross reference our advice with their website, as the information you are about to read was the most current that we knew about, at the time of writing the article (March 2019).  This is just advice that we are giving you here, but it would be wise to double check things to ensure you are doing everything by the book.

To be quite frank here, if everyone followed the AGCO’s rules perfectly, most halls would be out of business, and we would also be out of business!!  We believe you just have to be creative with how you do things.  Basically they do not like to see actual cash out at each game as they do not want people winning money.  We have been told that one idea is to instead sell raffle tickets at the front door as your guests enter, and they can use these raffle tickets to “gamble” with at the games.

They can give a raffle ticket to the person running the Golf Putt Challenge game for example vs. actual money and get a shot at it.  Just like they do when you go to a town fair – you give them money, they give you game tickets, and that is how you play their games.  The other way around things from what we have heard, is to not give away money as a prize, but instead an actual tangible prize.  If it is donated then even better!

One other important thing to note, is that they say Games of Skill are good but Games of Chance are bad.  So games like Hockey Shootout, Hole in One, Bra Pong, Bean Bag Toss – these all requires skill.  Other games like the Wheels and Plinko are all won by chance.  With that said, the Crown & Anchor and Plinko, are our most popular rentals, so figure that one out!

A spokesperson from the AGCO was quoted in this article saying that Games of Skill are acceptable as well as a few other ideas:

As for games of chance and 50-50 tickets, she said people holding a stag and doe can try different ones (games of skill are allowed) or an auction, or simply charge more for tickets.

So that is why it is important to ask the hall if they have a gambling license because then you are permitted to run raffles.  In this article, they are quoted saying that there are 5 ways to make money at your fundraiser:

– Ticket Sales
– Donations
– Silent Auctions – get prizes donated, but no liquor bottles.  You can get LCBO or Beer Store gift certificates and have people write their bids down on a piece of paper. Try to get the Bride’s side bidding against the Groom’s side to increase the bid amounts
– Live Auction (same as above except with a lively auctioneer!)
– Games of Skill – not chance (putting contests, scoring contests, nailing the log, guessing how many jelly beans in a jar etc.) and then all of the funds raised through these methods go directly to the Bride and Groom

So now that we have cleared that all up for you, are things clear as mud now?!

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Game FAQs

How Far in Advance Should I Book?

People are always asking How Far in Advance Should I Book? Super common question!  We always say the same thing – asap!  Some of the games we have 13 in stock, others we only have 1 version.  So if there are particular games that are deal breakers and you have your heart set on them, then book book book!  You can always just book the must have games for now, and add more down the road when you get a better handle on things.

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Can I see Games in Person before Booking

Of course you can come See the Games in person!  You just have to make an appointment first, so PLEASE CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with us.  We are typically closed on weekends but can accommodate sometimes if we are able to.  If you do not find a time that works for you, please ask us for our extended availability and we will see how we can help!

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How many games should i rent

This is a tricky question, and not one we can answer in just a sentence or two. The question we always get is: How many Games Should I Rent? This depends on 4 things when we break it down:

  • The Crowd
  • The Logistics of the Night
  • How Long your Event is
  • The Number of Guests

The Crowd

  • Think about who is coming, and what they would enjoy. Also think about how much they will be willing to spend, as games like Blackjack, Roulette and Poker require some more cash than a game like Hockey Shootout. Some people are all about gambling at Casino Tables, whereas others just like the easy games that do not require much thinking or know-how. Have a good mix.

The Logistics of the Night

  • Think about when you are serving food, and what other surprises you have planned for your guests and try to make the evening flow nicely. Make sure to create a schedule.
  • We suggest that you continually bring out new games throughout the night to raise excitement and anticipation. Calculate how many hours you expect people to stay, how often you want to bring out more games, and you have got your number.
  • If you have a ton of games, keep some out the whole night, and others bring out slowly.  So perhaps the Jail & Bail and Crown & Anchor is out the whole time, but bring out the Bra Pong from 9-10 and the Punch a Bunch from 11-12 as an example.  
  • Make sure to advertise and really talk it up that those games (with the help from your DJ) and tell people that it will only be out for certain times.
  • Just don’t bring out everything all at once.  As the excitement dies down and people leave.

