Lottery Licenses

The Lottery Licensing By-law 126-2004 licenses charitable or religious organizations to conduct and manage lottery schemes for charitable or religious purposes.

Below you will find useful information regarding lottery licenses, including the types or organizations eligible for a lottery license, what events are within provincial jurisdiction and which are municipally regulated, and how the licensing process works.

What is a Lottery?

In simple terms, a lottery scheme may be defined as any scheme which has the following three components:

  • a prize
  • a chance (to win the prize)
  • consideration or a fee

Therefore, a lottery scheme exists if money is paid or some other consideration is given for a chance to win a prize.

Promotional draws in stores where there is no purchase necessary to fill out a ballot are not lotteries.

Administration of Lotteries

Lotteries are administered through two levels of government:

  • Province of Ontario
  • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) which reports to the Ministry of the Attorney General , is responsible for administering the lottery licensing program in the province of Ontario, and municipalities are partners with the AGCO.

All authority to license gaming activity flows from the provisions in the Criminal Code (Canada).

The Registrar of the AGCO has been delegated authority so that it can license all types of approval lottery events, while a Municipal Council may approve and license certain lottery events.

The Municipal Council

Municipal Councils have the authority to issue licenses for most lottery events conducted in their communities, including:

  • Bingo events with prize boards of up to $5,500
  • Raffles with prizes of up to $50,000
  • Break Open Ticket events that are not conducted in conjunction with another licensed gaming event, and where the tickets are sold within the municipality
  • 50/50 draws
  • Bazaar gaming events
  • Media Bingo

Since raising funds through gaming contains a certain element of risk on the part of the charitable organization, lotteries should be viewed as a supplement or alternative to the organization's other fundraising ventures.

Obtaining a Lottery License

Licenses can only be issued to charitable or non-profit charitable organizations as defined by the Gaming Control Commission. Staff of the Town of Milton can advise organizations if they qualify for lottery licensing and which category they may fall under.

What is Considered a Charitable or Non-Profit Charitable Organization?

In order to qualify for a lottery license, an "eligible" organization must demonstrate that it exists to provide services in one of these charitable classifications:

a) The relief of poverty;
b) The advancement of education;
c) The advancement of religion;
d) Other charitable purposes beneficial to the community, not falling under a), b), or c).

Proceeds from lotteries must be used for charitable or religious objects or purpose in the province of Ontario.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible your organization must:

  • have been in existence for at least one year;
  • have provided charitable community services consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization for at least one year;
  • have a place of business in Ontario; demonstrate that it is established to provide charitable services in Ontario;
  • propose to use proceeds for charitable purposes or objects that benefit Ontario and its residents; and
  • assume full responsibility for the conduct and management of its lottery events.

When an organization first applies for any type of lottery license, or whenever an eligibility review is required, it must provide all of the following information and documents that apply to it:

  • A copy of its letters patent;
  • A copy of its constitution and by-laws;
  • A copy of its budget for the current year;
  • A copy of its financial statements for the preceding year;
  • A list of its Board of Directors;

The Lottery Licensing Officer may also require clearances from the following:

  • Halton Regional Police Service;
  • Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations; and
  • Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs,

The terms and conditions for each lottery license set specific application requirements, which are summarized in the relevant licensing category.

Eligibility & Event Applications, Terms and Conditions and municipal requirements may be picked up in Clerk's Division at Town Hall.

Cost

Cost of a lottery license is 3% of the total prize value.

Who Can I Contact for More Information?

A Licensing Officer can answer specific questions related to each type of lottery. Licensing staff also directs organizations who may require a Provincial license (any lottery that the municipality cannot issue a license for) to the appropriate licensing authority.

Additional Information