March 1, 2021
As part of the AGCO’s ongoing commitment to support the work of Ontario charities by modernizing the charitable gaming sector, Hall Charities Associations (HCAs) are now allowed to apply for online raffles under their Hall Charity Association licence. Supported by the well-established Bingo Revenue Model (BRM), this change provides new opportunities for member charities to increase charitable fundraising and support Ontarians while meeting public health guidelines resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giving Charities Access To Online Raffle Opportunities Through Their Bingo Hall Charity Association
This opportunity allows member charities to safely run raffles electronically by selling raffle tickets and selecting a winner online. The member charities may also use electronic commerce channels like e-transfers or online gift cards to distribute prizes. The Electronic Raffle Framework provides HCAs the flexibility to run various types of online raffles, including 50/50, Catch the Ace, and fixed-prize draws. This change takes effect immediately.
Note: The term “selling a raffle ticket and selecting a winner online” refers to ticket sales and winner selection that occur using the internet.
Simple Application And Amendment Process Using The iAGCO Portal
HCAs looking to apply for an electronic raffle can visit Electronic Raffles: Licensing to review the application process and obligations. Aligning with the AGCO’s aim to reduce burden on the charitable gaming sector, HCAs can now incorporate online raffles as one of their charitable gaming events in their application. HCAs with an active licence seeking to conduct an electronic raffle may apply for an amendment, using the iAGCO online application, for approval to add an electronic raffle.
The AGCO launched its online services for charitable gaming licences in October 2020. iAGCO modernizes service channels to provide an enhanced experience anytime, from anywhere. For those using iAGCO for the first time, please see AGCO launches online services for charitable lottery licensees and Welcome to iAGCO - Guide for Charitable Gaming Licensees for information on how to get started.
In line with the BRM’s current reporting responsibilities, HCAs will continue to summarize the individual event reports and submit the Charitable Gaming Summary Report monthly through iAGCO. Under the Electronic Raffle Framework, HCAs are required to use the post-event report in iAGCO to notify the AGCO of any compliance issues such as overrides of policies or procedures that occurred during the event. For more information about reporting, please review Charitable Gaming in Pooling Halls and Electronic Raffles Post Event Reporting Video.
HCAs and member charities need to follow the Electronic Raffle Framework, which includes using an AGCO-approved electronic raffle solution developed by a gaming supplier registered with the AGCO. There is also the flexibility for licensees to develop their own electronic raffle solution. All proposed solutions, including licensee-developed solutions, will be subject to review and approval by the AGCO’s Technical and Laboratory Services. Visit Electronic Raffle Suppliers and Solutions for more information about the features of various AGCO approved electronic raffle solutions.
Like funds from other charitable events, proceeds from online ticket sales must be held in a lottery trust account. HCAs must monitor the designated lottery trust account to ensure ticket sales are properly reconciled. In line with the current BRM, Bingo Hall Operators continue to be responsible for paying all expenses, including fees, to the registered electronic raffle supplier.
Key Policy Changes
Please ensure that you read and understand the applicable policies before submitting your application to the AGCO.
For Raffle Lottery Licences:
For the Bingo Revenue Model Licence:
- Charitable Gaming Events Conducted and Managed in Pooling Bingo Halls Terms & Conditions
- Financial Management and Administration for Bingo Halls Where Proceeds are Pooled
- Lottery Licensing Policy Manual – Chapter 10: Bingo in Pooling Bingo Halls
- Pooling Bingo Halls: Advertising & Marketing Guidelines
The following Terms and Conditions for Charitable Gaming Events Conducted and Managed in Pooling Bingo Halls have been introduced or modified as follows to apply to electronic raffles in BRM Halls:
- The definition of Raffle now includes online and electronic Raffles.
- Section 1.3 (c) and 4.1: The licensee must ensure that the Rules of Play are made readily available to the players.
- Section 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6: Do not apply to electronic raffles.
- Section 4.11: Only tickets for online raffles can be sold outside of the bingo hall.
- Section 4.17 has been added requiring that licensees comply with the Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions.
The following policies from the Pooling Bingo Halls Advertising and Marketing Guidelines have been modified as follows to apply to electronic raffles in BRM halls:
- Raffle tickets can be included as part of the complimentary products (of nominal value) offered in BRM halls to new and existing patrons.
- Licensees must comply with all of the applicable advertising Terms and Conditions for electronic raffles.
The following policies from the Lottery Licensing Policy Manual do not apply to electronic raffles in BRM Halls:
- Section 10.2.2 and 10.2.3: Additional flexibility in designing games does not apply to raffles, both paper and electronic.
- Section 10.12.1: Electronic raffles tickets cannot be purchased in American currency.
The changes outlined in this Information Bulletin will also be included in the next revision of the Lottery Licensing Policy Manual.
To discuss the electronic raffle application process and other matters related to charitable gaming, contact the AGCO’s Eligibility Officers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For any other questions, contact the AGCO’s Customer Service at 1-800-522-2876, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also follow @Ont_AGCO on Twitter for the latest news.
- Electronic Raffles: Licensing
- Lottery Licensing Policy Manual (see 5.3.1 Electronic Raffles, 10.2.2 What Is the Bingo Revenue Model)
- Charitable Gaming in Pooling Bingo Halls
- List of Electronic Raffle Suppliers and Solutions
- Information Bulletin No. 89 - Expanding Raffle and Electronic Raffle Options for Charities in Ontario
- Info Bulletin No.81 - New Regulatory Framework for Electronic Raffles in Ontario
- Info Bulletin No.97 - New Options for Charities to Seed or Guarantee Prizes for Catch the Ace
- Welcome to iAGCO - Guide for Charitable Gaming Licensees