How Long your Event is

  • If you only have the hall for 5 hours, don’t cram it with activities as it is too much for people to digest
  • You want variety but you don’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed by the amount of action happening, as they need some quiet and downtime
  • If you have the hall for longer, then gradually bring things out to generate interest over a longer period of time

The Number of Guests

  • This is purely for illustration purposes and it is just a suggestion, but here are some good guidelines:
    • 50-100 people: 3-4 games
    • 100-200 people: 4-5 games
    • 200-300 people: 5-6 games
    • 300 or more: 6+ games
  • Note that the number of games suggested above, can include toonie toss and other smaller games, so by no means are we suggesting that you rent 6 games off of us.  Most people tend to rent 3-4 from us as they might have a Pie in the Face, Guess the Bottle Caps in a jar, etc.
  • You just don’t want people to be bored, but you also don’t want too many options.  The more options you have, the more people you need to help run them!
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Are your Prices Negotiable

Our prices are firm because we go to great lengths in staying competitive with our pricing.  We regularly execute market research to compare our prices to ensure we are in line with others in the same industry.  We even have surveys that pop up on our website from time to time asking people what they think about our prices.  88% of people surveyed, continue to tell us that our prices are acceptable and are competitive. If you are from the Toronto region, you may think that you have died and have gone to heaven because our prices are pennies compared to Toronto pricing!

Plus we offer a ton of Packages and other ways to get discounts, which is just another way we keep our customers happy with the value that they receive.

Our advice is… if you find other companies that have a lower rental cost, just remember the age old saying – You get what you pay for! We have found that other rental companies continue to rent out equipment well past their expiry date, and do not have any sort of maintenance schedule to keep on top of damage.

If you don’t care that the crown and anchor wheel is wobbly, worn down, has tears on the face of the wheel when people have ripped their signs off with packing tape, and that all the bearings are worn out – then be our guest and rent with them.  But if you want quality games that won’t let you down and will make your event step up a notch in sophistication, then you know who to call, and it isn’t the Ghost Busters!

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How Much Profit can I make from Games

Go to the search bar and type in your game which will take you to the specific Product Page for that game.  Look for the tab called “How to Profit” and there you will find all the info required to make it a success! In this section it will tell you how to run the games in order to make a profit and what to charge your guests.  

Or you can visit our GAME RENTAL SIGNS page, and this will give you a quick idea as to how to run your game and make a Profit on Games. Alternatively, once you book, you will given an email that will detail your order. Under each item, will be these very same links to help you make a profit.

If you want a number, we cannot give you one simply because there are SO MANY FACTORS that go into your success! With that said, we can give you some ideas on how NOT to break even, and how to maximize your profits instead. But if you want individual tips by game, follow our instructions at the top of this page.

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Do you Deliver or do Pick Up my Order

So you are wondering if we Deliver your order for you, or if you are responsible for Picking up your order. Here is your answer: Yes we deliver, and yes you have to pick up…. Let us explain!

We deliver only for large Casino Nights or Corporate Functions, Weddings, Fundraisers, as well as some Home Parties.  We reserve our time for these larger events and do not deliver for Stag & Doe’s or Stags. Plus the whole point of those last two parties are to make money, not spend it!

Also there are some games, such as our DELUXE TABLES, that we do not offer Pick up as an option, so in some cases you have to use our Delivery Services.

With that said, we are super flexible with when you can come pick up your order and drop off your order.  Usually you can come a day or two in advance, and then return it a day or two after your event.  You would not incur extra charges for this, so not to worry!

ie) for a Saturday event, you would pick up on either the Thursday or Friday, and return it to us on either the Monday or Tuesday.

For a ton more detail on Delivery, please CLICK HERE.

