5.4.1 (A) Sports pools

A sports pool, based on any combination of chance and skill, must not be licensed. The Criminal Code prohibits lottery schemes involving pool selling or bets on any race, fight or other single sporting event or athletic contest.

With the exception of “rubber duck” races, a licensing authority may not issue a licence for any scheme where the winner of a prize is decided on the outcome of a single sporting event, contest or race.

Similarly, sports pools based on a series of sporting events, contests or races are not allowed if the purchaser chooses the team or player or results on which his chances to win are based.

5.4.1 (B) Raffles by “donation”

The use of the word “donation” in lieu of a purchase price for tickets does not alter the fact that consideration is being paid for a chance to win a prize. Accordingly, this type of raffle constitutes a lottery scheme under Section 206(1) of the Criminal Code. A licensing authority must not issue a licence for a raffle in which part of or the entire purchase price of a ticket is a “donation”.

5.4.1 (C) “Scratch and win”

“Scratch and win” raffle lotteries must not be licensed.

See also 5.1.2. General raffle licensing policies.

5.4.1 (D) Prize values determined on factors beyond the applicant’s control

The licensee is accountable to both the licensing authority and the public, to ensure that the prize originally offered is the prize actually awarded. In the interest of consumer protection and to ensure that any disputes can be resolved, it is essential that:

  • the exact nature and value of each prize is detailed on the application and in any promotional material; and
  • all prizes are awarded as approved on the application for licence.

These requirements help ensure that the integrity of the event is upheld.

Lottery licensing fees, the type of licence required (municipal or provincial) and whether a letter of credit is required are based on a fixed prize value. Where the value of prizes is based on factors beyond the applicant’s control, it is impossible to properly administer the event. Therefore, such types of events cannot be licensed.

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