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Canadian Raffle Law: Northwest Territories

By Lance November 19, 2011

A Guide to Legal Raffles in the Northwest Territories

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, only religious or charitable organizations are eligible to apply for a raffle licence. Each province of Canada sets additional, separate guidelines to adhere to when running a raffle as well. To run a raffle legally in the Province of the Northwest Territories, it is important to apply for a licence. The Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) of the Government of the Northwest Territories allows individual communities to issue their own licences, and also issues licences for those communities that do not issue their own.

As defined by the Northwest Territories’ Lottery Licensing Guidelines, a religious or charitable organization is one that is either registered as such under the Income Tax Act (Canada), registered for a charitable or religious object or purpose under the Societies Act (NWT), or designated as a charitable or religious organization by the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs. The organization’s membership must be voluntary, and the structure must be not-for-profit, in addition to other structural guidelines set forth.

As well as the strict rules as to what kind of organizations are eligible to hold raffles, the Northwest Territories has set rules on what can be done with the profits made from gaming events. The profits are mainly to be used for a charitable or religious purpose, but the organization holding the raffle may also use the proceeds to pay for a portion of the prizes, expenses associated with the gaming event, or certain travel expenses. For assistance to determine whether money can be used for a specific activity, contact the office of the MACA at (867) 873-7125 or (867) 920-8059.

For more information on eligibility and how to obtain a Northwest Territory raffle licence (including information on application fees) or to download an application, click here.

Details Worth Noting

  • Applicants for a raffle licence must also submit a sample raffle ticket that includes the name of the organization, the location of the raffle, prices of tickets, prizes available, total number of printed tickets, the lottery licence number and a ticket number (if applicable).
  • If the total value of prizes offered is under $1,250, the applicable licence fee is $50. However, if the total value of prizes offered is over $1,250, the licence fee is 4% of the total value.
  • Commisioner-licenced and regulated raffles must pay a licence fee of $100 if the total value of prizes is under $1,250, and if the total value is over $1,250, the fee is 5% of the total value (maximum of $1,500).
  • An audited statement must be included with the application if the total amount of prizes to be awarded is greater than $100,000.
  • Specific approval is required if any prize in a raffle exceeds the amount of $30,000.

Ready to Get Started?

Your application must be accompanied by a draft sample of the tickets you will be printing up. Fortunately, it’s easy to generate a free raffle ticket proof for this purpose. Just be certain to include the following details, required by law:

1)    the name of the charitable organization;

2)    the location;

3)    the price to purchase a chance (ticket);                  .

4)    the prizes to be awarded;

5)     the maximum number of tickets printed;

6)     the ticket number, if any; and

7)     the lottery licence number.