Lottery & Gaming Licences

Overview

A lottery scheme exists if money is paid or some other consideration is given for a chance to win a prize. Lotteries for non-profit and charitable organizations must be licensed.

It is illegal to print tickets, promote or conduct a charitable gaming event without a licence.

Elibibility for a Lottery Licence

  • Charitable or religious organizations may conduct and manage lottery schemes under a licence issued by the appropriate provincial authority.
  • Must be an eligible charitable organization or a non-profit organization with charitable purposes or objectives including,
    • The relief of poverty
    • Advancement of education and religion
    • Other charitable purposes that are beneficial to the community.
  • An organization must demonstrate that, consistent with the organization's mandate, it has carried out charitable activities that provide a direct benefit to Ontario residents for a minimum of one year.
  • Organizations must:
    1. Provide a copy of letters of incorporation, charitable registrations or constitution and / or by-laws.
    2. Provide a copy of its budget for the preceding and current years.
    3. Provide a current list of the board of directors, including position held, addresses and contact information.
    4. Abide by the Lottery License Terms and Conditions under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

Process

Types of Lotteries

  • Raffle Lottery is where tickets are sold for a chance to win a prize in a draw. A license is issued for a maximum prize value of $50,000. All lotteries where the prize value is over $50,000 are licensed by the Registrar, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Applicants are responsible for delivering the completed Application Form to Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services, second floor and for reviewing the Terms and Conditions of the Licence.

    Upon receiving a license and holding the lottery, the applicant must file a Raffle Report with Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services, second floor, within 30 days of the event.
  • Bazaar Lottery is a one-day event where any combination of the following lotteries may be conducted:
    • A wheel of fortune event at which there are no more than three wheels and individual bets are no more than $2; 
    • A raffle or penny sale auction lottery not exceeding $500 in prizes; 
    • A bingo lottery not exceeding $500 in prize.

Applicants are responsible for delivering the completed Application Form to Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services, second floor and for reviewing the Terms and Conditions of the Licence.

Upon receiving a licence and holding the lottery, the applicant must file a Bazaar Lottery Report with Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services, second floor, within 30 days of the event.

  • Break Open Tickets are instant-win lottery tickets commonly known as Pull Tab or Nevada tickets. Applicants are responsible for delivering the completed Application Form to Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services, second floor and for reviewing the Terms and Conditions of the Licence.

    Upon receiving a license, the applicant must file a Break Open Tickets Report with Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services, second floor, within 30 days of the event.
  • Bingo Lottery is a game of chance, selected at random on pre-printed bingo cards. Applicants are responsible for delivering the completed Application Form to Citizens First, Legal and Clerks Services and for reviewing the Terms and Conditions of the Licence. Applicants for Pooling Hall Bingo are subject to completing the Application Form and reviewing the Terms and Conditions of the Licence. 

    Applicants are responsible for submitting a Regular Bingo Lottery Report and/or a Pooling Bingo Hall Report within 30 days of the event. 

Fees

  • The Lottery Licence Fee is based on three per cent of the prize value for raffle, bazaar, break open ticket and regular bingo lotteries. The licence fee for bingo in a pooling hall is three per cent of actual prizes awarded.
  • All lottery licence fees are payable by cheque drawn on the lottery trust account from the charitable organization that is applying for the licence. All cheques must be made payable to the City of St. Catharines.
  • Completed lottery applications and fees must be submitted in person at Citizens First, Legal and Clerk's Services, second floor, City Hall.

Regulatory Agencies

The Criminal Code of Canada, Order-in-Council, Gaming Control Act, 1992, as well as provincial and municipal regulations oversee lottery licensing.

The Criminal Code includes the following sections:

  • Section 206 makes it an indictable offence to participate in a lottery scheme in any manner

  • Section 207 (1) (a) provides an exemption from the general prohibition against gambling, allowing provincial governments to conduct and manage lottery schemes
  • Section 207 (1) (b) provides an exemption from the general prohibition of gambling, allowing eligible charitable and religious organizations to conduct and manage lottery schemes under the authority of a licence issued by the appropriate authority. This section stipulates that eligible organizations must use lottery proceeds for a charitable objective
  • Section 207 (1) (b) allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council to delegate licensing authority

The Government of Ontario, by Order-in-Council, designates the Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming and Municipal Councils as licensing authorities.

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