September 11, 2023
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is pleased to announce a new fundraising opportunity that permits hospital foundation charitable electronic 50/50 raffle (e-raffle) tickets to be sold in person in Ontario convenience stores, by convenience store retail staff. This will provide more opportunities for hospital foundations to raise critical funds for services such as research, innovation and education, and create new retail opportunities for convenience stores.
In addition to already being able to sell 50/50 e-raffle tickets online, as of today, eligible Hospital Foundations may now apply to sell 50/50 e-raffle tickets through registered convenience store sellers, via the convenience store’s own retail staff.
Hospital Foundations who are or become an electronic raffle licensee have a responsibility to understand all of the obligations necessary to run an e-raffle. More information on responsibilities of an electronic raffle licensee may be found on the AGCO’s Electronic Raffles webpage.
Since the 2017 launch of e-raffles in Ontario, the AGCO has implemented multiple reforms to the licensing framework. Charitable organizations using e-raffles range from small, local charities to large foundations. This Information Bulletin outlines new policies to be followed by Hospital Foundations and convenience stores to be licensed to sell charitable 50/50 e-raffle tickets in Ontario convenience stores. Information on how to apply and general requirements are highlighted below.
What is an Electronic 50/50 Raffle
A 50/50 raffle is a raffle lottery in which the prize is one half the value of all tickets sold during an event or a defined period.
The licensee may award prizes based on a 50/50 split of the gross proceeds for a given draw. They may also include a reasonable number of fixed-prize draws, such as for an early bird or consolation prize. The fixed prizes, such as cash or merchandise, must be paid from the charity’s half of the ticket sales.
During a 50/50 e-raffle, computers may be used for the sale of 50/50 e-raffle tickets, the selection of raffle winners, and the distribution of raffle prizes in Ontario. Eligible charitable and religious organizations may be licensed to run 50/50 e-raffles using an AGCO approved electronic platform in the management and delivery of the raffle.
Who is Eligible to Participate in this Framework?
This framework permits the sale of hospital foundation 50/50 e-raffle tickets, using an electronic device, in an Ontario convenience store by the convenience store’s retail staff.
The following entities can participate:
- Hospital foundations (as the licensed charity) established in support of an Ontario public hospital. For more information on charitable eligibility, see the AGCO’s Lottery Licensing Policy Manual (Chapter 2: Eligibility and Use of Proceeds:).
- Ontario convenience stores (as the retail store that is the registered seller);
- Approved raffle solution providers (gaming supplier) to provide the electronic device for the sale of 50/50 e-raffle tickets only (and not other types of electronic raffles such as Catch the Ace raffle). All suppliers interested in becoming registered with the AGCO in order to supply solutions for e-raffles are required to submit an application through iAGCO. More information can be found on the Registration Overview - Charitable Gaming Suppliers page.
How to Apply for a Licence to Sell 50/50 e-Raffle Tickets in Convenience Stores
Hospital Foundation (Charity Conduct and Manage)
- Apply for a licence. Hospital foundations must submit an electronic raffle application for the event through the iAGCO Portal. Learn more about the application process on the Electronic Raffles page (Step 3).
Hospital foundations must:
- Provide a list of participating retail locations where 50/50 e-raffle tickets will be sold (including the convenience store owner and address).
- Ensure that participating retail locations:
- Are convenience stores (this opportunity is restricted to this type of retailer); and
- Hold an active seller registration with AGCO.
- Provide information like the duration of the event & number of draws.
Notes: If the hospital foundation is applying to the AGCO for the first time, a Charitable Gaming Eligibility (CGE) application must be submitted via iAGCO before submitting the electronic raffle application. The hospital foundation will be provided with a file / CGE number. This number is required to submit an electronic raffle application.
If the hospital foundation has an existing electronic raffle licence, an amendment request can be submitted through the iAGCO Portal to request approval for the sale of tickets from the event in convenience stores.
- AGCO assesses the application.
- AGCO issues the licence. Hospital foundations must obtain an electronic 50/50 raffle licence from the AGCO to conduct and manage the e-raffle within convenience store(s).
- Hospital foundations may add or remove participating convenience stores by submitting an amendment request through the iAGCO Portal.
- Pay fees after the event (1% of prize)
- Compensates seller (convenience store) via permissible expense structure.
Convenience Store (Seller)
- Existing registered convenience store sellers are eligible to participate.
- Convenience stores not already registered must apply for seller registration. Learn how to become a Seller.
- Must indicate if sales include lottery, break open ticket and/or e-raffle upon new/renewal registration.
- Seller registration fees are waived by AGCO.
A licence fee of 1 per cent of the prize board will be paid by the charity to the AGCO with the submission of the final raffle report.
More information can be found on the AGCO website, Electronic Raffles (see Step 4: Paying your Licence Fee).
Review Applicable Terms and Conditions
Please ensure that you read and understand the applicable Terms and Conditions before submitting your application to the AGCO. Terms and Conditions that electronic raffle licensees must comply with include:
- Lottery Licence Terms & Conditions
- Raffle Licence Terms & Conditions
- Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions
- Registrar’s Standards: Financial Management and Administration Where Proceeds Are Not Pooled
Framework: Supplementary Lottery Licensing Policy Manual (LLPM) Requirements
The LLPM includes general regulatory requirements for conducting an e-raffle that all licensees must follow.
In addition to these general requirements, the AGCO has updated its framework to permit the sale of hospital foundation 50/50 e-raffle tickets, using an electronic device, in an Ontario convenience store by a convenience store’s retail staff.
The new supplementary policies that apply only to this opportunity for hospital foundation 50/50 e-raffle ticket sales in convenience stores are:
LLPM Section 5.3.1(a)(xiii) Hospital Foundation Electronic Raffles in Convenience Stores
The AGCO licenses hospital foundations established in support of an Ontario public hospital to conduct and manage the sale of electronic raffle tickets in convenience stores where the convenience store location is registered as a seller.