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Which Vehicle do I Need to Fit Games

Instead of this customer asking us Which Vehicle do I Need to Fit Games, he just showed up in a convertible sports car to pick up a Blackjack Table. Dear Lord! This picture is here to demonstrate: What Not to Do 🙂

Here is the answer: go to the top of the page to the search bar, and type in the game you are renting or are considering to rent. It will take you to its individual product page and there you will see several tabs. You might find one that says, “What Kind of Vehicle do I need for Transport” along with another called “Dimensions” and another called “How Heavy is this”. Those 3 tabs should give you plenty of information so that you show up with the most suitable vehicle. Also be sure to read “How to Prepare for Pick up” so that you know if you need blankets or bungee cords.

Alternatively, once you have paid for your order, you will automatically be emailed a list of products that you just booked. Under each product is a link that will take you right to these links we are describing. So you should be armed with info now and you’ll know Which Vehicle do I Need to Fit Games!

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What if a Game Doesn't Work

Ok, so this picture of a broken chair is not part of our inventory, but we thought that the pic went well with this page 😉 If a Game doesn’t work, we will make it right. We go to great lengths to make sure that all of our equipment is in working order before it gets to you. We inspect and clean every item after a customer has finished with it.

After you have received your items, have a good inspection of all parts.  It is best to point this out before you even load it into your car, but we know you may be distracted with the actual event planning and not even notice.

If you notice anything later on while setting your games up, it is best to give us a call asap and send a pic of whatever you have found. Or even FaceTime us if you have an iPhone by CALLING US to show us in action, so that we may help you get it working.  It is a rental company after all, and people are rough with our items, so our games are bound to need repairs from time to time.  It is possible we may already know about the issue and have a work around, or perhaps it happened to you while in transit.

Either way, it is definitely best to call us asap rather than wait until you bring it back 3 days later to tell us that you did not even use it.  There is nothing we can do for you at this point, and there will not a refund if you did not allow us to try and resolve the problem for you.

If after helping you over the phone we were not able to fix your problem, we will wherever possible offer to substitute it with something else that is comparable for you, and you can come and make the switch or if we are able to, will come there to do switch.  In some cases, we may offer you a refund, but that our discretion to make that choice. We will decide if we believe that you were the one that actually caused the damage, and if the game left our showroom in working condition. We have cameras too that we can check.

Probably won’t ever be an issue, so do not let this worry you, but we put it here just in case!

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How many people each Casino Table Accommodates

It helps to be able to understand How Many People each Casino Table Accommodates so that you can do your planning properly and have the right amount of tables. You don’t want too many because it is a sad party when the room looks empty, but you also don’t want too few because not everyone will get a turn. People might not feel like waiting in line to play, and will just give up. Below we have a list of our Casino Games so that you can judge how many people will be able to play at any given time.

The following can accommodate up to 6 people at any given time:

  • Roulette
  • Craps
  • Crown & Anchor
  • Horse Race Wheel
  • Car Race Wheel
  • Jungle Race Wheel

These Casino Tables can look after more:

  • The Blackjack Table seats 7 plus a dealer
  • The Poker Table seats 9 plus a dealer.

Now that you have this info, it should help guide you in choosing the appropriate amount of games suitable to the size of your party, and it should answer your main question of how many people each Casino Table accommodates.

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What Percentage of Guests will Gamble

Well of course it can be hard to predict what Percentage of Guests will Gamble during a Casino Night.  You see, if you have couples coming, they may watch each other play so there might only be one participant at a Blackjack Table even though there are 2 people standing there as an example. If it is all coworkers, then you may have more participation but this depends on the ratio of females vs males.  Males typically are bigger gamblers but that is not to discredit the females.  Certain games attract certain genders too.

Now that we have totally confused you, we will try to help you with a number.  A good rule of thumb is to try to find enough games for 40% of your people.  So if you expect 100 to show, only find games that will accommodate around 40 at any given time.

Lucky for you, we have put together a spreadsheet that breaks down our recommendations based on the number of people you expect to come, and based on that 40% figure.  Aren’t we kind?!  CLICK HERE to see a breakdown of how many people can play a Casino Game at any given time.

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how many casino tables to rent

Once you have looked into how Many People each Casino Table Accommodates, as well as What Percentage of Guests will Gamble, you are well equipped to figure out how many Casino Tables to rent. Lucky for you, we have put together a handy spreadsheet where all you have to do is look at how many people will be in attendance, and it will dictate our suggestions on which tables to rent, and how many of each. Smart huh?!

