A raffle is a lottery scheme where tickets are sold for a chance to win a prize in a draw. The different types of raffle schemes are usually identified by the method of determining the winner. Raffle prizes may consist of merchandise or cash, or a combination of the two.

This chapter outlines the policies and procedures for licensing the following permitted raffle lottery events:

  • Stub Draw
  • Elimination Draw
  • Calendar Draw
  • “Golf Ball Drop” Raffle Lottery
  • “Rubber Duck” Race
  • 50/50 Draw (paper-based)
  • Blanket Raffle Licence
  • Meat Spin/Turkey Roll
  • “Name the Raffle” Lottery
  • Bossy Bingo/Cow Patty Bingo
  • Auction-Style Raffles
  • Catch the Ace Progressive Raffle Lottery
  • Electronic raffles.

5.1.1. OVERVIEW: AUTHORITY TO LICENSE

5.1.1(A) Provincial licensing authority

The Registrar has sole authority to issue lottery licences for raffles where the total value of the prizes to be awarded is greater than $50,000 or where the raffle lottery is to be conducted and managed in conjunction with another licensed gaming event.

Only the Registrar may issue a raffle licence permitting an eligible organization to conduct a raffle lottery event in an unorganized territory, on Crown lands or in First Nations communities that do not have their own Order in Council.

Only the Registrar issues licences for electronic raffles, regardless of prize amount.

5.1.1(B) Municipal licensing authority

Municipalities may only issue licences permitting eligible organizations to conduct non-electronic raffle lotteries where the total value of the prizes to be awarded, including any taxes is $50,000 or less.

5.1.2.GENERAL RAFFLE LICENSING POLICIES

The following general policies apply to all types of raffle lottery events:

  1. Licensing authorities may issue concurrent raffle licences based on their evaluation of the licensee’s capacity to successfully conduct and manage multiple events at one time. Licensees may conduct and manage a maximum of two online raffles at the same time.
  2. With the exception of a 50/50 draw, the licensee must award fixed prizes that are set out in the lottery licence application and approved by the licence. The maximum prize value for a 50/50 draw must be determined by the maximum number of tickets issued as set out in the application.
  3. Raffle licensees must obtain goods and services only from registered suppliers. Suppliers, whether contracted directly by the licensee or not, must possess an appropriate current registration certificate, issued under the Gaming Control Act, 1992. Each applicant must include a description of all the goods and services to be obtained from each supplier, in order for the licensing authority to determine whether or not the supplier must be registered under the Gaming Control Act, 1992.
  4. Subject to the policies outlined in 5.16.1(c), the licensee may offer Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) tickets as early-bird or other raffle prizes. The prize value of OLG tickets must be based on the face value (purchase price) of the tickets. The maximum value of these tickets must not exceed five (5) per cent of the prize board for the licensed lottery event.
  1. The licensee may offer its own licensed raffle tickets as early-bird prizes. The prize value of the raffle tickets must be based on the face value (purchase price) of the tickets. The number of these tickets must not exceed a maximum of five (5) per cent of the total number of tickets issued for the licensed lottery event. The licensee must include the cost of these tickets in the overall prize board for the raffle event.
  2. Raffle tickets must not be sold to anyone under the age of 18, or the age of 19 if alcohol is included in the prize.
  3. Raffle tickets must not be offered by the licensee as contest or promotional prizes through any public medium.
  4. Prizes:
    1. The retail market value of the prizes to be awarded must not be less than 20 per cent of the total value of all tickets issued.
    2. The licensee must pay any duty, sales tax or other additional costs related to the prizes. These costs must be included in the stated value of the prizes.
    3. Only new (and unused) merchandise purchased from a reputable vendor/supplier may be offered as prizes (with some exceptions for antiques—see 5.16.1[d]).
    4. The prizes must be awarded free and clear of any mortgage, lien or any other encumbrances. The licens- ee must not offer leased prizes. All prizewinners must be awarded unconditional ownership of the prize.
    5. Livestock must not be awarded as prizes.
    6. For any prizes worth more than $500, the licensee must obtain legible copies of a firm price quotation and a letter of intent, invoice or agreement to purchase for each prize.
    7. If the applicant is proposing to offer fixed prizes totalling $10,000 or more, including taxes, the applicant must present an irrevocable standby letter of credit to the licensing authority. The licensing authority may also require a financial guarantee for a prize of a lesser value. (See 3.6.7. Financial guaran- teesand 3.6.8. Letters of credit.)
    8. Licensees may use electronic commerce channels, such as e-transfers and online gift cards, to distrib- ute prizes. Note: Gift cards with depreciating value or user fees are not allowed. Applicants must provide information about prize distribution methods as part of their licence application.
  5. Raffle lottery tickets sold under a licence issued in Ontario must not be advertised, offered for sale, sold or ordered from outside of Ontario. However, while they are in Ontario, residents of other countries or provinces may purchase raffle tickets sold under a licence issued in Ontario.
  6. The licensing authority may require the applicant to include a complete ticket sales plan, including an explanation of how credit card and debit card sales, as well as dishonoured cheques will be handled.
  7. The licensee must ensure that all advertising complies with the Raffle Licence Terms and Conditions, any additional terms and conditions for the lottery licence and with all relevant federal, provincial and municipal laws.
  8. The licence application must state the number of tickets to be issued.
  1. The licensee’s name must appear on both the main ticket and the ticket stub, and on all forms of advertising for the raffle, including brochures, handouts and electronic advertising.
  2. In the case of paper-based 50/50 draws, the licensee may use duplicate tickets or “roll” tickets without the licensee’s name and licence number to facilitate the draw. (See 5.2.1(F) 50/50 draw (paper-based)for further information.)
  3. The winners must be publicized in the manner set out and approved in the application.
  4. If a licensee intends to issue tickets in a language other than English, the licensee must provide a full translation of the information in English or French to appear on the tickets, as well as a copy of the text in the language to be used on the tickets.
  5. Licensing authorities may not issue raffle lottery licences for events to be conducted on any conveyance that moves or is capable of moving, including boats, trains and airplanes.

5.1.3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST GUIDELINES

In addition to the general conflict of interest guidelines outlined in Section 3.5.3, licensees must comply with the following guidelines for raffle lottery events:

  • The designated members-in-charge, prize donors, and other persons or companies involved in the conduct of the raffle (including insurance companies, legal and accounting firms, call centres, and all registered suppliers) must not purchase tickets.
  • Prizes must not be purchased from a business controlled by any of the designated members-in- charge of the licensed lottery event.
  • A neutral third party (that is, a person who has not purchased a ticket) should be asked to draw the winning tickets.

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