Lottery Licences

Raffle tickets

On This Page

  1. Charitable Lottery Licensing Overview
  2. Lottery licences issued by the Municipality
    1. What is a Lottery?
    2. Who is Eligible for a Lottery Licence?
  3. Use of Lottery Proceeds
    1. What is Needed to Determine Eligibility?
    2. Preliminary Eligibility Questionnaire and Application Questionnaire
    3. Lottery Licence Application Changes
    4. Lottery Licence Renewal Applications
    5. AGCO Links to the Lottery Terms and Conditions

Charitable Lottery Licensing Overview

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for administering the charitable lottery licensing program in the province. Municipalities and the AGCO are responsible for issuing lottery licences to eligible charitable and religious organizations. Eligible charitable and religious organizations may raise funds through provincially or municipally licensed lottery events.

Important Information - Criminal Code

Advertising, promotion, selling of tickets, or conducting a charitable gaming event without a licence is ILLEGAL. Activities are regulated by the Criminal Code of Canada, section 206 & 207, Ontario Order in Council 1413/08, Gaming Control Act, 1992 and Regulations.

All lotteries must be conducted and managed in accordance with licensing policies and the terms and conditions of the licences. This includes fulfilling all prescribed reporting requirements.

Lottery licensing refers to lottery schemes permitted by a licence under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Criminal Code

The Criminal Code of Canada (Code) defines what types of gaming activities are illegal in Canada, and the provinces are assigned responsibility to operate, license and regulate legal forms of gaming.

Part VII of the Code prohibits gaming in general, while section 207 allows for a number of exceptions to the general prohibition. Specifically, it permits “lottery schemes” provided that they are:

  • Lottery schemes “conducted and managed” by the province in accordance with any law enacted by that province (s. 207(1)(a));
  • Lottery schemes “conducted and managed” by a licensed charitable or religious organization pursuant to a licence issued by a provincial authority, provided that the proceeds of the lottery scheme are used for a charitable or religious purpose (s. 207(1)(b)); and
  • Lottery schemes “conducted and managed” by a licensed board of a fair or exhibition or by an operator of a concession leased by that board (207(1)(c)).

Lottery licences issued by the Municipality

The Order in Council provides municipalities with licensing authority for:

  • Bingo events, with prize boards of up to $5,500;
  • Media bingo events with prizes up to $5,500;
  • Break open tickets for local organizations;
  • Raffle lotteries for total prizes of $50,000 and under; and
  • Bazaar lotteries which include: wheels of fortune with a maximum bet of $2.00, raffles not exceeding $500, and bingo events up to $500.

The municipality may attach terms and conditions to a licence, in addition to those established by the province, provided they do not conflict with provincial Terms and Conditions or policies.

Information on conducting and managing lottery events can be found in the AGCO’s Lottery Licensing Policy Manual (LLPM), which provides an outline of the legal and policy framework and administrative procedures for lottery licensing purposes. These policies reflect the mandate of the AGCO to regulate charitable lotteries to ensure they are conducted with honesty and integrity and in the public interest, and that lottery licences are issued and administered on a consistent basis throughout the province.

Licensees and applicants are advised to read the first three chapters of the LLPM, as well as the chapter related to the lottery type they intend to conduct. They should also read the Lottery Licence Terms and Conditions, and the terms and conditions for their lottery type as well as any additional documents that may relate to their lottery type.

What is a Lottery?

Lottery licensing refers to lottery schemes permitted by licence under the Criminal Code of Canada. Typically, these may include bingos, raffles, break open tickets and special occasion gaming events held by charitable or religious organizations.

To simplify, a lottery may be defined as any scheme that has the following three components:

  1. A prize;
  2. A chance (to win the prize); and
  3. Consideration or a fee.

Therefore, a lottery exists if money is paid or some other consideration is given for a chance to win a prize. This includes door prizes awarded to participants attending an event where there is an entry fee (Door prizes at a paid entry event are considered a raffle lottery).

Who is Eligible for a Lottery Licence?