Blackjack is always the most popular, followed by Roulette, and then Poker and so on.  The other Casino Games are extremely popular as well, but if you are going to have multiples of games, you may want multiples of the first three mentioned here.

Here is a super convenient and dummy proof spreadsheet which will help you get started.  It is broken down by game, and by how many guests you expect to attend.  Then we took 40% of that number and came up with a breakdown of what you may want to consider renting. Of course, this is just a guideline – you know your people better and what they would enjoy playing.  If you still need help deciding on quantities, just ask!

CLICK HERE to print the table that you see below OR to see a larger version of it.  

How Many Casino Tables to Rent

If you like our suggestions on How Many Casino Tables to Rent, and are ready to book, then head over to our CASINO NIGHT PACKAGES to make sure you get some discounts on your Casino Night!

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How do i book Dealers

You might be wondering – How do I Book Dealers? When you book online with us, it will specifically ask you if you would like our Dealers if you are looking at one of our Casino Tables. It will ask you which city your event is taking place in, and that is all it needs to know!

You will get your price immediately while booking your games, which is fantastic. No guessing, no email tag, no back and forth. Get your price right away!

Jack of all Spades will, on your behalf, contact the company that we subcontract our Dealers from, and provide them with all the information that you provided for your event. This company will take care of hiring the Dealers for your event, and they will contact you to figure out how you want the games run. The Owner of the Dealing company (Vince) is fabulous to work with, and we have partnered with him for 12 years now! He might ask you questions like how you will like the games played, if there will be any raffles, how the poker chip structure will look like, or how the raffle ticket structure will look like. Don’t have any clue how to run a Casino Night for profit? Or is this just for entertainment yet you aren’t sure how to make it all come together? Don’t worry! His company is wonderful and he will guide you through every step till you are comfortable.  

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How to Avoid Breaking Even on a Game

We have tons of tips for you to consider so that you know How to Avoid Breaking Even on a Game. Keep in mind however, that there are many variables involved when trying to maximize your profits and your success is dependent upon so many things! So although we cannot guarantee success on raising money for any of our games, we definitely have some excellent tips on how to avoid disappointment.

Your Success Depends on:

  • How well organized you are (if you are forgetting lots of things and are running around last minute, that will not make for a smooth event and you could be losing out of the effectiveness of games)
  • How well you pump up the excitement about the games (whether you advertised on your Facebook page ahead of time the games that will be there, how much the DJ talks up a game on the mic, etc.)
  • If you had someone manning the game the whole night (we have been to Fundraisers where they had all of our games lined up, but only one person watching over them… IF they were there.  So we walked up to a game to play, but nobody was there to take our money so we walked away)
  • You didn’t choose games like Roulette or Craps – although these are fantastic fun games for a Casino Night, you cannot run them in a way to guarantee yourself a profit.  In games like Blackjack and Poker, you can run it to guarantee yourself a profit, so keep that in mind.
  • How well you advertised the games around the room (be sure to rent our Signs as they stand out and explain the price and prize efficiently)
  • Who you have chosen to run the games (pick fun outgoing people who are happy to help.  Not your quiet sister who sits on a chair not making eye contact with anyone and giving off bad vibes)
  • If your helpers are quick with counting (honestly, sometimes these helpers are either too drunk or not super good at math and end up giving away your profits without realizing it)
  • If your helpers are sober and on the ball (so they might have one or two, but if they are hammered at your Event, don’t expect too much from them in terms of reliability and efficiency)
  • Where you set up your games (don’t pick dark places are in the back corner, but put them in people’s faces.  For instance some people like to set up the Jail & Bail game right in the middle of the room, rather than against a wall)
  • Average age group of your guests (young 20 year olds may not have as much disposable income as 40 year olds so they will spend different amounts.  The younger crowd might be more willing to spend money on drinks, where the older crowd would be a mixture of games and drinks.  Seniors typically do not drop hundreds while at these events either, as they are known to be more conservative spenders.  Also if you are the first person to get married in your friends group if this is a Stag & Doe, your friends won’t get it yet.  They won’t understand that the point is to make you money and they are expected to play some games)
  • How many games you have (you don’t want too many or too little)
  • How much variety of games you are offering (don’t rent 3 types of Golf games – have some variety to suit all tastes and skill levels)
  • How much you are charging for your games (too high, and nobody will play.  Too low and you are losing out on profits)
  • What the prizes are if they win (make it worth their while but don’t be reckless and spend thousands on prizes as you should aim to get them mostly donated)
  • What else you may be focusing on (entertainment, DJ, dancing, silent auctions, etc.)
  • Number of people in attendance (having 50 people show compared to 300 people show is a large difference!)

