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, like the Town of Innisfil, are responsible for issuing lottery licenses to eligible charitable and religious organizations. Eligible charitable and religious organizations may raise funds through provincially or municipally licensed lottery events.
Lottery licensing refers to lottery schemes permitted by a license under the Criminal Code of Canada. Typically, these may include bingos, raffles, break open tickets and social gaming events held by charitable or religious organizations. In Ontario, Order in Council 1413/08 authorizes the licensing framework for eligible charitable or religious organizations to hold lottery events and sets out the limits of municipal and provincial licensing. Licensed charitable or religious organizations must conduct and manage their events in accordance with licensing policies and the terms and conditions of the licenses and fulfill all prescribed reporting requirements.
Information on conducting and managing lottery events can be found in the AGCO’s Lottery Licensing Policy Manual, which provides an outline of the legal and policy framework and administrative procedures for lottery licensing purposes.
Municipalities have the 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 up to $50,000
- Bazaar lotteries, including wheel of fortune games with a maximum bet of $2.00, raffles not exceeding $500, and bingo events of up to $500
The municipality may attach terms and conditions to a license, in addition to those established by the province, provided that they do not conflict with provincial terms and conditions or policies.
Obtaining a Lottery License in the Town of Innisfil
All relevant documentation along with a completed Lottery Licensing Eligibility Review Form to be submitted to determine eligibility for lottery licenses. These decisions are based on what is considered charitable in law, including the Criminal Code of Canada, previous court decisions, Order in Council 1413/08 as amended, and the policies issued by the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming.
Each application is unique. Determinations of eligibility will depend on the specific organization and its proposed use of proceeds.
Fee – the lottery license application fee is payable to the Town of Innisfil and due when the lottery license has been issued and is ready for pickup. The fee is 3% of the total value of the prize to be drawn. Please refer to page 5 of the Town of Innisfil’s Fees and Charges by-law.
The following are the mandatory pre-requisites to be considered eligible for a lottery license:
- Organization must be a non-profit or registered charitable organization.
- Organization must have been in existence for at least one year
- Organization must have place of business in Ontario
- Organization must prove how it benefits the citizens of Innisfil and area as a whole
- Organization must have one of the following primary purposes: relief of poverty, advancement of education, advancement of religion, or other charitable purposes beneficial to the community
- Organization must be properly organized such that it is separate from any other organization (e.g., legally, financially, and organizationally)
- Organization must provide copy of its constitution or mandate and budget
Ineligible Organizations for Lottery Licenses
- Social clubs
- Professional associations, unions, employee groups
- Elected municipal representative groups including municipal, regional, provincial, and federal governments
- Government agencies or bodies
- Political lobby groups and those persuading the public to adopt a particular view on a broad social question
- Political parties
- Adult hobby groups
- Private sports (e.g., golf/curling) clubs
- Those promoting a political doctrine
- Those attempting to bring about or oppose changes in the law or government policy
- Professional or semi-professional athletics (e.g., CFL, NHL, AHL, OHL)
- Adult recreational or adult oriented sports (e.g. Hockey Teams)
Types of Lottery Licenses
There are many types of Charitable Gaming Lottery Licenses. The following types of licenses are available. Click here for full listing on the AGCO’s website. Some of the more popular ones include;
A raffle is a scheme where tickets are sold for a chance to win a prize at a draw and includes 50/50 draws, elimination draws, and calendar draws.
For applications and additional information on Raffle Lottery License, visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s site.
2. Break-Open Ticket (Nevada Tickets)
A break open ticket is a device made of cardboard with perforated cover window tabs behind which are symbols revealed by tearing open the cover tab. The winning combination of symbols is specified on the back of the ticket. Break-open tickets are also knows as “Nevada tickets” or “pull tabs”.
The AGCO’s Break Open Ticket License Application.
For applications and additional information on Break-Open Ticket Lottery License, visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s site.
Bingo events are lottery schemes where players purchase bingo paper and win prizes by being the first to complete a specified arrangement or patterns of numbers on the bingo paper from numbers selected at random. Regular bingo events have prize boards of up to $5,500.00, and Special (Monster) bingo events have prize boards over $5,500.
For applications and additional information on Bingo Lottery License, visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s site.
4. Bazaar Lotteries
A Bazaar is an event where any combination of the following lotteries may be conducted: a) a raffle not exceeding $500.00 in prizes; (b) a bingo not exceeding $500.00 in prizes; and (c) a maximum of three wheels of fortune with a maximum $2.00 bet.
For applications and additional information on Bazaar Lotteries, visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s site.
Important AGCO numbers and website links
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO): 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876
AGCO Website: Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Important Town of Innisfil contact information and reference material regarding Lottery Licensing
Customer Service – 2101 Innisfil Beach Road, Innisfil Ontario L9S 1A1 Map to this location