The information contained within this section is intended as a guide only. Any organization or individual conducting a lottery event is responsible for ensuring that all of its events are operated legally and may wish to consult legal counsel before conducting any event.
Who is eligible for a lottery licence?
Only approved charitable organizations are eligible for lottery licenses. Individuals wishing to conduct a lottery event are not eligible for a lottery licence. If your charitable organization is interested in applying for a lottery licence an eligibility review must first be conducted. Please download the document to the right titled "Eligibility Review Guidelines" to further understand this process.
What kinds of events require a lottery licence?
All lottery events require a lottery licence in order to be permitted. Lottery events conducted without a licence are prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada. However, there are some games where lottery licenses are not available.
What types of games can a licence be issued for?
Municipalities may issue licenses to charitable organizations for the following events only:
Bingo events with prize boards up to $5,500;
Raffles with prizes of up to $50,000;
Break Open Ticket events;
Bazaar gaming events; and
What types of games are prohibited?
Examples of games that are not licensable and therefore prohibited if a fee has been paid for a chance to win a prize:
Card tournaments (ie. Euchre, Texas Hold'em, Blackjack etc.);
Raffles by donation;
Lottery events involving betting;
Wheel games; and
How do I know if my proposed game requires a lottery licence?
A lottery event may be defined as any event which has the following three components:
Therefore, a lottery event exists if money or some other consideration is given for a chance to win a prize.
Is there a licence available for Stag and Doe’s or Social Gaming Fun Nights?
Some organizations conduct events such as blackjack or wheels of fortune as “fun nights,” for the sole purpose of providing entertainment for their guests. Typically, at these types of events, the chips, tokens or play money are made available to everyone free of charge (no direct or indirect consideration).
As well, no prizes are awarded if an entrance fee of any kind has been charged. If any kind of fee (direct or indirect consideration) has been charged for the event, the chips, tokens or play money are not redeemed for goods, wares, merchandise or cash at the end of the evening.
As there is no licence available for this type of event, it is the responsibility of organizations or individuals wishing to conduct “fun nights” to ensure that any events they conduct comply with the Criminal Code of Canada. Organizations or individuals wishing to conduct “fun nights” may wish to seek independent legal advice.
How do I apply for a lottery licence?
If your charitable organization is interested in applying for a lottery licence an eligibility review must first be conducted. Please download the document to the right titled "Eligibility Review Guidelines" to further understand this process.
If your organization is already approved please visit your local Municipal Office to pick up a lottery licence application or click on the link to the left titled "Lottery Forms" to download the appropriate documentation.
I have further questions, who can I speak to?
If you have further questions, please contact Licensing Services.
Eligibility Review Guidelines