So take these into consideration and have a good plan in place to avoid all of these, and maximize your profits!

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Category: Game FAQs
How do I Choose the Right Games?

Obviously we are a bit biased when we suggest that you have games, but the games serve a dual purpose as it provides entertainment but it also generates money for you too.  We put together a few packages for you that are fantastic for Fundraisers.  We advise you to pick from one of our Stag & Doe Packages or even our Stag Packages that, as there are great savings here!

When you are choosing your games, keep in mind that you may want to introduce different games throughout the night to keep it interesting, rather than doing them all at the same time all night. As an example, when guests arrive they may do one round of each game and then sit at a table for the night. But if you keep bringing out new games and get people excited about new tournaments or prizes to win, they will be more likely to keep getting back off their comfortable chair!

Pick enough games that will keep your guests entertained all night, not just for half an hour. This is hard to remember because the idea of making lots of money may keep getting in the way, but the real purpose of the night is to entertain your guests and celebrate the whole reason you are throwing a Fundraiser. If you remember this and provide your guests with great entertainment all night long, the profits will just come.

When it comes to deciding WHICH games will work, just ask yourself what you would enjoy playing if at a Fundraiser.  You know your crowd best, so pick games that you think they will enjoy – pick some that are more popular with the ladies, and a few for the men.  Have a good mix so that you appeal to everyone, so that means some that are super challenging, and some that are no brainers.  Have a good variety and you will be set.  Ask us for help if you don’t know where to start.

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Security Deposit FAQs

Do you charge a Damage Deposit

Yes we do charge a Damage Deposit, however we call it a Security Deposit.  The full details about this process can be found in our Rental Agreement, so be sure to read that section!  Every order no matter how big or how small, will be responsible for this Deposit, to cover for any future damage or lost items.

RENTAL AGREEMENT
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Who's Credit Card is used for the Security Deposit for Pick up

We advise you to read our whole page called Security Deposit, so please CLICK HERE to read our full policy so that you understand correctly.  But in a nutshell, the person arriving for pick up must use THEIR PERSONAL Credit Card. So the Credit Card Holder needs to be present upon arrival, and the pick up person cannot use someone else’s card, even if they have a note signed by the card holder, even if they email me saying its ok, even if they are the spouse. No exceptions.

But do not fret! If that is not possible, then we encourage you to have the Credit Card Holder to fill out this form, which gives us permission to use their card, even if they are not here in person.

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Who's Credit Card is used for the Security Deposit for Delivery

We advise you to read the whole section called Security Deposit from our Rental Agreement, so please CLICK HERE to read our full policy so that you understand correctly.  But in a nutshell, it does not matter who is there upon our arrival, because you will have already filled out the Security Deposit form, which gives us permission to use a credit card.  We find this much easier than trying to arrange the credit card holder to be present when we deliver.  You have enough to worry about that day so we encourage you to fill out this form asap, so that we do not have to track you down the week of!

Please fill out this form ASAP if you have already booked our Delivery Services:

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What is the Charge if we Damage Something

That is a very loaded question!  So many factors go into this decision, and note that the decision is ours as to what to do.  If the item you rented was nearing its end before needing to be replaced, then we probably won’t charge you anything.  If the game left our showroom in perfect condition and came back something else, then you can guess that you will be charged.

How much depends on the severity of the damage, if it can be repaired or if it has to be replaced, how well you tried to avoid the damage, etc.

