Eligible charitable and religious organizations may raise funds through provincially or municipally licensed lottery events.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission (AGCO) is responsible for administering the lottery licensing program in the province of Ontario. Municipalities are partners with the AGCO in issuing lottery licenses to eligible charitable and religious organizations.

Lottery licensing refers to lottery schemes permitted by a license under the Criminal Code of Canada. Generally, these include:

Bingo requirements for non-pooling halls

The Bingo Application Form (available on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission website) must be complete, signed by two signing officers or executive of the organization.

All specifications of the application must be completed in full and all answers must be specific. General terms for charitable or religious objects or purpose, such as "community betterment" or "service club charities" are not acceptable.

In addition to the bingo application the following must be attached:

  • Signed application for bingo license 3rd Bona Fide Member Sheet
  • Copy of the game sheet
  • The original license must be displayed at the premises where the bingo is being conducted.
  • The City of Thunder Bay has capped the prize board for each bingo event at $3,000.00 per Municipal Code 686.
  • The license fee is 3 percent of the prize board for each event. Cheques must be written from the organizations lottery trust account and made payable to The City of Thunder Bay.

The following must accompany the completed Bingo Final Report (available on the AGCO website) 15 days after the bingo was held:

No funds may be transferred to an operating or general account.

The organization must record and account for all cash transactions including cards sold and prizes awarded.

All items as outlined within the Bingo License Terms and Conditions (available on the AGCO website) prepared by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Bingo requirements for pooling halls

The Charitable Gaming Application (on the AGCO website) must be complete, signed by two principal officers of the organization.

In addition to the application, a member organization form must be completed and signed by two principal officer of the organization (the form can be obtained from the HCAA).

The application and form has to be submitted to the HCAA for delivery to the Lottery Licensing Office for processing.

The original license from the municipality and the province must be displayed at the premise where the bingo is being conducted.

The license fee is paid to the municipality monthly from the pooling proceeds.

The following must accompany the Charitable Gaming Report (on the AGCO website) 30 days after the end of the month in which the bingo(s) were held:

  • A copy of deposit slips of any proceeds deposited
  • A copy of monthly bank statements
  • Receipts for out of pocket expenses
  • Bingo sign in sheets from each event
  • Control sheets

No funds may be transferred to an operating or general account.

The organization must record and account for all cash transactions including cards sold and prizes awarded.

All items as outlined within the Lottery License Terms and Conditions, Registrar Standards, and the Charitable Gaming events (all located on the AGCO website), conducted and managed in Class A and Class B Bingo Halls, and Class C pooling Halls in Bingo Halls prepared by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Raffle requirements

The Raffle Application form (available on the AGCO website) must be completed, signed and witnessed by two signing officers or executive of the organization.

A sample of the proposed ticket, including the stub, must be submitted with the Raffle application.

If the applicant is proposing to offer prizes totaling $10,000 or more, including taxes, the applicant must present a Letter of Credit. The Letter of Credit must not expire prior to 45 days after the last draw has been held.

All specifications of the application must be completed in full and all answers must be specific. General terms for charitable or religious objectives or purpose, such as "community betterment" or "service club charities" are not acceptable.

The license fee is 3% of the total prize value. Cheques or money orders must be written from the organizations lottery trust account and made payable to The City of Thunder Bay.

The market retail value of all prize(s) shall not be less than 20% of the anticipated gross proceeds of the event.

The lottery license must be posted at the event.

The lottery license number must appear on all forms of advertising for the Raffle including radio and television, published list of winners, brochures, handouts and any other communication with respect to the Raffle.

All revenue generated from lotteries must be deposited into the lottery trust account. No funds may be transferred to an operating or general account.

All prizes must be awarded regardless of whether the raffle is profitable or not. Prizes shall be awarded free and clear of any encumbrances.

The following is required to accompany the completed Raffle Final Report (available on the AGCO website) due 30 days after the raffle was held:

  • A copy of all deposit slips
  • A copy of all invoices/receipts
  • A list of the winners
  • A copy of the bank statement

All items as outlined within the Lottery License Terms and Conditions and the Raffle License Terms and Conditions (both available on the AGCO website) prepared by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Forms required to hold a raffle

50/50 raffle lottery information

Licensing Procedures for Events Held at Hockey Events, Other Sporting Events and Social Events

In a letter dated February 11, 2002, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario advised the following:

  1. The intent of a 50/50 draw was meant for a quick event such as hockey events and other sports and social events. Due to the time constraints at such events, the Commission has permitted the use of "roll type tickets". Further requirement is for the Licensee to have an identification mark on the "roll ticket" to authenticate the ticket and ensure its integrity.
  2. It is compulsory that the winner be present at the draw to collect his/her winnings.
  3. It is also the responsibility of the Licensee to have the rules and regulations pertaining to the Lottery displayed prominently at the point of sale of tickets. The rules must also specify the requirement of the winner being present at the draw to claim the prize; and in the event the winner does not claim the prize within a reasonable period of time (to be specified by the Licensee) that a further draw will be conducted at a later time on the same date and at the same event. The rules must also include the serial number of tickets that are being sold at the event and the total number of tickets available for sale.
  4. The Licensee is responsible for maintaining an audit trail throughout the management and conduct of the lottery.

