In Ontario, lottery licensing is administered through policies established by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
What types of lotteries do municipalities licence?
Under Order-in-Council 2688-93, municipalities may issue licences to conduct the following lottery schemes:
- Bingo events with prize boards up to $5,000;
- Media bingo events;
- Raffle lotteries for total prizes up to $50,000;
- All break open ticket lotteries not licensed by the provincial office; and
- Bazaars (Bingo maximum $500; Raffle maximum $500; maximum 3 wheels of fortune).
Who can get a licence to conduct a lottery?
Canada’s Criminal Code permits ONLY CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS to conduct lottery schemes to raise funds pursuant to an issued lottery licence. Organizations must have a demonstrated charitable or religious mandate to qualify.
The courts have determined that the term “charitable” refers to organizations which provide programs for:
- the relief of poverty;
- the advancement of education;
- the advancement of religion; and
- other charitable purposes beneficial to the community.
The following are prerequisites to be considered eligible for a lottery licence:
- Organizations must have been in existence for at least one(1) year;
- Organizations must have a place of business in Ontario;
- Organizations’ primary purpose must be to provide charitable services in Ontario; and
- Organization must use the proceeds of any lottery scheme for objects or purposes which benefit Ontario residents.
The primary purposes of an organization are determined by considering:
- the mandate of the organization as set out in its incorporation documents or documents stating the organization’s objectives;
- the objectives of the organization as described in its application for licence; and
- the services which have actually been provided by the organization to the community.
Organizations which are NOT considered charitable and therefore NOT ELIGIBLE for a lottery licence include:
- social clubs
- professional associations, unions, employee groups
- elected representative groups including municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments
- government ministries, agents or bodies
- political lobby groups
- political parties
- adult hobby groups
- private sports clubs (e.g. golf/curling)
- adult sports teams
How does my organization apply for a lottery licence?
First time applicants are required to complete the Lottery Licence Questionnaire and to provide the following information or documents:
- A copy of the organization’s articles of incorporation or constitution and/or by-laws
- A copy of the organization’s financial statements for preceding years
- Any other information that will assist in determining the charitable nature of the objects and purposes. This could include an annual report, charitable number for income-tax purposes, or the fact that it meets the reporting requirements of the Charities Accounting Act.
- The proposed use of proceeds must be consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization which must be of a charitable nature consistent with at least one of the four classifications of charitable purposes
Your organization MUST have a separate bank account for Lottery Expenses and Proceeds. Proceeds from lotteries must be held in trust until used for the charitable purpose or dispersed to the charitable group(s) for which they were intended as per the lottery application.
Once the Clerk’s Office has determined your eligibility to hold lotteries, you may complete an Application Form for the lottery and submit it with the fee to the Clerk’s Office. Application Forms for various types of lotteries are available below.
You must follow the Terms and Conditions for Lotteries in general and for the specific type of lottery you are holding. Terms and Conditions are available below.
Once your lottery event has been held, a Report Form must be completed and submitted within 30 days to the Clerk’s Office. The Report must include receipts for expenses and lottery account statements showing income and disbursements. Report Forms for various types of lotteries are available below.
What are the lottery licence fees?
Lottery licence fees are set at 3% of the total value of the prize(s) to a maximum of:
$38 for Raffle and single Bingo
$63 for Multiple Bingos and Blanket Raffles
$98 for Break Open (Nevada)
A dollar value must be determined for any merchandise prize. Fees are a lottery expense and must be paid from your lottery account.
Please note that “Progressive Bingos” are licensed by the Registrar, not the Municipality. Please contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
How long does it take to process my application for a lottery licence?
For organizations that have previously held a municipal lottery licence, at least twenty-four (24) hours is required for license processing.
For organizations new to lottery licensing, additional time is required to establish eligibility.