Ontario has its own criteria for hosting a legal lottery as a charitable organization. At Simplyk, we strive to make your work simpler. We’ve broken down Ontario’s regulations for you and explained some of the trickier parts. If you are looking to raise money through a lottery, raffle 50/50 draw or other game, you will need to follow the regulations imposed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Here’s what’s important to consider when looking at the charitable lottery regulations in Ontario.
*We try to keep this information up to date, but we recommend you consult the AGCO guidelines when you begin organizing your lottery. Find the list of regulations and requirements on their website.
Request a License
You should request a license if your games are:
- Bingo events with total prizes over $5,500
- Raffle lotteries with prizes over $50,000
- Electronic raffles
- A raffle is ‘electronic’ when there is use of computers to sell tickets, draw winners and distribute the prizes.
- Lotteries held with other games, or at fairs and exhibitions
- Other criteria include raffles, 50/50 draws and more
Smaller prized lotteries only require a municipal license. Yet, if the raffle is electronic, you must be licensed through AGCO, no matter the total value of the prizes.
Lottery License Fees
Raffle licensing fees are a maximum of 3% of the total value of the prizes. They must be paid to the AGCO when submitting the application.
Send your application a minimum of 45 days before the beginning of ticket sales if you are a first time applicant. You can send it 30 days in advance if you have applied before.
Pre-requisites for consideration:
- Organizations must have been in existence for at least one year.
- The organization must have a place of business in Ontario and its purpose must serve the province of Ontario.
You are eligible for a license if you are considered charitable by law. You must also respond to a minimum of one of the following elements:
- the relief of poverty;
- the advancement of education;
- the advancement of religion;
- other charitable purposes beneficial to the community.
Important aspects for charitable lottery regulations in Ontario
- Follow the licensing policy manual to be in accordance with the AGCO’s lottery.
- The AGCO suggests gaming suppliers to assist organizations in setting up the draw and selling their tickets. However, other online platforms, like Simplyk, may be better suited for your needs, because it’s completely free and easy to use.
- The seller and buyer of the raffle tickets must both be physically located in Ontario during the sale. You can state this in the rules of your lottery.
- The organization must have at least two members responsible for the lottery. They are responsible for preparing all documentation for the license and representing the organization to the AGCO.
- You must create a list of rules that are consistent with the terms and conditions for a raffle. It needs to be approved by AGCO and available to participants of the draw.
- The lottery license number must be on all advertisements for the raffle.
Forms to register for a lottery license
Complete the forms provided by the AGCO to apply for a license. You will also need to attach documents with general information about the organization: patents, budget, financial status and sample ticket.
Use this template to create your own:
You must provide a detailed description of the project for which the proceeds of the lottery will be benefitting, along with its budget.
The application must demonstrate that the total value of the prizes is equal to or greater than 20% of the gross proceeds from the sale of all tickets.
You must provide a financial guarantee if the total value of the prizes is above $10,000. It could be a letter of credit.
What to submit after receiving lottery license
When receiving your license, there are several documents you need to submit about the outcome of the lottery. They must include a verified financial statement with the details of the lottery. You can find the list of documents in the AGCO raffle license terms and conditions. The different documents have varying dates of submission.