If you pull a blackjack table out of your van and it has a tear in the leather and you claim it was there before, we will check the invoice to see if you signed off saying that it was in perfect condition when you received it.  Also, we can check cameras if we feel we must.  But if you are trying to claim that you did not cause the damage, or that it was there when you got it, there is nothing we can do if you signed off saying it was perfect.  

Also we watch when you load up your vehicle to see if you follow our instructions correctly.  We advise all clients to bring padding and blankets and tie downs and bungee cords if necessary.  If you neglected to do any or some of those things, and instead crammed everything on top of each other while not taking any consideration into protecting the items, then you will most definitely incur a charge. We do have video cameras recording everything too, so that no false accusations can be made on either side. Taking your coat off to use as padding is not what we recommend, and it kills us every time someone offers to do this because they did not read the instructions about bringing protection!!  Sometimes people ask us to borrow our blankets or bungee cords – we used to help out people but we found that 100%… yes 100%… did not bring them back to us, so we stopped that practice.  The onus is on you to protect things will in transit.

This is what the security deposit is for – it covers for mishaps like this.  If we made the security deposit only $50 per order, people would be more likely to be careless.  But by charging a minimum of $250, we are trying to encourage people to take care of our equipment as if it were their own.  We have a list of all fees for replacing items, so all you have to do is ask what the fee is prior to taking it if you wish, and we will fully disclose it to you.

If the damage exceeds the original amount that was pre-authorized on your credit card, we will attempt to charge it to the card provided.  If the proper funds are not available to us, you will be responsible for paying for the damage by e-transfer or cash.  We will give you 3 days after we find out about the damage to pay for it so that we may begin repairs in time for the next customer coming that weekend.

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Who has to pay for the Damage or Lost Items?

We understand how hard it is to rely on other people to help you with delicate matters, especially when a Securit Deposit is involved.  Time and time again, people return their games with missing items because their helpers at the party didn’t know it belonged to Jack of all Spades and threw it out.  Or their buddy loaded the games in the car for them but then put a hole in one of the games because of carelessness.  Or used a permanent marker on one of our game rental signs, while helping to write in the price to be charged.  Or brought it back 3 days late because they were busy and didn’t think it would be a big deal.  And the list goes on and on!

These people are not trying to make your life difficult, but it happens often unfortunately.  Whoever’s name is on the invoice, is ultimately responsible for looking after the items at all times.  Whoever’s credit card we have for the security deposit is ultimately responsible for paying for damaged or missing items.

With that said, if you FIND the missing item, then please call us!  We would love to have the item back and this is far more important to us than to charge you a replacement fee.  We will offer you a refund for the fee we charged you if the item has been returned to us in the same condition in which it was received.

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When Do I get my Security Deposit back

When we take the Security Deposit on your credit card, your bank holds back that amount from your credit limit for a few days.  People are always wanting to know exactly when they might receive their Security Deposit back.  Each bank is different however usually after 3-5 days it will release it back to your credit limit automatically. So we do not actually touch it or have anything to do with releasing it!

If the bank does not hear from us about any charges, then they take care of this on their own. If you return damaged items or you lose something, then your account will be charged that amount and the bank will release the remainder back to you when they are ready.

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Venue FAQs

What Questions to ask Halls when looking for a Venue

Now that you have your date and number of guests in mind, it is time to choose a hall. Luckily we have compiled a list of questions to ask Halls, to keep you organized.  Keep in mind that if you have many out-of-town guests that you expect to come, you will want to pick a location that is easily accessible from highways, and possibly close to a hotel. If you have guests scattered from Toronto to Niagara, pick an in-between location so that you can hopefully maximize your turnout.  Don’t pick some that are super remote, because you want to be a convenient location.

Once you know what part of town you are looking at, start Googling for local places! Start making calls or emails, ask for recommendations on Facebook or other social media to get people’s input, and ensure to ask these questions.

Now that you have your date and number of guests in mind, it is time to choose a hall. Luckily we have compiled a list of questions to ask Halls, to keep you organized.  Keep in mind that if you have many out-of-town guests that you expect to come, you will want to pick a location that is easily accessible from highways, and possibly close to a hotel. If you have guests scattered from Toronto to Niagara, pick an in-between location so that you can hopefully maximize your turnout.  Don’t pick some that are super remote, because you want to be a convenient location.