Break open tickets

The Break Open Ticket application form (available on the AGCO website) must be completed, signed by two signing officers or executive of the organization.

All specifications of the application must be completed in full and all answers must be specific. General terms for charitable or religious objectives or purpose, such as "community betterment" or "service club charities" are not acceptable.

The license fee is 3% of the total prize value. Cheques must be written from the organizations lottery trust account and made payable to The City of Thunder Bay.

No funds may be transferred to an operating or general account.

The maximum length for a license is a period of one (1) year.

Any organization selling from a third party location must supply a copy of the proof of registration from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

The following is required to accompany the completed break open ticket final report (available on the AGCO website) due within 30 days of the expiry of the license:

  • A copy of all deposit slips including the box numbers deposited
  • A copy of all invoices/receipts
  • A copy of the bank statements for the period of the license
  • A copy of all cancelled cheques.

Where the licensee has completed the sale of tickets prior to the expiry date on the license, then the license shall be deemed to have expired and the financial report shall be due within 30 calendar days.

All expenses must be clearly stated and withdrawn by cheque.

All items as outlined within the Break Open Ticket License Terms and Conditions (available on the AGCO website) prepared by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Lottery License Terms and Conditions (available on the AGCO website)

Forms required to sell break open tickets

(all available on the AGCO website)

Bazaar requirements

The bazaar application form (available on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission website) must be completed, signed by two signing officers or executive of the organization.

All specifications of the application must be completed in full and all answers must be specific. General terms for charitable or religious objectives or purpose, such as "community betterment" or "service club charities" are not acceptable.

The license fee is 3% of the total prize value. Cheques must be written from the organizations lottery trust account and made payable to The City of Thunder Bay.

Bazaar means an event where any combination of the following lotteries may be conducted:

  • A raffle not exceeding $500 in prizes
  • Penny auction prizes with a value not exceeding $500
  • A bingo not exceeding $500 in prizes, a list of games and prizes along with rules of play must accompany the application

Events are to be conducted on the date stated on the application for license (1 day only).

No funds may be transferred to an operating or general account.

All prizes must be awarded regardless of whether the bazaar is profitable or not.

The following is required to accompany the completed bazaar final report (available on the AGCO website) due 30 days after the event was held:

  • A copy of all deposit slips
  • A copy of all invoices/receipts
  • A copy of the bank statement

All items as outlined within the Lottery License Terms and Conditions (available on the AGCO website) prepared by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Bazaar License Terms and Conditions (available on the AGCO website)

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.

Order in Council 2688/93 (as amended by OIC 2033/97 and OIC 267/98) authorizes the licensing framework for eligible charitable or religious organizations to conduct lottery events and sets out the limits of municipal and provincial licensing.

The Lottery License office can also answer specific questions related to each type of lottery. The department also directs organizations who may require a Provincial license to the appropriate licensing authority. Contact us 807-625-2546. Our FAQ page has answers as well. 

Eligibility

Lottery Licensing refers to a lottery scheme such as bingos, raffles, break open tickets, and social gaming events, permitted by a license under the Criminal Code of Canada. Licensing is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. Municipalities issue licenses under the authority of an Order-in-Council. The following links will provide more information on the requirements for running any of the above listed lottery schemes.

Eligibility guidelines

Who is eligible to conduct a lottery scheme?

Charitable and religious organizations may conduct a lottery to raise funds pursuant to a license being issued. Organizations must have a demonstrated charitable or religious mandate to qualify. The courts have determined that the term "charitable" refers to organizations which provide programs for:

  1. the relief of poverty;
  2. the advancement of education;
  3. the advancement of religion;
  4. other charitable purposes beneficial to the community

The following pre-requisites are mandatory to be considered eligible for a lottery license:

  • organizations must have been in existence for at least one (1) year
  • the organization must have a place of business in Ontario
  • demonstrate that it is established to provide charitable services in Ontario and use proceeds for objects or purposes which benefit residents of Ontario

The primary purposes of an organization are determined by considering:

  • the mandate of the organization as set out in its incorporation documents or documents stating the organizations objects
  • the objects of the organization as described in its application for license
  • the services which have actually been provided by the organization to the community