A registered raffle solution provider (gaming supplier) provides the approved e-raffle solution for the ticket sales of 50/50 e-raffle tickets only (and not other types of electronic raffles such as Catch the Ace raffle). (Note: as per current policy, 50/50 e-raffles may include a reasonable number of fixed-prize draws, such as for an early bird or consolation prize. Fixed prizes, such as cash or merchandise, must be paid from the charity’s half of the ticket sales.)
The following requirements apply:
- Hospital foundations must obtain a 50/50 raffle licence from the AGCO to sell e-raffle tickets within convenience store(s). A licence fee of 1per cent of the prize board is to be paid to the AGCO after the event.
- Convenience stores must be registered with the AGCO as sellers.
- Hospital foundations must provide a list of seller locations, and confirm that each retail store is a convenience store.
- Licensed hospital foundations must use an AGCO approved e-raffle solution.
- Hospital foundations may sell e-raffle tickets in convenience stores province-wide, in alignment with the online framework for electronic raffles.
- Sale of tickets for each hospital foundation must occur at convenience store(s) through an e-raffle Point of Sale (POS) system and ticket printer that are separate from the store’s POS.
This must be separate from the convenience store retail system. The participating hospital foundation is responsible for selecting the electronic raffle solution provider. Sales from each licensed charitable 50/50 e-raffle must not be comingled with the convenience store’s own general funds, OLG Lottery funds, or with any other source. Each licensed charitable 50/50 event must maintain a distinct and auditable flow of proceeds to the charity’s lottery fund and be under the exclusive control of the charity at all times.
Cash sales are not permitted.
- All requirements concerning responsible gambling, player protections, and informed play must be met including that the estimated current prize amount be prominently displayed in the retail store.
The Licensee must ensure that the rules of the game are provided to the player at the retail location, or it is made clear to the player how to access the full rules at the retailer when considering purchasing a ticket.
- Hospital foundations using an electronic gaming solution in the conduct and management of any lottery scheme, including within this framework, must ensure that:
- The e-raffle solution provider (i.e., gaming supplier) is registered with the AGCO;
- The electronic raffle solution or system, including all features within this framework, is approved by the Registrar;
- All related approvals and terms and conditions are met, including with regard to conflict of interest, responsible gambling, informed play, record keeping, data collection, protection of player information and integrity of the lottery.
- Hospital foundations are permitted to offer online sales of this e-raffle 50/50 ticket on their own foundation website in conjunction with in-store sales at convenience stores.
- Players must present their ticket to the charity in order to claim a prize. Prizes may not be redeemed at the convenience store. Information about the prize redemption process must be made available to all players.
- Retailer compensation is determined by the charity. All charitable gaming expenses must be reasonable, must be directly related to the conduct and management of the event, to the goods and services provided, and must not be based on a percentage of sales. (Note: This is consistent with current AGCO policy for charitable raffles permitted in the Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions.)
NOTE: The LLPM document will be updated at a future date to include the new section ‘5.3.1(a)(xiii) Hospital Foundation Electronic Raffles in Convenience Stores’.
Framework: Supplementary Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions
The Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions has general terms and conditions for running an e-raffle that all licensees must follow.
In addition to the general information, there are several Supplementary terms and conditions that have been updated with guidance that applies only to this opportunity for hospital foundation 50/50 e-raffle sales in convenience stores:
Section 4: Ticket Sales
4.3 The Licensee shall ensure that all Raffle Sales Units used for in-person sales are operated by a representative of the charity. The Licensee shall not permit the use of any unsupervised Raffle Sales Units.
Guidance (New): for the purposes of hospital foundation e-raffle sales occurring in a convenience store location, the convenience store seller is permitted to make sales.
4.12 When selling on the premises of another business, the sale of Raffle Tickets must be conducted at separate and distinct points of sale operated solely by the charity.
Guidance (New): for the purposes of hospital foundation e-raffle sales occurring in a convenience store location, e-raffle sales may occur in the same area as the store’s own sales area, but the sale of tickets for each hospital foundation must occur through an e-raffle Point of Sale (POS) system and ticket printer that are separate from the store’s POS. This permits convenience store staff to sell tickets only on behalf of hospital foundations.
In addition to adding guidance to sections 4.3 and 4.12, a supplementary update has been made to section 5.1 that applies only to hospital foundation 50/50 e-raffle sales in convenience stores:
Section 5: Prizes
5.1 The Licensee shall ensure that all Raffle outcomes are complete, accurate, and available to the players, during and after the event.
NOTE: The Electronic Raffle Operational Terms and Conditions document will also be updated at a future date to include these changes to sections 4.2, 4.12, and 5.1.
Suppliers of electronic raffle solutions will continue to be required to meet the obligations in the Electronic Raffle Systems Minimum Technical Standards.
The AGCO inspects, monitors and educates to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, standards and policies.
The AGCO’s compliance activities emphasize monitoring through a series of inspection activities, including unannounced inspections, responding to police reports and evaluating regulatory submissions and public complaints.
In the charitable gaming sector, the AGCO monitors charity conduct and manage responsibilities, conducts ongoing assessments of e-raffle solutions, and conducts in-person inspections of seller locations participating in e-raffle activities.
- Electronic Raffles (General information)
- Providing Clarity to Charities on Collaborative Fundraising Opportunities in Ontario (learn how charities can work together to run fundraising events and split the proceeds).
Contact the AGCO for More Information
Charitable gaming-related inquiries can be sent directly to the AGCO’s Eligibility Officers at firstname.lastname@example.org. AGCO Customer Service can be reached at 1-800-522-2876, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.