Once you know what part of town you are looking at, start Googling for local places! Start making calls or emails, ask for recommendations on Facebook or other social media to get people’s input, and ensure to ask these questions.

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Category: Venue FAQs
Which Hall to Rent once you see them in Person?

Once you narrow down a few halls to go check out after making the phone calls and getting your answers, now it is time to see them in person.  Let us help you decide which Hall to Rent, now that you have done all your preliminary research.

Make sure that you get a tour of their kitchen.. You can tell a lot about the place judging by the cleanliness of the hall’s food preparation area. Everything must appear clean and organized, do not be afraid to open a fridge or two. Ask for references from previous events catered by this hall if you are using their catering services.

Also check out their bathrooms, as this speaks volumes. Is there soap and paper towels in both the men’s and women’s washrooms? Do the washrooms look and smell clean? It seems obvious, but many people forget to look for these things. You want your guests to feel welcome, have some good food, and feel like they are in a clean environment so that they will stay alllllll night and spends lottttts of money!

Some halls have different sized rooms to choose from. The hall has to make sure that they obey all fire codes and their hall will accommodate your party size, so be honest with your number of guests you expect to come. You want your guests to feel comfortable in the room, and when a room of 100 people feels like 20, then your room is too big, and people will be less likely to go play games or dance since they will feel too self-conscious. On the other hand, when the room is filled with 20 people but it feels like 100, then the room is too small, and people will feel closed in and will not want to stay and keep spending money.

Take the hall’s advice, as they will know by experience what room may be most suitable for you. Remember, if a hall holds 200, you should be okay if your expected number of guests is 250, as many guests will only stay a couple of hours and some may not come at all.  Go with your gut instinct, and choose a location that is central to where the majority of your guests will travel to.  Don’t choose a remote location just because it was cheap.  You will lose out big time if it is not convenient.

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Category: Venue FAQs
booze on a tray

When you choose a hall, they may have a bartender who manages their own sale of drinks, or they may allow you to bring in your own drinks and serve it.   We would say that for a Fundraiser, people do tend to run their own bars.  If your event is more of a Birthday party for example where you have staff waiting on you, entertainment paid for, etc., then have the hall also take care of this.  But at Fundraisers, it is common to see the volunteers running around like a chicken with their heads cut off, because the whole point is to make money, and therefore do things yourself!  You gotta put in the man hours to see the payoff.  Below we will break it down for you, so that you can decide which option suits you best.

Hall Runs Bar

Let us assume that the hall is running the bar, and they charge $4 per drink.  You can charge $5 per drink, so that you still make $1 off each beer sold. In most cases the hall runs the bar, so make sure they have a good variety of alcohol in stock. Generally, the hall rental will be much cheaper if they supply the alcohol since this will create more income for the hall.  This can save you a ton of headaches as you do not have to worry about purchasing the alcohol in advance, transporting it there, finding people to run the bar with you, ensure they have their Smart Serve, etc.

You Run your Own Bar

If you run your bar instead and charged $5 per drink, the profit is much higher as the beer probably only cost you $2 from the case – however like we mentioned, there is a lot more to it!  You have to take into account the cost of straws, beer cups, ice, bartenders, Permit to sell alcohol, etc. Running your own bar will include more work and more initial investment, not to mention liabilities. Make sure that you aware of your city by-laws as well. Have someone you trust serve the drinks who is Smart Served, or you can have a buddy obtain their Smart Serve Certification online for $34.95+tax.

So What does Jack of all Spades Recommend?

Should I run my own bar or get the hall to run the bar?  Such a common question we get!  If you are expecting a drinking crowd, then you will want to run the bar yourself as the profits are enticing.  But if you don’t want the hassle and money might not be your driving force, then have the hall run the bar on your behalf.  Your choice!