Municipalities license the following types of lottery schemes

  • Bingo events
  • Media Bingo Events
  • Ticket raffles where the total prizes are $50,000 or less
  • Break Open Ticket Lotteries (Nevadas) not licensed by the Province
  • Bazaars, Penny Auctions

Types of charitable and religious organizations

Types of organizations in the four categories of charitable mandate include those providing for:

  1. The relief of poverty

Organizations providing assistance to:

  • the sick and dying
  • disabled persons
  • the homeless
  • victims of crime
  • rehabilitating young offenders and parolees

Funds may be provided to individuals or families where the relief is a short-term or one-time payment intended to relieve an exceptional or unusual condition or circumstance. (e.g. helping a family whose house has burnt down.)

2. The advancement of education

To be eligible, an organization must provide public programs which:

  • are geared to scholastic and vocational training for individuals and lead to a recognized diploma or certificate, or
  • advance a recognized field of knowledge which leads to an accredited degree, diploma or certificate, and
  • do not include professional development

Examples of organizations that could be eligible:

  • elementary and secondary public and Roman Catholic separate schools
  • accredited colleges and universities
  • private schools registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization
  • parent/teacher associations or other groups which are non-profit entities and which support one of the above types of institutions
  • scholarship or bursary funds registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization

3. The advancement of religion

Religious organizations must demonstrate that programs and services assist in the delivery of religious services and programs to the community. A religious body is considered charitable when its activities serve religious purposes for the public good. Other activities that advance religion include:

  • organizing and providing religious instruction, and performing pastoral and missionary work;
  • establishing and maintaining buildings for worship and other religious use

4. Any purpose beneficial to the community

To qualify an organization must demonstrate that:

  • it is operated on a not-for-profit basis, and its purposes include charitable or religious objects
  • its services are offered to a significant portion of the public, and
  • the proposed use of proceeds are consistent with its mandate

Eligible organizations include those with mandates in:

  • culture and arts
  • health and welfare
  • physical education
  • community support
  • youth sports where majority of players are under 18
  • service to the community (service clubs)

Organizations NOT charitable for lottery licensing purposes

Types of organizations which cannot be considered charitable include:

  • social clubs
  • professional associations, unions, employee groups
  • elected representative groups including municipal, regional provincial and federal governments
  • government ministries, agents or bodies
  • political lobby groups
  • political parties
  • adult hobby groups
  • private sports clubs (e.g. golf /curling)
  • adult sports teams

How the application is evaluated before a license is issued

  • Does the organization qualify as a charitable or religious organization e.g. relief of poverty, advancement of education, etc...?
  • Is the organization established to provide charitable services in Ontario and will it use the proceeds to benefit Ontario residents?
  • Does the organization restrict its mandate to any segment of the community?
  • Does a significant portion of the community benefit by the charitable proceeds of the organization?
  • Is the organization properly organized? Legally, financially etc...
  • Are there at least 3 persons who will assume full responsibility for the operation and conduct of the event?
  • What will the proceeds be used for and is it consistent with the mandate of the organization?
  • Are the organizations programs and services considered charitable?
  • Does the organization have a place of business in Ontario?

Application for Lottery License Eligibility

If you have any questions related to Lottery Licensing, contact the City of Thunder Bay's Lottery Licensing Division at 807-625-2546 or contact the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario:

Provincial Office
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Gaming Registration & Lotteries
90 Sheppard Ave E Suite 200
Toronto, On
M2N 0A4

Phone: (416) 326-8700

Toll Free 1-800-522-2876

Fax: (416) 326-8711

Web Site www.agco.on.ca

Lottery trust accounts

Charitable or Religious Organizations must establish Designated Lottery Trust Account(s) in accordance with the Lottery Terms and Conditions under which their Lottery Licences are issued to administer the proceeds and monies derived in the conduct of their various Lottery Events.

Lottery funds must be held in Trust by the charitable or religious organization. Lottery funds are public funds and, as such, accountability with respect to the receipt and use of these funds is required.

The Lottery Terms and Conditions established for the various types of lottery events contain a section entitled BANKING AND FINANCIAL. Charitable or Religious Organizations have the option of:

  • opening and maintaining one (1) Designated Lottery Trust Account to administer the proceeds and monies derived from all their Lottery Events such as, bingos, break open tickets, raffles, bazaars, share of proceeds received from their Bingo Sponsors' Associations for various events conducted at a Bingo Hall during their regular bingo events (super jackpot, break open ticket sales, bingo-themed lottery schemes conducted and managed by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (super star bingo), table board bingo, progressive bingo games);

Note: If this option is selected, charitable or religious organizations must maintain separate ledgers outlying financial details for each type of lottery event conducted by game and license, including proceeds derived from each, expenses paid in the conduct of each and a list of how proceeds have been disbursed; or

  • opening and maintaining separate Designated Lottery Trust Accounts to administer the proceeds and monies derived from each type of lottery scheme that are conducted.

