An organization is ineligible for a lottery licence if:

  • it is established as a profit-making entity;
  • it does not have a charitable object or purpose;
  • it promotes private benefits to a restricted class of members;
  • it is established solely for the purpose of adult recreation;
  • it is established for the purpose of tourism or other activities that are purely economic in nature; or
  • it is a sub-group, “partner” or auxiliary of an eligible organization that is already licensed.


Organizations ineligible for lottery licensing include:

  • professional associations, unions and employee groups, except those set up to carry out charitable activities;
  • elected representative groups, including municipal, regional, provincial and federal governments;
  • government agencies or bodies;
  • political lobby groups and those attempting to persuade the public to adopt a particular view on a political issue;
  • advocacy, self-help and other groups solely dedicated to the political, personal and financial advancement of their members;
    • However, if direct services that fall into one of the four charitable classifications are provided, advocacy or case management intended to represent individuals and secure appropriate charitable services for those individuals may be considered an eligible charitable purpose.
  • political parties;
  • adult hobby groups;
  • for-profit, members-only or private sports clubs and for-profit adult sports teams and leagues;
  • those promoting a political doctrine;
  • those attempting to bring about or oppose changes in the law or government policy;
  • municipal councils, municipal corporations and their administrative departments; and
  • organizations established solely for the purpose of fundraising.

The above list is not intended to be exhaustive. Every organization must be reviewed, based on the documents provided, since all organizations are unique.


Governments are political bodies established for administrative purposes. Their primary mandate is to govern, which is not a charitable object. Services provided by governments may provide a public benefit and, if provided by a charitable organization, may be considered a charitable activity. However, a government is not a charitable organization and is not eligible for lottery licensing.

When reviewing organizations that are associated with governments, licensing officials must determine the extent to which the organization is:

  • separate legally, administratively and financially from the government; and
  • controlled by the government.

For example, conservation authorities established under the Conservation Authorities Act are not separate legally, administratively and financially from the government. Therefore, typically these types of organizations are not eligible for lottery licensing.

2.3.2 (A) Municipalities

A licensing authority must never issue a lottery licence to a municipality or one of its administrative departments. Municipalities derive their powers from the Municipal Act or, in some cases, a constituting act. As entities established primarily for local administration, they are not given the power to carry out charitable objects or to conduct lottery schemes. Therefore, municipalities and their operating committees or agencies do not meet the definition of a charitable organization and do not qualify for licensing under Section 207(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.

When reviewing organizations associated with a municipality, a licensing official must determine the extent to which the organization is controlled by the municipality and whether the organization is separate legally, administratively and financially from the municipality.

2.3.2 (B) Public libraries

Public libraries constituted under the Public Libraries Act are not separate financially and administratively from the municipality. Therefore, boards of public libraries established under the Public Libraries Act are not eligible for lottery licences.

2.3.2 (C) Other agencies funded by government

Many agencies operate under legislation and receive government funding. To determine the eligibility of these organizations, a licensing official must review the legislation that sets out the organization’s mandate and its relationship to government. Whether the organization is separate legally, administratively and financially from government and the degree of control exercised by government over the organization will determine whether the organization is eligible for lottery licensing.

Help us improve the AGCO website

Complete a short survey