Learn How to Hold a Legal Raffle in Canada
Canada’s raffle law maintains that only certain charitable organizations are eligible to hold raffles. Each of the Canadian Provinces has been allowed to specify their own set of rules as well that are unique to that province. With this in mind, it is beneficial to research the province and municipality where the raffle is to take place, and make sure to adhere to the rules that are set in place there. In the Province of Ontario, the amount of money to be awarded in prizes determines whether the raffle requires a municipal licence or a provincial licence.
The cutoff that determines the type of licence is $50,000, and if total prize value exceeds that amount, the Ontario Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming may issue a provincial licence for an eligible organization. If the total value of prizes is less than $50,000, then an eligible organization may apply for a municipal licence at the municipality where the raffle is going to be held. Apply for a blanket raffle licence if planning to have a series of raffles within a certain period of time. Any organization that conducts a raffle is responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions of that licence.
To be eligible for a raffle licence in Ontario, an organization must have been in existence at least 1 year, have a place of business in Ontario, be able to prove that it can provide charitable services in Ontario and use profits from the raffle to benefit the community in some way. For organizations seeking their first raffle licence, applications must be submitted at least 45 days before the event. If it is not the first licence for the organization, the application should be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event. It is important to include the appropriate licensing fee and all required documents to determine eligibility when applying for a raffle licence, or the application may be returned.
Include the Following in an Application to Determine Eligibility
- Incorporation papers
- Constitution and by-laws
- The current operating budget
- Current listing of the Board of Directors
- Financial Statement for previous fiscal year (audited, where applicable)
- Detailed outline of all programs/services provided in the previous year and specific costs incurred in delivery
- Detailed outline of all programs/service currently provided and specific costs incurred in delivery
- The proposed use of proceeds, which must be consistent with the primary objects and purposes of the organization and of a charitable nature consistent with at least one of the four classifications of charitable purposes.
Get Your Raffle Tickets Started
Time to start printing? Just be sure to choose a ticket template with two parts—a body and a stub—and print the legally required information on each ticket.
On the body, to be retained by the donor, include:
i) the licence number;
ii) the name of the licensee
iii) the location(s), date(s), and time(s) of the draw(s);
iv) a description, including the nature, number and value of the prize(s) to be awarded;
v) the price of each ticket;
vi) the number of the ticket, and;
vii) the total number of tickets printed.
On the part retained by the organization (for draw or record purposes):
i) the number of the ticket;
ii) the licence number and the name of the licensee;
iii) adequate space for the name, address and telephone number of the ticket purchaser.
In addition, if the tickets are to be discounted from the regular price (i.e. $1.00 or 3 for $2.00), then the prices shall be indicated and printed on each ticket.