Note: If this option is selected, charitable or religious organizations must ensure that when they receive their share of proceeds from their Bingo Sponsors' Association for various events conducted at a Bingo Hall during their regular bingo events that these funds are deposited into their Designated Bingo Lottery Trust Account.

DESIGNATED LOTTERY TRUST ACCOUNT(S) MUST BE HELD IN THE NAME OF THE LICENSEE AND CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING FEATURES:

  • Cheque writing privileges
  • Monthly Statements issued
  • All cheques returned with monthly statements
  • A minimum of two (2) signing officers, must be bona fide members of the licensee signing all cheques

Note: Charitable or religious organizations are advised to have more than 2 bona fide members of the licensee with signing authority on this account as long as any two sign all cheques. In the case of absences of one (1) of more of the bona fide members of the licensee, the organization would still be able to access the lottery funds to pay for expenses for the charitable purposes approved on the license application.

  • Deposit slips completed

Note: It is a requirement of the Lottery Terms and Conditions that monies must be deposited by deposit only into the Lottery Trust Account.

CASH WITHDRAWALS ARE NOT PERMITTED. CHEQUES CANNOT BE MADE PAYABLE TO CASH, EXCEPT WHEN A FLOAT FOR THE PURPOSES OF MAKING CHANGE IS REQUIRED FOR THE BINGO EVENT. THIS FLOAT MUST BE RE-DEPOSITED INTO THE DESIGNATED LOTTERY TRUST ACCOUNT(S) AFTER THE BINGO EVENT.

ANY INTEREST ACCRUED ON THE DESIGNATED LOTTERY TRUST ACCOUNT(S) MUST BE USED FOR THE CHARITABLE OBJECTS OF THE LICENCEE AS STATED ON THE LOTTERY APPLICATION FOR LICENCE AND REPORTED ON THE LOTTERY REPORT FORM.

Reminder

It is a breach of the Lottery License Terms and Conditions to move any lottery funds from the Designated Lottery Trust Account(s) into an operating or general account of the Licensee.

This notice has been prepared to clarify some of the questions arising with respect to administering and establishing Designated Lottery Trust Account(s). It is to be used as a guideline only. It is the responsibility of the members of the organization conducting the event and the Principal Officers of the organization to become familiar with the Lottery Terms and Conditions and for the requirement of establishing and administering Designated Lottery Trust Account(s).

Annual filing requirements

Charitable Organizations are required to file the following documents annually with the Lottery Licensing Office immediately following their fiscal year end unless otherwise indicated below:

  • Current listing of Board of Directors, complete with names, titles, addresses, telephone/cellular/fax numbers and term elected for;
  • Covering letter outlining the amount of funds the Organization is requesting to raise during their upcoming fiscal year period via the conduct of lottery events, including proposed use of lottery proceeds;
  • Copy of current Operating Budget reflecting proposed revenue and expenditures for the Organization's entire operation for the upcoming fiscal year;
  • Copy of Annual Financial Statement for the Organization's entire operation (audited where applicable/signed by three of the licensees Board of Director's) as soon as it is practical to do so;

Sports Organizations are also required to submit a listing of the names of their athletes, along with their birthdates, at the beginning of each season.

Note: Sports Organizations that have both junior participants (under the age of 18 years) as well as senior participants (18 years of age and over) must submit separate operating budgets - one budget for the junior level one budget for the senior level. Costs to deliver the youth program must be isolated from the adult program.

  • Receipt and Use of lottery proceeds derived from all their licensed lottery events
  • Compliance Reports must accompany these documents with respect to the Organization's compliance with the Terms and Conditions of the each license. Refer to the Lottery Terms and Conditions for the type of financial statement your Organization must file.

The Annual Filing Requirements must be submitted to the Lottery Licensing Office within 180 days of its fiscal year end.

 

Frequently asked questions

How old do you have to be to play at a licensed bingo event, or to purchase a break open ticket?

You must be 18 years of age.

Can someone under the age of 18 sell raffle tickets for a licensed organization?

Yes.

How does an organization become eligible to run lottery events?

The Organization must complete an application form. See Application for Lottery Licensing and Lottery Licensing Guidelines for more information.

How long does it take to process an application for a lottery license?

For organizations that have previously held a municipal lottery license, five (5) days shall be required from the time the completed lottery license application is submitted to the municipality.

Who do I contact if I have any questions about lottery licensing?

You can contact the City of Thunder Bay's Lottery Licensing Officer at 807-625-2546.

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