Providing Greater Flexibility to Charities and Religious Organizations with More Raffle Options
Regulatory changes include new offerings
November 30, 2018 - The Registrar is broadening the Electronic Raffle Regulatory Framework to reduce the administrative burden on Ontario charities and religious organizations, and to provide them with greater flexibility when conducting and managing raffles.
Today marks the launch of the second phase of the AGCO regulatory framework for electronic raffles.
Working collaboratively with the charitable gaming sector, the AGCO will continue to examine opportunities to permit a wider variety of raffles in future implementation phases of its electronic raffle framework.
In this phase, the AGCO is the only licensing authority for electronic raffles in Ontario. The AGCO continues to work toward an updated framework where municipalities and First Nations licensing authorities would issue licences for charities to conduct and manage electronic raffles. Municipalities and First Nations licensing authorities will continue to issue all paper-based licenses for prize boards under $50,000.
Highlights of the expanded Electronic Raffle Regulatory Framework, as well as some changes that apply to all raffles, are detailed below.
CHANGES TO ELECTRONIC RAFFLES (ONLINE AND IN-PERSON)
- A greater variety of raffle types can now be conducted and managed electronically, including 50/50, Catch the Ace and fixed-prize draws.
- A minimum prize board is no longer needed to obtain a licence to conduct and manage an electronic raffle.
- Licensees may sell raffle tickets over multiple days. They may also obtain a licence that permits multiple draws over an extended period, such as during a sports season.
- Licensees now have the flexibility to sell tickets for an electronic raffle both in person and online.
Note: For an electronic raffle that combines both in-person and online sales, such as a 50/50, licensees must conclude the draw before they can open sales at the same venue(s) for another raffle that combines in-person and online sales of the same type.
CHANGES TO ONLINE RAFFLES
- Licensees may now conduct and manage a wider variety of online raffles, including 50/50 raffles and Catch the Ace raffles, in addition to the fixed-prize raffles that were allowable in phase one.
- Licensees may conduct and manage a maximum of two online raffles at the same time.
- The term online refers to sales that occur when a customer uses the internet to purchase a ticket.
- There are a number of Registered Gaming Suppliers with AGCO-approved electronic raffle solutions that charities may continue to use. In addition, licensees now have the flexibility to develop their own online raffle sales platform.
Note: All proposed solutions, including charity-developed sales platforms, will be subject to review and approval by the AGCO’s Technical and Laboratory Services
CHANGES TO IN-PERSON ELECTRONIC RAFFLES
- Licensees may now sell electronic raffle tickets at multiple locations where they lease, own or have permission to sell tickets.
- Licensees must sell tickets only at venues located in communities where they deliver services.
- Licensees must use separate points of sale that are operated in-person by the charity’s representative.
- Licensees may not use a retailer’s staff to sell raffle tickets, and/or provide unsupervised points of sale such as self-serve kiosks.
CHANGES TO ELECTRONIC AND PAPER-BASED RAFFLES
- The pilot period for Catch the Ace progressive raffles has ended, and Catch the Ace is now a regular raffle offering. Catch the Ace progressive raffles are now permitted in both paper-based and electronic formats. For more information, please see Information Bulletin No. 90.
Note: Charities applying to the AGCO may apply for a licence to conduct initial draws using a paper process, then propose to conduct later draws by electronic means.
- Licensees conducting a 50/50 raffle may now include a reasonable number of fixed-prize draws, such as an early bird or consolation prize.
Note: For 50/50 raffles, fixed prizes such as cash or merchandise must be paid from the charity’s half of the tickets sales.
- Licensees may use electronic commerce channels, such as e-transfers and online gift cards, to distribute prizes.
- Gift cards with depreciating value or user fees are not allowed.
- Charities must provide information about prize distribution methods as part of their licence application.
Updates to Published Materials Impacted by this Announcement
The AGCO’s Electronic Raffles: Licensing webpage now includes:
- A new Tips for a Successful Electronic Raffle video
- A new Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions document (replacing the previous Electronic 50/50 Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions)
- A revised Notification Matrix for Electronic Raffles
- A new application form for charity-developed electronic raffle solutions
The Charitable Gaming: Suppliers webpage now includes:
- New Electronic Raffle Systems Minimum Technical Standards (replacing the separate minimal technical standards previously published for mega-raffles and 50/50 raffles)
- A revised Notification Matrix for Electronic Raffles
The lottery licensing policy changes outlined in this Information Bulletin will also be included in the next revision of the Lottery Licensing Policy Manual.
For more information, submit your questions online at iAGCO or call (416) 326-8700 or toll free 1 (800) 522-2876.
For information about services to support problem gambling in Ontario, visit www.connexontario.ca or call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600.