Keep your raffle legal! Learns the laws of Canada
In Canada, the federal government allows each province to set its own rules regarding the legality of running a raffle or prize draw. In addition, some provinces allow individual municipalities to enact their own rules, so it’s important to research the city and province in which you live before you plan your raffle, so you stay on the right side of the law.
The Province of Alberta sets the dividing line between large and small raffles at $10,000 and requires a separate eligibility application for each. Raffle licences in Alberta are limited to charitable and religious organizations for fundraising purposes. If your group is new to this kind of fundraising, be sure to apply for your eligibility before you start planning your prize draw. You cannot obtain a licence without demonstrating eligibility.
The most important thing to know is that licences are only granted to non-profit groups. You need not be incorporated, but no individual in your group may profit financially from your prize draw. Before you apply for your licence, you must submit a form so that the province can approve your eligibility for a licence. Be prepared to prove that you are a not-for-profit group and that your proceeds will go to charity.
With that in mind, you can download your application to determine eligibility for a raffle licence in Alberta here.
Some useful points to remember:
Raffles Under $10,000
- Your eligibility application should take less than a week to process
- Approval will be delayed if your information is incomplete
- Once you have approval, you will receive an AGLC ID number
- Take your AGLC ID number to your local Registry to apply for a licence
- Your licence expires at the completion of your raffle
- Your AGLC ID number does not expire as long as your group exists
Raffles Over $10,000
- Up-to-date financial records are required
- Incomplete information will delay your application
- You must supply a written statement of your charitable mission
- You may be required to establish a lawyer’s trust for funds raised
- You may be required to provide an outside appraisal of large prizes
- Your licence limits you to sales in Alberta