Your games room may be your man-cave where you meet the final frontier in your Final Fantasy time, but it can also be a way of making some money, which will go a long way towards justifying the cost of setting it up.
“Where Every Body Knows Your Name…”
To be quite clear, you are not allowed to start a bar in your basement and if you charge for drinks, then you’re contravening a number of laws, as well as a UN treaty or two. It is illegal to have a bar in your home. Don’t even think about selling your Mama’s moonshine either. You can however develop a neighbourhood games room that will make you a bit of money if you’re smart about it.
Land of the LAN
If you’re an online gamer or just like getting together with your clan to play Counter Strike, then you should consider using your home games room as a LAN venue. Gamers pay to go to LAN’s all over the world and even a basic fee will enable you to cover many of the costs of setting up a LAN venue. One of the coolest gadgets for a home games room is to set up a LAN scoreboard. You can get one that is able to read scores from all gaming platforms and provide your gamers with an extra experience. It’s not cheap, but if you’re serious about making some cash from your equipment, then it might be a worthwhile return on investment. If you’re going to run LAN’s on a regular basis, you need to make sure that you have a good technical set up. There is nothing worse than not being able to connect to a server fast.
The best way to make money from your games room is to charge a membership fee. It does not really matter what games you have on offer. It could be a community darts group, or, if you have the space, you can set up a couple of pool tables for competitions. A membership fee can be levied on an annual or even casual monthly basis. You will charge extra for LAN’s and specific competition entry fees, but to keep fees low a membership fee will ensure a steady source of income.
You may, depending on your local laws be able to serve beverages and food if you are considered a community organisation. You will have to have a charter and be registered as a group though. Your weekly poker night can turn into a great source of income, but a word of caution here. You are not operating a casino, and you’re very definitely not allowed to open a casino in your games room. You’ll have to incorporate your charter to include games of chance before you can charge for them.
Rent It Out
Renting out your games room is another way to make cash. There are always people wanting to have games parties, and as long as you are renting your space and not charging for alcohol you can set a pretty high venue charge for people who want to host a themed games evening. Consider approaching local service organisations and charities who often host games evenings to raise money.
Your home games room may be a sanctuary, but if you want to get better equipment and that extra special mega screen TV, then making a bit of money out of it could keep your wife in Jimmy Choo’s and out of your man-cave!
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