Casino Nights - Create Your Own Monte Carlo Fun(d)raiser

by Dave Brown
Get inspired by Eva Heroes Celebrity Casino Night

If you don't live in the U.S, you may never have heard of fundraising events like "Casino Nights" or "Monte Carlo Nights".

With Americans giving more than $1 billion in charity per day, yes PER DAY, one can imagine fundraisers constantly need to look for fun ideas for their fundraising event. Gaming themes have proved to be a very profitable theme, not at least for celebrity fundraising events. Eva's Heroes Casino Night & Poker Hold'em Tournaments are just a few solid examples. There are many variations of Poker & Casino nights, with several celebrities building their entire fundraising work on this theme. But it's not only a celebrity theme. As casino nights don't involve any real money gambling, they are legal all over the US and have turned into a successful revenue generator for charity organizations looking to find more support in local communities. 

What is a "Casino Night" Fundraiser?

Casino Nights are NOT about a night out at a local casino or a trip to Monte Carlo. When a friend of mine got an invitation to a "Casino Night Fundraiser", she actually thought the casino was in need of money, something I thought was quite funny...

So what are these nights really about? In one word - FUNDRAISING!

Casino nights are actually one theme of the larger "Gaming Theme" and they are held all over the U.S, as well as in the UK, Australia and of course, in Monte Carlo. But not yet in Scandinavia. When an event is called a "Casino Night" you can usually expect to be able to play some Blackjack or Roulette when called "Poker Night", you will need to read up on your poker skills as that will be the main game for that specific event.

How are the donations made?

The donations are made by letting guests pay an entry ticket and during the evening pay for "play money" to use at the table games.

How to organize your own Casino Night Fundraiser

Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

  • Find a spacious location for the event and make sure it can accommodate all of the gaming tables, raffle area, and food buffet or ring dance.

  • Get in touch with the local media and market the event and use fliers for similar purposes, provided the event is public.

  • Use casino-themed items to decorate the space, while making sure at least 60 percent of guests will be able to engage in a game simultaneously, with the rest of the guests having a designated area where they can serve food and fancy drinks. and engage in conversation.

  • Rent the necessary casino equipment and supplies from local casinos or party rental supply shops. Poker, blackjack, roulette, craps or dice are all good ideas in terms of games you could provide to guests. The actual gambling will be done for fun, with no real money wagers. Hiring professional dealer services or recruiting volunteers will, however, be crucial for the success of the event.

  • Each participant may be given a previously set amount of money to play with at the beginning of the event in exchange for his entry ticket. As it's fundraising you also want to offer the option to donate more during the event by letting your guests buy more "play money". The more engaging the games, the more money guests will give to charity by buying fake casino money to wager with. Guests' winnings will need to be paid in the form of casino chips with a previously established assigned dollar value.

  • Prizes can be distributed at the end of the event with the help of raffle tickets bought in exchange for the casino chips or via an auction with prize items that can be bought with the same chips.

  • The gambling should be concluded two up to four hours after the beginning of the event. This will depend on the size and purpose of the event, as well as the dedicated time you have chosen to allocate to the fundraiser. The longer the event, the more time guests will spend gambling fake money while giving away real money for a good cause.

How to set up your own Casino Night EventCelebrity Casino Nights

Celebrities (always) play an important role when it comes to fundraising, either by financially supporting a specific or general cause with donations or by taking a prominent role in organizations for specific causes they personally care about. As many celebrities also have an eye for Casino & Gambling, one can understand the success when combining the two in a Celebrity Casino Night Event Fundraiser. 

One front figure when it comes to these events is Eva Longoria, known to many from the popular series Desperate Housewives. She started a charity organization in 2006 and held her first Casino Night Event within a year. Today her yearly Casino Night Fundraiser is held yearly in support of Eva's Hero. 

Some popular questions about Casino Night Events

  • Are Gambling Events like Casino & Poker Nights Legal?

Yes, to organize a Monte Carlo Event, Casino or Poker Night Fundraiser, is legal as no real money gambling takes place during these events. Gamblers instead use fake or "funny" casino money to make their wagers and collect their wins. All games are played for entertainment and/or fundraising purposes alone, even though lots of Monte Carlo charity fundraisers are known to offer raffle prizes from sponsors or hosts.

  • What to do if you get invited to a "Monte Carlo" Night

Pay the ticket (remember it will be donated for a good cause), dress up and enjoy the evening! As you can expect some gambling, even though not for real money, you may want to look through the beginners' guide for games like Blackjack and Roulette if you are new to casino games. 

  • Can I Attend a Casino Night Event if I don't Gamble?

Yes, remember it's a fundraising event for an organization or cause in need of support or awareness. As no money is involved at the casino tables, it's actually a great opportunity for those that never been to a casino before, to just have some fun. The atmosphere around a blackjack table can get heated when people play for money but a casino night event is all about the fun and people are expected to be beginners, not professional players. 

  • Casino Night Fundraiser Ideas

If you want to set up your own event there are plenty of ideas to find online, especially on Pinterest with everything from decoration, to food and games. 

Your guests will not leave the event as a jackpot winner but,  with the good feeling of supporting an important cause!

Just pick a site below if you want to become a winner yourself! 

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