The eligibility of your organization will be determined by the Municipal Lottery Licensing Officer. Charitable registration with the Canada Revenue Agency or incorporation as a non-profit organization does NOT guarantee eligibility for licences.

Your organization may be eligible if it:

  • It is a charity or an eligible not-for profit organization;
  • Has been in existence for at least one year;
  • Has a purpose to provide charitable services to Ontario residents to provide programs for;
    • The relief of poverty
    • The advancement of education
    • The advancement of religion
    • Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community
  • Has provided charitable community services consistent with the goals and activities of the organization for at least one year in Ontario; and
  • Is located in Ontario.

Examples may include (but not limited to):

  • Hospitals
  • Service clubs
  • Youth activities or sports
  • Arts and culture

Lottery licences are not available for private functions or individuals to fundraise for personal reasons even if you are intending to give the funds raised to charity. Organizations that only promote the private interest of their members DO NOT quality for the gaming event licences and are NOT PERMITTED to conduct these types of events. This may include, but not limited to;

  • Adult recreation or sports;
  • Individual sports teams;
  • Unions or employee groups;
  • Social clubs;
  • Professional associations; and
  • Political, government, lobbying or advocacy groups.

Each application is unique. Determinations of eligibility will depend on the specific organization and its proposed use of proceeds.

Use of Lottery Proceeds

The use of lottery proceeds must be consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization and of a charitable nature consistent with at least one of the four classifications of charitable purposes (listed above). Eligible uses of the proceeds must be:

  • In themselves charitable and advance the charitable objectives and purpose of the organization.
  • Used for the direct delivery of the charitable objectives or purposes of the organization.
  • Directed towards specific segments of the Ontario community or residents of Ontario with a common need.

The eligible use of proceeds is determined on a case-by-case basis. For more information on how the licensing official will determine eligible use of proceeds, please visit the ACGO website.

What is Needed to Determine Eligibility?

When an organization applies for a lottery licence, the following documents are required to be appended to the Application Questionnaire so that the municipality can further review the eligibility of the organization. (See section below "Preliminary Eligibility Questionnaire and Application Questionnaire"). 

  • Incorporation Papers (Letters of Patent)
  • Constitution and By-Laws
  • Budget for Current Year
  • Financial Statement for Previous Fiscal Year (audited, where applicable)
  • Annual Report
  • List of Board of Directors
  • Designated List of Members in Charge of the proposed lottery event
  • Notification of Charitable Registration (Canada Revenue Agency), if applicable
  • The most recent Registered Charity Information Return & Public Information return, as submitted to Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (if applicable)

While an organization may not have all of these documents, applicants are to provide as much of the above list as possible. Additional documentation may be required. Failure to provide any of the required documents as determined by the municipality may result in your application being refused.

As per section 3.6.1. of the LLPM General Lottery Licensing Policies, A licensed organization must open and maintain a separate lottery trust account, designated as a trust account by the branch of a recognized financial institution, in the Province of Ontario.

Preliminary Eligibility Questionnaire and Application Questionnaire

If your organization has already been approved as an eligible organization by Champlain Township within the last calendar year, please contact the Clerk’s office (see contact information at the bottom of this page) to advise of your proposed charitable lottery gaming event and to obtain further information and instructions.

First Time Licensees: Please complete the Preliminary Eligibility Questionnaire

Preliminary Eligibility Questionnaire

Lottery Licence Application Changes
  • If you make changes to your Licence Application package before you submit it to your licensing office, each change must be initialled on each document by the Licence Application signors and other signors of that document.
  • Changes to your submitted Licence Application package must be made in writing on your organization’s letterhead, signed by the Licence Application signors and include supporting documents that are affected. The municipality requires at least 2 weeks written notice.
  • Application changes are NOT automatically approved and may NOT be permitted.
  • Once your lottery licence is issued, requests for changes will NOT be considered. Expired Licences may NOT be amended or cancelled.
Lottery Licence Renewal Applications

Organizations must submit their renewal applications to Champlain Township 30 calendar days prior to the expiry of the lottery licence. This will allow applications to be given proper consideration by the Lottery Licence Officer.

AGCO Links to the Lottery Terms and Conditions

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