Here is a a quote from a spokesperson representing the AGCO (Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario) from this article:

“If someone wants to have a party, the private event [Special Occasions Permit] allows them to serve alcohol at a location where there is no permit.  …Alcohol can be sold, but not to make a profit, or it can be served at no charge. Because the event is private, it cannot be advertised. …If the facility does have a permit …the event may be advertised, and alcohol may be sold at a profit since it’s being served by trained staff.”

In this article, she was also quoted saying:

A public event with a special occasion permit, often run by a charity, not for profit organization or religious group, can advertise and profit from the sale of alcohol, with the intent of putting the proceeds back into the community for projects or programs. However, a buck and doe falls under the category of private event, where no advertising is allowed and alcohol isn’t meant to be a money maker.

We have heard some say that the AGCO recommends that when it comes to alcohol sales, permit holders can’t make a profit.  Instead, permit holders will have to come up with an expense sheet outlining how their alcohol revenue will ONLY cover their expenses.

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Categories: Drink FAQs, Venue FAQs
how to set up your hall

Figuring out how to set up your hall can be tricky but we have some great tips.  Make sure that when you are setting up the tables, they are not all in straight lines like you would see at a bingo hall. Be creative and funky and change it up a bit. Maybe even draw out a layout ahead of time. From experience, we have found that you should have zones for everything: food, games, dance floor, seating area, bar, etc. This makes it easier for your guests to navigate and not miss anything. It also spreads the guests throughout the hall more evenly which will prevent people from feeling closed in and congested.  You want people to mingle and walk around rather than stay in one area the whole night.

You should put games like Blackjack, Poker, Roulette and Craps up against the wall so that your guests cannot go beside or behind the dealer and cheat. It is fun to place games like the Jail & Bail in the middle of the room, since it is free standing and will make people notice it.  Don’t throw this game in a dark corner – be strategic and place it where people will notice it!  A huge dance floor is not needed; you want the attention to be on the games, which is where you make your money. As games start to close at the end of the night around midnight, that is when the dancing may really take off, but probably not before.

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Delivery FAQs

Do you Deliver or do Pick Up my Order

So you are wondering if we Deliver your order for you, or if you are responsible for Picking up your order. Here is your answer: Yes we deliver, and yes you have to pick up…. Let us explain!

We deliver only for large Casino Nights or Corporate Functions, Weddings, Fundraisers, as well as some Home Parties.  We reserve our time for these larger events and do not deliver for Stag & Doe’s or Stags. Plus the whole point of those last two parties are to make money, not spend it!

Also there are some games, such as our DELUXE TABLES, that we do not offer Pick up as an option, so in some cases you have to use our Delivery Services.

With that said, we are super flexible with when you can come pick up your order and drop off your order.  Usually you can come a day or two in advance, and then return it a day or two after your event.  You would not incur extra charges for this, so not to worry!

ie) for a Saturday event, you would pick up on either the Thursday or Friday, and return it to us on either the Monday or Tuesday.

For a ton more detail on Delivery, please CLICK HERE.

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Who's Credit Card is used for the Security Deposit for Delivery

We advise you to read the whole section called Security Deposit from our Rental Agreement, so please CLICK HERE to read our full policy so that you understand correctly.  But in a nutshell, it does not matter who is there upon our arrival, because you will have already filled out the Security Deposit form, which gives us permission to use a credit card.  We find this much easier than trying to arrange the credit card holder to be present when we deliver.  You have enough to worry about that day so we encourage you to fill out this form asap, so that we do not have to track you down the week of!

Please fill out this form ASAP if you have already booked our Delivery Services:

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What Time Will You Deliver & Pick Up

Delivery Time

When you book, we ask you some questions related to when you would like this delivered along with all of your preferences.  We take your timing preferences into account when scheduling and will have to work around our existing Delivery Schedule with other customers.  We will confirm with you, on the MONDAY PRIOR over email, and will provide a 30-60 minute window of when to expect us.

Pick Up Time

We will usually come back the next day to pick up the order, but we are sometimes able to come the same night.  It just depends where all of our other deliveries are, and we manage that accordingly.  Some halls are sticklers and need everything out that night, so we do our best to accommodate everyone!  Same thing as Delivery – we will confirm the the pick up time with you the Monday prior to your event.

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Category: Delivery FAQs